Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January 26th, 2019


Song of Songs 8The Lover

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Written on January 31, 2009  and posted today as a Favorite . . .

“The Song of Songs, meaning the greatest of songs, contains in exquisite poetic form the sublime portrayal and praise of the mutual love of the Lord and his people.  The Lord is the Lover and his people are the beloved.  Describing this relationship in terms of human love, the author simply follows Israel’s tradition.  Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel all characterize the covenant between the Lord and Israel as a marriage.  Hosea the prophet sees the idolatry of Israel in the adultery of Gomer.  He also represents the Lord speaking to Israel’s heart and changing her into a new spiritual people, purified by the Babylonian captivity and betrothed anew to her divine Lover ‘in justice and uprightness, in love and mercy’.”  (Senior 791)

For stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames a blazing fire.  Deep waters cannot quench love, nor floods sweep it away.  Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love, he would be roundly mocked.  8:6-7

“In human experience, death and the nether world are inevitable, unrelenting; in the end they always triumph.  Love, which is just as certain of its victory, matches its strength against the natural enemies of life; waters cannot extinguish it nor floods carry it away.  It is more priceless than all riches”.  (Senior 798)

In Song of Songs 2:14, the lover asks for a word or a song: Oh my dove in the clefts of the rock . . . let me see you, let me hear your voice, for your song is sweet and you are lovely.  She replies in words similar to those found in 2:17: Until the day breathes cool and the shadows lengthen, roam, my lover, like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountains.  (Senior 798)

When God the Lover calls us, will we recognize his voice?  Will we understand that the Lover cries out to us, asking us to join him in his work of conversion and transformation . . . wishing to give us the gifts of his richness?

O garden-dweller, my friends are listening for your voice, let me hear it!  Be swift, my lover, like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices!  8:13-14

When we hear the Lover’s voice, will we be prepared to follow?  To lose such a love is a loss from which we will not recover; therefore, do not arouse, do not stir up love, before its own time.  8:4 

We prepare best for this deeply intimate love by living a life in which we witness, watch and wait.

Oh my dove in the clefts of the rock . . . let me see you, let me hear your voice, for your song is sweet and you are lovely.

By patience and by listening we enter into Wisdom.  By obedience and by witnessing we respond to the Lover with his own words.

Until the day breathes cool and the shadows lengthen, roam, my lover, like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountains . . . for we do not wish to stir up love before its own time . . . we wish to prepare as best we can . . . for in this Lover there is someone far more powerful yet tender than anyone we have ever known.

So as we act in justice and walk in humility, let us witness to the truths we know to be true.

As we give thanks for the bounty we have received, let us watch for the signs of the Bridegroom who comes leaping over the hills to us, his beloved.

Let us wait in joyful anticipation the love we are destined to live.

Let us join in the reaping of our Lover’s harvest . . . even as we walk through the fire of his love.  Amen


A re-post from January 19, 2012.

Image from: http://www.webexhibits.org/poetry/explore_famous_free_background.html

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.79 & 798. Print.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: