Song of Songs (Week 2)
March 13, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.


First Meditation (Second Sunday of Lent or of Easter; Song 2:8-10a)


8 The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes,
leaping on the mountains,
skipping on the hills.
9 My beloved is like a roe or a young deer.
Behold, he stands behind our wall!
He looks in at the windows.
He glances through the lattice.

10 My beloved spoke to me.


Some things imply that the bridegroom is already present, whereas other things suggest that the bridegroom is being sought by the bride. For we too investigate some problems for which we do not know the solution and some problems, when the bridegroom and Word enlightens our hearts, which we find already solved. Then, in other matters, we doubt again and it is revealed to us anew. This will happen often until we possess the bridegroom fully, when he not only comes to us but also remains within us. (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

Today also, if any soul seeks after him much, it will merit much mercy, because very much is owed to the person who seeks much. Therefore if any soul searches for him with greater zeal, it hears his voice from afar and, although it inquires of others, it hears his voice before those from whom it is asking. It sees that he is running, bounding, that is, hastening and running and leaping over those who cannot receive his strength from weakness of heart. Then, by reading the prophets and remembering their words, the soul sees him looking through their riddles, looking, but as if through a window, not yet as if present. (St. Ambrose of Milan)

If I can put it this way, by coming for our redemption the Lord leaped! My friends, do you want to become acquainted with these leaps of his? From heaven he came to the womb, from the womb to the manger, from the manger to the cross, from the cross to the sepulcher, and from the sepulcher he returned to heaven. You see how Truth, having made himself known in the flesh, leaped for us to make us run after him. (St. Gregory the Great)

Musical Selection (Palestrina)

Vox dilecti mei: ecce iste venit saliens in montibus, transiliens colles. Similis est dilectus meus capreae, hinuloque cervorum. En ipse stat post parietem nostrum respiciens per fenestras, prospiciens per cancellos. En dilectus meus loquitur mihi.

The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. Behold my beloved speaketh to me.

Collect (Easter)

God of everlasting mercy,
each year when the feast of Easter returns
you enliven the faith of your holy people.
Increase in us the grace you have already bestowed,
that we may understand more fully
in whose font we have been washed,
in whose Spirit we have been reborn,
and in whose blood we have found redemption.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect (Lent)

God of the covenant,
your presence fills us with awe,
your word gives us unshakeable hope.
Fix in our hearts
the image of your Son in glory,
that, sustained on the path of discipleship,
we may pass over with him to newness of life.
Grant this through Christ, our deliverance and hope,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
holy and mighty God for ever and ever. Amen.

Second Meditation (Monday of the Second Week of Lent or Easter; Song 2:11-12)


[He said], Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
11 For, behold, the winter is past.
The rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth.
The time of the singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land


I am confident that for us the winter has now past.  You know the winter I mean, that fear which is devoid of love, which, although it can lead everyone to wisdom, perfects no one, because super-abounding love drives it away as summer does the winter.  Summer means charity, which, if it has come, or rather because it has come, I am right in thinking you enjoy it, of necessity dries up every wintry rain, every anxious tear wrung from you by the bitter recollection of sin and fear of the judgment.  Accordingly, and I say this without hesitation about many of you, if not all, this rain is now over and gone, for now the flowers appear as witnesses to a gentler rain.  For summer too has its pleasant and enriching showers.  What is sweeter than charity’s tears?  Charity weeps, but from love, not from sorrow.  It weeps from desire, it weeps with those who weep.  I am convinced that a rain like this moistens your acts of obedience which I see so gladly.  No murmuring taints them, no sadness overshadows them, but a certain spiritual joy makes them delightful and radiant.  They are like flowers that you always carry in your hands. Therefore, if the winter is past, the rain over and gone, if flowers have appeared again in our land and the spring-like warmth of spiritual grace indicates the time for pruning, what is left for us but to bend our energies totally to this work, so holy and so necessary. (St. Bernard of Clairvaux)

My heart is fixed there where Jesus has wished it to be fixed. Yes, O my Jesus, beloved supremely above all, you are the abiding life of my soul. For you my heart languishes; it thirsts after you. A wound of rapture has torn and pierced it; the light of this world is torment and anguish, because I know your beauty and thy greatness, you love, and the blessedness that is in you. My heart is dreary with delay. How long, my well-beloved, how long shall I look for the moment when I shall enjoy you, and shall gaze upon your beauteous face? To my thirsting soul heaven and earth, and all that is within them, apart from you, are chill and dreary as a winter day. My glad spring-time, my one only consolation, will be at length to see your face. (St. Gertrude of Helfta).

Behold this divine lover at the gate, he does not simply knock, but stands knocking; he calls the soul, come, arise, make haste, my love, and puts his hand into the lock to try whether he cannot open it. If he uttereth his voice in the streets he does not simply utter it, but he goes crying out, that is, he continues to cry out. When he proclaims that every one must be converted, he thinks he has never repeated it sufficiently. Be converted, do penance, return to me, live, why dost thou die, O house of Israel? In a word this heavenly Saviour forgets nothing to show that his mercies are above all his works, that his mercy surpasses his judgment, that his redemption is copious, that his love is infinite, and, as the Apostle says, that he is rich in mercy, and consequently he will have all people to be saved; not willing that any should perish. (St. Francis de Sales)

Musical Selection (Palestrina)


Surge, propera, amica mea, columba mea, formosa mea, et veni: jam enim hiems transiit; imber abiit, et recessit. Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra; tempus putationis advenit: vox turturis audita est in terra nostra; ficus protulit grossos suos; vineæ florentes dederunt odorem suum.

Arise, my love, my dove, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of pruning has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance.

Collect (Easter)

Almighty and eternal God,
whom we dare to call Father,
impart to us more fully the spirit of adoption,
that we may one day gain the inheritance you have promised.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.  Amen.

Collect (Lent)

Ever-faithful God,
for the healing of our souls
you teach us to discipline our bodies by penance.
Give us the grace to abstain from all sin
and to accept the demands that your love makes upon us.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Third Meditation (Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent or Easter; Song 2:13)


13 The fig tree ripens her green figs.
The vines are in blossom.
They give out their fragrance.

Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away."


You must take the winter of the soul as the time when she is still tossed with the waves of her passions and battered by the storms of her vices and the strong blasts of malignant spirits. So long as she is in the thick of these, the Word of God does not exhort her to come forth; rather, He would have her hold herself close and guard herself and shield herself on every side against these harmful blasts of the malignant spirits. She gets no flowers of zest from the Divine Scriptures then, nor do the secrets of the deeper wisdom and the hidden mysteries sound as by the turtle-dove's voice. Her sense of smell likewise receives no favour, as from the flowering vines, neither does her vision find delight, as in the budding fig tree: during the storms of temptations it is all that she can do to keep safe and guarded from falling into sin. But if she does contrive to get through these unscathed,then the winter is past, and spring has come to her. For spring for her is when repose is given to her soul and calm­ness to her mind. Then the Word of God comes to her, then He calls her to Himself, and bids her come forth, not only from the house, but from the city itself - in other words, she must forsake not only fleshly vices, but also everything bodily and visible that the world contains. For we have already demonstrated plainly that the city is a figure for the world. The soul, therefore, is summoned forth outside the wall, and is brought to the outwork, when, forsaking and leaving things seen and temporal, she hastens towards those that are unseen and eternal. (Origen of Alexandria)

The Word says once again to the bride whom he has awakened, "Arise." And when she has come to him he says, "Come." For one who has been called to rise in this way can always rise further,  and one who runs to the Lord will always have wide open spaces before him. And so we must constantly rise and never cease drawing closer. As often as the bridegroom says "Arise" and "Come," he gives the  power to ascend to what is better. Thus you must understand what follows in the text. When the bridegroom exhorts the bride who is already beautiful to become beautiful, he clearly recalls the words of the Apostle who bids the same image to be transformed "from glory to glory" [2Cor 3.18]. By glory he means what we have grasped and found at any given moment. No matter how great and exalted that glory may be, we believe that it is less than that for which we still hope. Although she is a dove by what she had achieved, the bride is bidden to become a dove once again by being transformed into something better. (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

From the highest come seven ways of love which work back to the highest. The first is a desire actively originating from love. Long has this desire to rule in the heart before she can dispel every resistance thoroughly, and she cannot but work with strength and intelligence, and courageously grow in this. This first way is a desire that most certainly originates from love, for the good soul that wants to follow faithfully and wants to love durably is being drawn on by the craving for this desire -to be loved and to be guarded most strongly- in order to exist in purity and freedom and nobility in which she is made by her creator, after His image and to His resemblance. In this way she desires to pass her whole life, and to work on this and to grow in this and to rise to ever higher excellence in love, more connected through knowledge of God, until the completion for which she is equipped and is called by God. Sooner or later this is her aim, and that is why she is fully engaged. This explains her questions and her desire for knowledge and her prayer to God. And her thoughts about how she can reach this and how she can receive the nearness to the equality with love, in the full glory of the virtues, and in the complete purity of the nobility of love, which has been recovered in her. (Bl. Beatrice of Nazareth)

Musical Selection (Ivo Antognini)


Surge, amica mea, speciosa mea, et veni: columba mea, in foraminibus petræ, in caverna maceriæ. Ostende mihi faciem tuam, sonet vox tua in auribus meis: vox enim tua dulcis, et facies tua decora.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliffs. Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

Collect (Easter)

Almighty God,
enable us to proclaim the power of Christ the Lord,
who has risen to life and vanquished death,
so that we who acknowledge this pledge of his great love
may share in the riches that it foreshadows.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.  Amen.

Collect (Lent)

Watch over your Church, Lord God, with unfailing mercy,
and since without you humankind will surely fall,
protect us by your grace from every harm
and guide us toward those things that work for our good.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Fourth Meditation (Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent or Easter; Song 2:14-15 )


14 My dove in the clefts of the rock,
In the hiding places of the mountainside,
Let me see your face.
Let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
15 Catch for us the foxes,
the little foxes that plunder the vineyards;
for our vineyards are in blossom.


Such did the Savior of all become toward us, showing the most perfect gentleness, and like a turtle [dove], moreover, soothing the world and filling his own vineyard, even us who believe in him, with the sweet sound of his voice. For it is written in the Song of Songs, “The voice of the turtle[dove] has been heard in our land.” For Christ has spoken to us the divine message of the gospel, which is for the salvation of the whole world. (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

“Arise, come, my dearest one,” that is, arise from the pleasures of the world, arise from earthly things and come to me, you who still labor and are burdened, because you are anxious about worldly things. Come over the world, come to me, because I have overcome the world. Come near, for now you are fair with the beauty of everlasting life, now you are a dove, that is, you are gentle and mild, now you are filled entirely with spiritual grace.… “Winter is now past”; that is, the Pasch has come, pardon has come, the forgiveness of sins has arrived, temptation has ceased, the rain is gone, the storm is gone, and the affliction. Before the coming of Christ it is winter. After his coming there are flowers. On this account he says, “The flowers appear on the earth.” Where before there were thorns, now flowers are there. “The time of pruning has come.” Where before there was desert, the harvest is there. “The voice of the dove is heard in our land.” (St. Ambrose of Milan)

“The fig tree has put forth its green figs,” that is, the commandments of the old law have fallen, and the blossoming vines of the gospel give forth their fragrance.… While you covered your countenance like Moses and the veil of the law remained, I neither saw your face, nor did I condescend to hear your voice. I said, “Yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear.” But now, with unveiled face behold my glory, and shelter yourself in the cleft and steep places of the solid rock. (St. Jerome)

Musical Selection (Palestrina)

Surge, amica mea, speciosa mea, et veni; columba mea, in foraminibus petrae, in cavernae maceriae, ostende mihi faciem tuam, sonet vox tua in auribus meis; vox enim tua dulcis, et facies tua decora.

Arise, my love, my beauteous one, and come; my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow of the cliff, show me thy face; let thy voice sound in my ears: for sweet is thy voice and thy face is comely.


Collect (Easter)

God our Creator,
each year we recall those Easter mysteries
by which human nature is restored to a dignity once lost,
and we are given the hope of rising again.
Grant in your mercy
that we may grasp and cherish always
the mysteries we recall in faith.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.  Amen.

Collect (Lent)

Sustain your family, O Lord,
whom you have formed in the ways of loving service.
Strengthen us with your help in this present life
and in your mercy lead us to life eternal.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Fifth Meditation (Thursday of the Second Week of Lent or Easter; Song 2:16-3:1)


16 My beloved is mine, and I am his.
He browses among the lilies.
17 Until the day is cool, and the shadows flee away,
turn, my beloved,
and be like a roe or a young deer on the mountains of Bethel.

(Chapter 3) 1 By night on my bed,
I sought him whom my soul loves.
I sought him, but I didn’t find him


[Christ] pastures his flocks among the lilies, therefore, although he does so only until the coming day emerges and the shadows begin to move on. Since the majority of people think that the events which are passing and not stable are fixed and will remain, because their faculty of discernment is obscured by the darkness of ignorance, they have need of the daylight in order to see that the shadows of the things of this world dissipate and have no permanence. For all present realities are shadows, drawing their origin from the good things of the heavens yet subsisting like shadows, only resembling the truth of the things there above. But once the night has passed and the dawn has arisen, the nature of things from on high is clearly seen, as if in sunlight. Then people realize: “Our life on the earth is a shadow.” Then they say, “My days, as the shadow, are in decline,” indicating how feeble and quick to vanish is temporal success. The one who says, “If there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is only one God the Father, from whom all things come and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom all things come and through whom we exist,” can also say, “My beloved is mine, and I am his,” for the meaning is identical in each text. For anyone who renounces both gods and lords lays claim to the one God and Lord, from whom he exists and to whom he returns. “For,” it says, “for us there is one God from whom all things come and for whom we exist,” thus declaring clearly that “he is mine, and I am his.” … Regarding the expression “the shadows move on,” it is necessary to consider … that it refers to the abrogation of the works of the law. That is the shadow frequently cited by Paul as “the law having the shadow of good things to come and not the very image of the realities,” and again “These are only a shadow of the things to come, but the substance is of Christ,” and again, “They provide a copy and a shadow of the heavenly realities,” meaning the priests that functioned according to the law. Thus it is indicated for certain that, the shadow of the law having moved on, the truth of grace now governs, established upon the rock against which “the gates of hell shall never prevail.” … It should also be remarked that it is everywhere necessary for the Word to rest upon the mountains, or at least upon the hills. And if the Word is ever found in the valleys or chasms, he is found there by reason of his great condescension and with the intention to restore those who are down there to the higher realities, on account of his love for humankind. (St. Nilus of Sinai)


Where have You hidden Yourself,
And abandoned me in my groaning, O my Beloved?
You have fled like the hart,
Having wounded me.
I ran after You, crying; but You were gone.


O shepherds, you who go
Through the sheepcots up the hill,
If you shall see Him
Whom I love the most,
Tell Him I languish, suffer, and die.


In search of my Love
I will go over mountains and strands;
I will gather no flowers,
I will fear no wild beasts;
And pass by the mighty and the frontiers.


O groves and thickets
Planted by the hand of the Beloved;
O verdant meads
Enameled with flowers,
Tell me, has He passed by you? (St. John of the Cross)

O Lord of heaven and earth, how is it possible that even while in this mortal life one can enjoy You with so special a friendship, that the Holy Spirit says this so clearly in these words, and that still we do not want to understand that these are the delights You share with souls in this Song of Songs! What endearing words! What sweetness! One of these words would have been enough for us to be dissolved in You. May You be blessed, Lord, because we don't lose anything through Your fault. Along how many paths, in how many ways, by how many methods You show us love! With trials, with a death so harsh, with torments, suffering offenses every day and then pardoning; and not only with these deeds do You show this love, but with words so capable of wounding the soul in love with You that You say them in this Song of Songs and teach the soul what to say to You. For I don't know how the words can be endured if You do not help the one who hears them to bear them — because of our weakness, not because of what the words deserve. (St. Teresa of Avila)

Musical Selection (Palestrina)


Dilectus meus mihi, et ego illi, qui pascitur inter lilia: donec aspiret dies, et inclinentur umbrae. Revertere similis esto dilecte mi capreae hinnuloque cervorum super montes Bether. In lectulo meo per noctes quaesivi quem diligit anima mea, quaesivi illum, et non inveni.

My beloved is mine, and I his, who feedeth among the lilies till the day break, and the shadows fall. Return, my love, be like to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of Bether. In my bed at night, I sought him whom my soul doth love; I sought him and I found him not.

Collect (Easter)

God of mercy,
grant that the grace we seek and find
when celebrating the Easter mysteries
may grow within us
and in every season bear much fruit.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

Collect (Lent)

Lord God,
you love innocence
and you restore it in those who have sinned.
Turn back our wayward hearts to you
and inflame them with your Holy Spirit,
that we may be steadfast in faith
and effective in the works of love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Sixth Meditation (Friday of the Second Week of Lent or Easter; Song 3:2)

2 I will get up now, and go about the city;
in the streets and in the squares I will seek him whom my soul loves.
I sought him, but I didn’t find him.


Just as eyes have different coloured lights in them, so in the soul many different overshadowings of the spiritual Sun occur. One kind comes through bodily tears, another through the tears of the soul; one kind through what is contemplated by the bodily eyes, another through the spiritual. One kind comes from hearing words, another is the joy that spontaneously springs up in the soul; also there is one kind that comes from silence, and another which by rapture ineffably and unexpectedly transports the mind in spiritual light to Christ....Divine providence causes the sun to rise in us for our edification, and then for a time to set, and then He makes darkness His hiding place, and night falls, in which prowl the fierce young lions, which had previously left us and all the beasts of the forest of thorny passions, roaring to snatch the hope that is in us, and seeking from God their food of passions either in thought or in action. And again through the darkness of humility the sun rises upon us and the wild beasts gather together and lie down in their dens, that is to say in sensual hearts, but not in us. Then the demons say amongst themselves: The Lord has done great things for them. And we say to them: The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad but you are banished. Behold, the Lord rides on a swift cloud, no doubt the soul that is raised above all earthly desire, and comes into Egypt, into the heart already darkened, and will shatter the idols of man’s making, that is, vain thoughts of the mind. (St. John Climacus)

The Word of God, God himself, the Bridegroom of the soul, comes to the soul and leaves it again as he wishes, but we must realize that this happens as a result of soul’s sensitivity, and is not due to any movement of the Word.  Indeed, when the soul is aware of the influence of grace, she acknowledges the presence of the Word; but when she is not, she mourns his absence, and again seeks his presence, saying with the prophet, “My face has sought you; your face, Lord, I will seek.”  How could she do otherwise?  For when so sweet a bridegroom withdraws from her, she cannot desire any other, nor even think of another.  It must be that when he is absent, she seeks him ardently, and when he goes away, she calls him back.  Thus the Word is recalled, recalled by the longing of the soul who has once enjoyed his sweetness.  Is longing not a voice?  It is indeed, and a very powerful one.  Then the Psalmist says, “The Lord has heard the longing of the poor.”  When the Word departs therefore, the one unceasing cry of the soul, its one unceasing desire, is ‘return,’ until he comes.... The Bridegroom has not returned when the Bride calls him back with cries and prayers.  Why not?  He wishes to increase her desire, test her affection, and exercise her faculty of love.  He is not displeased with her, he is concealing his love.  But he has been sought for, and we must ask whether he may be found, for he did not come when he was called.  Yet the Lord said, “Everyone who looks finds,” and the words used to recall him were, “Return, my beloved, like a roe or a fawn.”  When he did not return at this call, for the reasons I have given, then she who loved him became more eager and devoted herself eagerly and entirely to seeking him. (St. Bernard of Clairvaux)

Courage, then, O soul most beautiful, thou knowest now that thy Beloved, Whom thou desirest, dwelleth hidden within thy breast; strive, therefore, to be truly hidden with Him, and then thou shalt embrace Him, and be conscious of His presence with loving affection. Consider also that He bids thee, by the mouth of Isaias, to come to His secret hiding-place, saying, Go, . . . enter into thy chambers, shut thy doors upon thee'; that is, all thy faculties, so that no created thing shall enter: 'be hid a little for a moment,' that is, for the moment of this mortal life; for if now during this life which is short, thou wilt 'with all watchfulness keep thy heart,' as the wise man saith, God will most assuredly give thee, as He hath promised by the prophet Isaias, 'hidden treasures and mysteries of secrets.'  The substance of these secrets is God Himself, for He is the substance of the faith, and the object of it, and the faith is the secret and the mystery. And when that which the faith conceals shall be revealed and made manifest, that is the perfection of God, as St. Paul saith, 'When that which is perfect is come,' then shall be revealed to the soul the substance and mysteries of these secrets. Though in this mortal life the soul will never reach to the interior secrets as it will in the next, however much it may hide itself, still, if it will hide itself with Moses, 'in the hole of the rock'--which is a real imitation of the perfect life of the Bridegroom, the Son of God--protected by the right hand of God, it will merit the vision of the 'back parts'; that is, it will reach to such perfection here, as to be united, and transformed by love, in the Son of God, its Bridegroom. So effectually will this be wrought that the soul will feel itself so united to Him, so learned and so instructed in His secrets, that, so far as the knowledge of Him in this life is concerned, it will be no longer necessary for it to say: 'Where hast Thou hidden Thyself?' (St. John of the Cross)

Musical Selection (Palestrina)


Surgam et circuibo civitatem per vicos et plateas, quaeram quem diligit anima mea, quaesivi illum et non inveni.

I will rise and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not.

Collect (Easter)

For our sake, O God, you willed
that your Son should climb the scaffold of the cross
to lift from our shoulders the dark yoke of Satan.
Grant that we may come to share
the grace and power of Christ’s resurrection.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

Collect (Lent)

Purify us, almighty God, by this holy practice of penance,
that with hearts made fresh and whole
we may advance toward the solemn feast of our redemption.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Seventh Meditation (Saturday of the Second Week of Lent or Easter; Song 3:3-5)

3 The watchmen who go about the city found me;
"Have you seen him whom my soul loves?"
4 I had scarcely passed from them,
when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him, and would not let him go,
until I had brought him into my mother’s house,
into the room of her who conceived me.
5 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem,
by the roes, or by the hinds of the field,
that you not stir up, nor awaken love,
until it so desires.


“In my bed at night I sought him whom my soul loved,” as if he had stolen in upon her. Let one who seeks carefully seek while in his bed; let him seek at night. Let there be neither nights nor holiday, let no time be free from pious service, and if one does not find him at first, let him persevere in searching after him.… And because we see the heavenly mysteries represented allegorically on earth through the gospel, let us come to Mary Magdalene and to the other Mary. Let us meditate upon how they sought Christ at night in the bed of his body, in which he lay dead, when the angel said to them, “You seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen. Why then do you seek the living one among the dead?” Why do you seek in the tomb him who is now in heaven? Why do you seek in the bonds of the tomb him who frees all men of their bonds? The tomb is not his dwelling, but heaven is. And so one of them says, “I sought him and I did not find him.” (St. Ambrose of Milan)

We seek the one we love upon our beds when we sigh with longing for our Redeemer during our short period of rest during the present life. We seek him during the night, because even though our hearts are already watchful for him, our eyes are still darkened. But it remains for the person who does not find the one he loves to rise and go about the city, that is, he must travel about the holy church of the elect with an inquiring heart. He must seek her through its streets and squares, making his way, that is, through narrow and broad places, on the watch to make inquiries if any traces of her can be found in them, because there are some, even of those leading worldly lives, who have something worth imitating of virtue in their actions. The watchmen who guard the city find us as we search, because the holy fathers who guard the church’s orthodoxy come to meet our good efforts, to teach us, by their words of their writings. Scarcely have we passed them by when we find him whom we love. Although in his humility our Redeemer was a human being in the midst of human beings, in his divinity he was above human beings. Therefore once the watchmen have been passed by, the beloved is found. (St. Gregory the Great)

O strong and burning love!  O love urgent and impetuous which does not allow me to think of anything but you.  Rejecting all else, you spurn everything but yourself.  You are content only with yourself!  You throw order into confusion and ignore moderation.  You laugh at all considerations of fitness, reason, modesty and prudence, and tread them underfoot.  All the Bride’s thoughts and words are full of nothing but your music and fragrance, so completely have you taken possession of her heart and this marriage song, it is not the words which are to be pondered, but the affections behind them.  Why is this, other than because the sacred love which is the subject of the whole canticle cannot be described in the words of any language, but are expressed in deed and truth?  And love speaks everywhere.  If anyone desires to grasp these writings, let him love.  It is vain for anyone who does not love to listen to this song of love, or to read it, for a cold heart cannot catch fire from its eloquence. (St. Bernard of Clairvaux)

Musical Selection (John Michael Talbot)


Let us kiss with the touch of our lives, Call me Lord to you chamber
For your kiss is an excellent wine flowing smoothly poured out for a lover.

For a bride belongs to her lover
And a Bridegroom yearns for His Bride
So come to the night there to empty our lives
To be fulfilled with the flowers of dawn.

Let us go to the Vineyard my love to see if the vines are in bloom
If the vines have opened to blossom new life, so I will open to you.

As the flowers send forth their fragrant perfume
So the doors of my love shall be open
For I have stored up my treasure for you and now I give you my love

For a bride belongs to her lover
And a Bridegroom yearns for His Bride
So come to the night there to empty our lives
To be fulfilled with the flowers of dawn.

So come to the night there to empty our lives
To be fulfilled with the flowers of dawn.

Collect (Easter)

God of unfailing mercy,
who redeemed us and adopted us as your children,
look upon us with tender love,
that we who believe in Christ
may enjoy true freedom
and enter our promised inheritance.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen. 

Collect (Lent)

by your healing gift of grace
you share with us the things of heaven
while we are yet on earth.
Guide us, we pray, in this our present life
and lead us to that everlasting light in which you dwell.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.