Song of Songs (Week 3)
March 20, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

First Meditation (Third Sunday of Lent or Easter; Song 3:6-11)


6 Who is this who comes up from the wilderness like pillars of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
with all spices of the merchant?
7 Behold, it is Solomon’s carriage!
Sixty mighty men are around it,
of the mighty men of Israel.
8 They all handle the sword, and are expert in war.
Every man has his sword on his thigh,
because of fear in the night.
9 King Solomon made himself a carriage
of the wood of Lebanon.
10 He made its pillars of silver,
its bottom of gold, its seat of purple,
the middle of it being paved with love,
from the daughters of Jerusalem.
11 Go out, you daughters of Zion, and see king Solomon,
with the crown with which his mother has crowned him,
in the day of his weddings,
in the day of the gladness of his heart.


When the bride has been led to the resting place of her bridegroom, they sing the nuptial song and express love from the daughters of Jerusalem: “Come forth and look upon King Solomon in the crown with which his mother has crowned him on the day of his marriage.” They sing the epithalamium and call upon the other heavenly powers or souls to see the love that Christ has toward the daughters of Jerusalem. On this account he deserved to be crowned by his mother, as a loving son, as Paul shows, saying that “God has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his loving son.” (St. Ambrose of Milan)

[Christ] was crowned by the blessed mother who begot him according to the flesh, Christ the King, the true Solomon. This was the day of his wedding and the day of gladness of heart, when the immaculate was joined to the stained. Our Lord Jesus Christ made the church immaculate by the touch of his body and blood and rendered it most beautiful, cleansed from every stain of sin by the most holy washing of baptism, with every wrinkle of heretical inclination wiped away by the salve of doctrine. (Aponius)

Solomon’s litter is the glory of heavenly beatitude in which the King of peace himself rests with his saints, a rest toward which the King’s beloved, that is, the church, strains daily through the desert of this world and already partly enjoys, insofar as he gives his faithful a foretaste of their future reward. But they will receive it fully only when, at the end of the age, the founder and king of the heavenly city gathers the elect from the four winds and, as was said elsewhere, “girds himself and makes them recline at table and serves them.” (St. Bede the Venerable)

Musical Selection (Tomas Luis de Victoria)

Vidi speciosam sicut columbam ascendentem desuper rivos aquarum: Cuius inaestimabilis odor erat nimis in vestimentis eius. Et sicut dies verni, flores rosarum circumdabant eam, et lilia convallium. Quae est ista, quae ascendit per desertum sicut virgula fumi, ex aromatibus myrrhae et thuris? Et sicut dies verni, flores rosarum circumdabant eam, et lilia convallium.

I saw the fair one rising like a dove above the streams of water: whose priceless fragrance clung to her garments. And as on a spring day, she was surrounded by roses and lily-of-the-valley. Who is this who rises from the desert like a pillar of smoke from incense of myrrh and frankincense? And as on a spring day, she was surrounded by roses and lily-of-the-valley.

Collect (Easter)

Let your people for ever exult, O God,
let the joy of their youth be renewed,
that we who now rejoice to be your adopted children
may look forward with certain hope
to the day of resurrection.
Grant 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 salvation,
we stand before you on holy ground,
for your name is glorified
and your mercy revealed
wherever your mighty deeds are remembered.
Since you are holy and forbearing,
turn us from every rash and shallow judgement
to seek the ways of repentance.

We ask 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 Third Week of Lent or Easter; Song 4:1-6)



Behold, you are beautiful, my love.
Behold, you are beautiful.
Your eyes are doves behind your veil.
Your hair is as a flock of goats,
that descend from Mount Gilead.
2 Your teeth are like a newly shorn flock,
which have come up from the washing,
where every one of them has twins.
None is bereaved among them.
3 Your lips are like scarlet thread.
Your mouth is lovely.
Your temples are like a piece of a pomegranate behind your veil.
4 Your neck is like David’s tower built for an armory,
whereon a thousand shields hang,
all the shields of the mighty men.
5 Your two breasts are like two fawns
that are twins of a roe,
which feed among the lilies.
6 Until the day is cool, and the shadows flee away,
I will go to the mountain of myrrh,
to the hill of frankincense.


What do shorn ewes mean? Those who lay aside secular burdens. What does shorn mean? Those who lay aside their fleeces, like the load of secular burdens.... You have received the fleeces of your shorn ewes. That flock has come up from the washing of holy baptism. All have given birth, because they have fulfilled the two commandments. (St. Augustine of Hippo)

“Your two breasts” is to be mystically understood as the love of God and the love of our neighbour, which are so united as twins which feed among the lilies: that is, the love of God and our neighbour, feeds on the divine mysteries and the holy sacraments, left by Christ to his spouse to feed and nourish her children. (Richard Challoner)

In order to [gain knowledge of heavenly things], we study the examples of the saints who have gone before. They are said to feed among the lilies. For what is meant by lilies but the conduct of those who say with all truth, “We are unto God a sweet savor of Christ.” (St. Gregory the Great)

Musical Selection (Allesandro Grandi)

O quam tu pulchra es amica mea, columba mea, formosa mea, oculi tui columbarum capilli tui sicut greges caprarum et dentes tui sicut greges tonsarum. Veni de Libano, veni coronaberis. Surge propera, surge sponsa mea, surge dilecta mea, immaculata mea, surge, veni, quia amore langueo.

O how beautiful you are, my friend, my dove, my beautiful one, your eyes are those of doves your hair is like flocks of goats, your teeth are like rows of oars. Come from Lebanon, come, I will crown you. Arise quickly, arise my bride arise my precious, my spotless one, arise, come, because I languish in love.

Collect (Easter)

O God,
you show the light of your truth to those who stray,
that they may return to the right path.
Grant that all who profess the Christian faith
may reject whatever is contrary to the gospel
and follow the way that leads to you.
We make our prayer 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)

Lord God,
we pray that your endless mercy
may cleanse and protect your Church;
and, since it cannot stand firm without you,
guide and govern it always by your grace.
Grant 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 Third Week of Lent or Easter; Song 4:7)


7 You are all beautiful, my love.
There is no spot in you.


Pray the Lord to lead you into the pleasure garden of his divine heart that you may bathe there seven times in the Jordan of the merits of his life and passion and that, on the day you depart this life, purged from every spot, all beautiful, you may be led into the inner chamber of his divine love. (St. Gertrude of Helfta)

As the dove is without gall, so the soul strives to imitate it by constant mortification of the passions, typified by the gall even in the smallest matters, the soul endeavors to be directed in such a way that makes humility, patience, meekness, love and all the other holy virtues habitual. In that way it acquires the fruits that are worthy of being offered to the heavenly Husbandman. Veniat Dilectus meus, comedat fructus pomorum suorum [Let my Beloved come into his garden, let him taste its rarest fruits]. As the eyes of the dove are open and clear, so also will our intellectual vision of God and of heavenly things become open and clear. With a pure intention we shall seek nothing but his glory and true good of souls. (St. Gaspar del Bufalo)

The sublime and singular privilege of the [Immaculate Conception of the] Blessed Virgin, together with her most excellent innocence, purity, holiness and freedom from every stain of sin, as well as the unspeakable abundance and greatness of all heavenly graces, virtues and privileges — these the Fathers beheld in that ark of Noah, which was built by divine command and escaped entirely safe and sound from the common shipwreck of the whole world;in the ladder which Jacob saw reaching from the earth to heaven, by whose rungs the angels of God ascended and descended, and on whose top the Lord himself leaned’in that bush which Moses saw in the holy place burning on all sides, which was not consumed or injured in any way but grew green and blossomed beautifully; in that impregnable tower before the enemy, from which hung a thousand bucklers and all the armor of the strong;in that garden enclosed on all sides, which cannot be violated or corrupted by any deceitful plots; as in that resplendent city of God, which has its foundations on the holy mountains; in that most august temple of God, which, radiant with divine splendors, is full of the glory of God; and in very many other biblical types of this kind. In such allusions the Fathers taught that the exalted dignity of the Mother of God, her spotless innocence and her sanctity unstained by any fault, had been prophesied in a wonderful manner. (Bl. Pope Pius IX)

Musical Selection (Jean Mouton)

Tota pulchra es amica mea et macula non est in te.

You are all beautiful my love and there is no spot in you .

Collect (Easter)

Ever-faithful God,
to those reborn of water and the Spirit
you open the gates of your heavenly kingdom.
Increase within us the grace of baptism,
that we who have been cleansed from sin
may never lack the blessings you promise.
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)

Do not forsake us, Lord, in this time of penance,
but by your grace
confirm your power within us
and renew our dedication to your holy service.
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 Third Week of Lent or Easter; Song 4:8-11)

8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,
with me from Lebanon.
Look from the top of Amana,
from the top of Senir and Hermon,
from the lions’ dens,
from the mountains of the leopards.
9 You have ravished [wounded, Vulg.] my heart, my sister, my bride.
You have ravished my heart with one of your eyes,
with one chain of your neck.
10 How beautiful is your love [are your breasts, Vulg.], my sister, my bride!
How much better is your love [are your breasts, Vulg.] than wine!
The fragrance of your perfumes than all kinds of spices

11 Your lips, my bride, drip like the honeycomb.
Honey and milk are under your tongue.
The smell of your garments is like the smell of Lebanon. 


In this friendship (for the Lord now shows the soul that He loves it in so particular a way that there is nothing separating the two) great truths are communicated to the soul. For this light that dazzles the soul, since it is not understood, makes one see the vanity of the world. The soul doesn't see the good Master who teaches it, although it understands that He is with it. But it is left so well instructed, with such great effects and fortitude in the virtues, that it doesn't know itself afterward; nor would it want to do or say anything other than praise the Lord. While in this joy it is so enwrapped and absorbed that it doesn't seem to be within itself but in a kind of divine intoxication so that it doesn't know what it wants or what it says or what it asks for. In sum, it doesn't know itself; but it isn't outside itself to the extent that it fails to understand something of what is going on. But when this most wealthy Bridegroom desires to enrich and favor the soul more, He changes it into Himself to such a point that, just as a person is caused to swoon from great pleasure and happiness, it seems to the soul it is left suspended in those divine arms, leaning on that sacred side and those divine breasts. It doesn't know how to do anything more than rejoice, sustained by the divine milk with which its Spouse is nourishing it and making it better so that He might favor it, and it might merit more each day. When it awakens from that sleep and that heavenly inebriation, it remains as though stupefied and dazed and with a holy madness. It seems to me it can say these words: Your breasts are better than wine. While it was in that intoxication, the soul thought it had no farther to ascend. But when it saw itself in a higher degree and completely drenched in the countless grandeurs of God, and sustained in this way, it makes a delicate comparison and says: Your breasts are better than wine. (St. Teresa of Avila)

Great is the power and courage of love, for God is its prisoner. Blessed is the soul that loves, for it has made a captive of God Who obeys its good pleasure. Such is the nature of love that it makes those who love do what is asked of them, and, on the other hand, without love the utmost efforts will be fruitless, but one hair will bind those that love. The soul, knowing this, and conscious of blessings beyond its merits, in being raised up to so high a degree of love, through the rich endowments of graces and virtues, attributes all to the Beloved (St. John of the Cross)

Never do we wound a heart with the wound of love but we ourselves are wounded with the same. When the soul sees her God wounded by love for her sake, she immediately receives from it a reciprocal wound. Thou hast wounded my heart, said the heavenly lover to the Sulamitess, and the Sulamitess cries out: Tell my beloved that I languish with love.... And we, seeing the Saviour of our souls wounded to death by love of us, even to the death of the cross,—how can we but be wounded for him, but wounded with a wound as much more dolorously amorous as his was amorously dolorous, and a wound as great as is our inability to love him as much as his love and death require? It is, again, another wound of love, when the soul feels truly that she loves God, and yet he treats her as if he knew not that she loved him, or as if he were distrustful of her love. (St. Francis de Sales)

Musical Selection (Palestrina)

Vulnerasti cor meum, soror mea, sponsa; vulnerasti cor meum in uno oculorum tuorum, et in uno crine colli tui. Quam pulchrae sunt mammae tuae, soror mea sponsa. Pulchriora sunt ubera tua vino, et odor unguentorum tuorum super omnia aromata.

Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast wounded my heart with one of thy eyes, and with one hair of thy neck. How beautiful are thy breasts, my sister, my spouse! Thy breasts are more beautiful than wine, and the sweet smell of thy ointments above all aromatical spices.

Collect (Easter)

Draw near to your family, Lord God,
and heed our prayer:
as you have conferred upon us the gift of faith,
award us an everlasting share
in the life of the risen Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

Collect (Lent)

God of wisdom,
throughout these forty days you instruct your people
and nourish them with your word of life.
Teach us through self-denial to bind our hearts to your service
and make us one through constant prayer.
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 Third Week of Lent or Easter; Song 4:12-15)

12 A locked up garden is my sister, my bride;
a locked up spring,
a sealed fountain.
13 Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates, with precious fruits:
henna with spikenard plants,
14 spikenard and saffron,
calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree;
myrrh and aloes, with all the best spices,
15 a fountain of gardens,
a well of living waters,
flowing streams from Lebanon.


Because a seal protects the inviolability of whatever it guards, it scares off thieves; everything not stolen remains unharmed for the master. Praise of the bride in the Song would then testify to her excellence in virtue because her mind remains safe from enemies and is guarded for her Lord in purity and tranquility. Purity seals this fountain while the radiance and transparency of the bride’s heart is unclouded by no mire of evil thoughts. (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

We find the well in the mystical sense in the Canticle of Canticles, where the Scripture says, “the fountain of gardens, the well of living water which runs with a strong stream from Lebanon.” Indeed if you pursue the depth of the mysteries, the well appears to you to be mystical wisdom set in the deep, as it were. But if you wish to drink the abundance of love, which is greater and richer than faith and hope, then you have your fountain. For love abounds, so that you can drink it in close at hand and water your garden with its abundance, so that the latter overflows with spiritual fruits. (St. Ambrose of Milan)

There are fruits of all sorts in this garden, every soul, in addition to the qualities common to all, possessing peculiarities of its own. Thus, one excels in charity, the pomegranate; another in meekness, the apple; another is distinguished by suffering and the odor of its good example, the cypress; another distils devotion, recollection and peace, the spikenard; all are assisted by the annihilated Spouse according to their necessities....This fountain of gardens is the Bridegroom Himself, who is the source of the graces which cause spiritual plants to spring up, flourish, grow and bring forth fruit. The Spouse is like a well of living waters, and these waters descend from the Bridegroom through the Bride, streaming impetuously from the heights of the Divinity, represented by Mount Lebanon, to overflow the whole earth, that is, all those souls who are sincerely desirous of entering into the interior kingdom, and are willing to endure its toils in the hope of enjoying its fruits. (Madame Guyon)

Musical Selection (Rodrigo de Ceballos)


Hortus conclusus soror mea, sponsa mea, hortus conclusus et fons signatus. Aperi mihi, o soror mea, amica mea, columba mea, immaculata mea. Surge, propera amica mea, et veni. Veni, speciosa mea, ostende mihi faciem tuam. Favus distillans labia tua; mel et lac sub lingus tua. Veni sponsa mea, veni coronaberis.

A closed garden is my sister, my bride, a closed garden and a sealed fountain. Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one. Arise, my love, and come. Come, my beloved, let me see your face. Your lips drip nectar; honey and milk are under your tongue. Come, my bride, come and be crowned.

Collect (Easter)

Almighty and everlasting God,
in this Easter season
pour out ever more richly
the saving mercy we have come to know,
so that, freed from the dark night of sin and error,
we may cling more firmly to your word of truth.
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 majesty,
we make this heartfelt prayer:
that the nearer we come to the great feast of our salvation,
the more fervently we may prepare ourselves
to celebrate the paschal mystery.
Grant 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 Third Week of Lent or Easter; Song 4:16)


16 Awake, north wind; and come, you south!
Blow on my garden, that its spices may flow out.
Let my beloved come into his garden,
and taste his precious fruits.


To whom is she [the Bride] offering her fruits? For whom is she preparing a repast of her goods? .... For him from whom, through whom, and in whom are all the goods! .... At first, she was the one who enjoyed the fruit of the apple tree, when she said, “His fruit is sweet to me palate.” But here she becomes in her turn a beautiful and delightful fruit, offered to the gardener for his joy. (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

The church, guarding the depth of the heavenly mysteries, repels the furious storms of wind, and calls to it the sweetness of the grace of spring, and knowing that its garden cannot displease Christ, invites the bridegroom, saying, “Arise, O north wind, and come, you south; blow upon my garden, and let my ointments flow down. Let my brother come down to his garden and eat the fruit of his trees.” For it has good trees and fruitful, which have dipped their roots in the water of the sacred spring, and with fresh growth have shot forth into good fruits, so as now not to be cut with the axe of the prophet, but to abound with the fruitfulness of the gospel. (St. Ambrose of Milan)

The north wind is exceedingly cold; it dries up and parches flowers and plants, and at the least, when it blows, causes them to draw in and shrink. So, dryness of spirit and the sensible absence of the Beloved, because they produce the same effect on the soul, exhausting the sweetness and fragrance of virtue, are here called the killing north wind; for all the virtues and affective devotions of the soul are then dead. Hence the soul addresses itself to it, saying, 'Killing north wind, cease.' These words mean that the soul applies itself to spiritual exercise, in order to escape aridity. But the communications of God are now so interior that by no exertion of its faculties can the soul attain to them if the Spirit of the Bridegroom do not cause these movements of love. The soul, therefore, addresses Him, saying:  'Come, south wind, that awakenest love.'... [It is he Holy Spirit] Who awakeneth love; for when this divine Breath breathes on the soul, it so inflames and refreshes it, so quickens the will, and stirs up the desires, which were before low and asleep as to the love of God, that we may well say of it that it quickens the love between Him and the soul. The prayer of the soul to the Holy Ghost is thus expressed, 'Blow through my garden.'  This garden is the soul itself. For as the soul said of itself before, that it was a flourishing vineyard, because the flowers of virtue which are in it give forth the wine of sweetness, so here it says of itself that it is a garden, because the flowers of perfection and the virtues are planted in it, flourish, and grow. (St. John of the Cross)

Musical Selection (Mauro Marchetti)


Surge aquilo et veni auster perfla hortum meum et fluant aromata illius (cf. vs. 16a)

Awake, north wind; and come, you south!  Blow on my garden, that its spices may flow out.

Collect (Easter)

God of truth,
you have given us the grace
to know and confess that the Lord is risen;
grant that through the Spirit who is love
we may rise with Christ to newness of life.
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)

Merciful Lord,
pour forth your grace into our hearts,
that its power may restrain our unruly desires
and keep us true to your words of eternal life.
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 Third Week of Lent or Easter; Song 5:1)



I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride.
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice;
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
I have drunk my wine with my milk.


Eat, friends!
Drink, yes, drink abundantly, beloved.


Tell me, what princely dishes will be served to the guests? Well, first will come peace; then and all together humility, patience, meekness and sweetness; for a dessert of exquisite sweetness, purity of heart. But the main course of the banquet will be love. (Origen of Alexandria)

This inebriation makes people sober. This inebriation is one of grace, not of intoxication. It leads to joy, not to befuddlement. In the banquet hall of the church there will be pleasant odors, delightful food, and drink in variety. There will be noble guests and attendants who grace that occasion. It will not be otherwise! What is there that is nobler than to have Christ at the church’s banquet, as one who ministers and is ministered unto? (St. Ambrose of Milan)

Contemplation has still this excellency that it is made with delight, for it supposes that we have found God and his holy love, that we enjoy it and delight in it, saying: I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go. In which it differs from meditation, which almost always is performed with difficulty, labour and reasoning; our mind passing in it from consideration to consideration, searching in many places either the well-beloved of her love, or the love of her well-beloved.... The divine lover like a shepherd, and indeed he is one, prepared a sumptuous banquet according to the country fashion for his sacred spouse, which he so described that mystically it represented all the mysteries of man's redemption. I am come into my garden, said he, O my sister, my spouse, I have gathered my myrrh, with aromatical spices; I have eaten the honey-comb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk; eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved! .... Now in all these divine mysteries, which contain all others, there is food provided for dear friends to eat and drink well, and for dearest friends to be inebriated. Some eat and drink, but they eat more than they drink and so are not inebriated: the others eat and drink, but drink more than they eat, and those are they who are inebriated. ... To drink is to contemplate, which we do without labour or difficulty, yea with pleasure and tranquillity. But to be inebriated is to contemplate so frequently and so ardently as to be quite out of self to be wholly in God. O holy and sacred inebriation, which, contrarily to corporal inebriation, does not alienate us from the spiritual sense, but from the corporal senses; does not dull or besot us, but angelicizes and in a sort deifies us; putting us out of ourselves, not to abase us and rank us with beasts, as terrestrial drunkenness does, but to raise us above ourselves and range us with angels, so that we may live more in God than in ourselves, being attentive to and occupied in seeing his beauty and being united to his goodness by love! (St. Francis de Sales)

Musical Selection (Orlando di Lasso)


Veni in hortum meum soror mea sponsa, messui myrram meam cum aromatibus meis; comedi favum meum cum melle meo; bibi vinum meum cum lacte meo;comedite, amici, et bibite, et inebriamini, carissimi.

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have mixed my myrrh with my spices. I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, friends, and drink, and be inebriated, you who are most dear to me.

Collect (Easter)

God, our Creator and Preserver,
by the waters of baptism
you have given new birth to those who believe in you.
Protect the life they have begun in Christ
and shield them from the onslaught of sin and error,
that they may persevere faithfully
in the gift of your grace.
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)

Grant, O Lord,
that as we celebrate with joy this season of Lent
we may enter more deeply into the paschal mystery
and come to enjoy the fullness of its riches.
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.