The Roar of Waters


This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Johanna Caton.                                                                                                                     


The Roar of Waters

I’ve tried to offer to my God my all.
But this, if so, must always be inspired
by him – for ego’s fallen imprints fall
on sacrifice of self that self has styled.

I’ve learned that God’s the one who sends the pain
that sounds the deepest measurement of mind,
that mines with keenest sound the soul’s terrain –
a searching pain, that in its searching finds
his living icon in the heart’s own core,
his music, rousing dancers from their sleep,
his innocence, known once, so long before,
his voice and mine – entwined – deep unto deep.

Indeed, the pain – the wound – is in His side:
the song’s the song of Jesus Crucified.


Johanna Caton, O.S.B., is a Benedictine nun from Minster Abbey in Kent, England. Born in Virginia, she lived in the United States until adulthood, when her monastic vocation took her to England. She writes poetry as a means of understanding the work of God in her life, whose purposes and presence can be elusive until viewed through the more accommodating lens of art and poetry. Her poetry has appeared, or will appear, in Green Hills Literary Lantern, Time of Singing Christian Poetry Journal, The Christian Century, and other venues. She is a 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee.

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About the Author

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


Jeffrey Essmann 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.

Jeffrey is an essayist and poet living in New York. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review and The Road Not Taken. He is a Benedictine oblate of Mt. Saviour Monastery.

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