This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Sr. Mary Grace Melcher, OCD.
When I am the rubbish and You are the flame
I really have nowhere to turn.
My choice? To escape and remain what I am,
Or stay in You, and burn.
When I am the wet log and You are the fire
My options are much the same.
I will sputter and sweat and turn black and stink
But I’ll stay there, in Your flame.
O Christ! I believe that one day I shall be
Made pure in your cleansing blaze,
By Your grace I am chosen for transforming love!
I must burn, with thanksgiving and praise.
Getting out of Love’s fire is not my desire
For in fire all must perish at last.
Through death will I come to be risen from death
And the feast only follows the fast.
So throw it all in, the offense and the sin
The weeping and wailing and woe!
All the hidden resistance, the shortage of trust
In the flame of Your love let it go!
In the end when the caverns are all emptied out
And I am unfettered and free,
Your flame will then dance in the joy of romance
And its enkindled air – will be me!
Sr. Mary Grace Melcher, OCD, is a cloistered Carmelite nun at the Carmelite Monastery of Terre Haute, Indiana. She has been a member there since 1981. In addition to writing icons, she is also author of Intercessions for Mass. The book, inspired by her daily contemplation and meditation on the Scriptures, offers deeply meaningful prayers of the faithful for every day of the year. Please visit her monastery Website and gift shop.