Innocence never lost and innocence restored—
these two went up the mountains of the Lord.
And I addressed them, glowing and intense:
under the auspices of innocence
what amid holy places did you see?
And the untarnished spirit answered me:
I saw a city gleaming on a hill,
and one triumphant road divined its site.
I saw a fire no storm could ever still,
feeding upon the branches of delight.
I heard a Harp pluck its own serenade;
I drank the Living Water from cool streams.
I breathed the Wind that blows far down earth’s shade
The scent of petals from eternal dreams.
Tables were spread on greensward and in grove
with Bread the angels coveted afar.
I walked beneath the shadow of a Dove
who made a marriage with a Morningstar.
Then I went upward where the summits glistened,
lighted by love, the unconsuming flame.
I heard a Voice, and when I stopped and listened
it was the Bridegroom’s voice and called my name.
I questioned innocence renewed by grace:
What did you see on hills beatified?
What voices heard you in the holy place?
With words of light the penitent replied:
Under the night’s impenetrable cover
wherein I walked beset by many fears,
I saw the radiant face of Christ the Lover,
and it was wet with tears.
~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. (1905-1988)