Sighs

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Jeffrey Essmann.                                                                                              

Sighs

With sighs too deep for words the Spirit prays
On our behalf when all our holy plaints
And even our most reverent displays

Can barely stir the angels and the saints
Much less to godly audience aspire;
When fervid thoughts at heaven aimed are feints

Deployed to mask the absence of true fire.
Then something yawns and stretches in our soul,
Ignores our words, hears only our desire:

The Advocate whose joy is to console
Transforms our incoherence with his might
And by his sighs our weakened will makes whole.

Though wordless yet we stand within God’s sight,
Our emptiness now breathing with the light…


Jeffrey Essmann’s poetry has appeared in America Magazine, Dappled Things, St. Austin Review, The Road Not Taken, and in various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate.

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About the Author

Tim Bete, ICL Poetry Curator To submit poetry to be considered for the Catholic Poetry Room, visit our submission guidelines page.


Tim Bete is Poetry Editor for IntegratedCatholicLife.org and always searching for the best Catholic poetry from today's poets as well as those of the past.

Tim's poetry has appeared in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, The Asketerion, and the Poet and Contemplative Blog of the Discalced Carmelite Friars (Province of St. Therese). His first book of poetry is The Raw Stillness of Heaven, of which one reviewer wrote, “If you are Catholic and think that you do not like poetry, this book will change your mind.”

Tim is former director of the national writers' workshop at the University of Dayton—a Catholic, Marianist university. He's a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) and often trades poems with his oldest daughter, who is a Dominican Sister. He says she's the best writer in the family.

Tim's writing has also appeared in several editions of the Amazing Grace anthology series (Ascension Press), theChristian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest magazine, and numerous parenting magazines. His latest book is Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim

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