Soft breathing of the air,
sweet song of nightingale above the plain,
the graceful thicket, where
a night serene and fair
brings flame that burns, consuming with no pain.
One should not think it impossible that the soul be capable of so sublime an activity as this breathing in God, through participation as God breathes in her.
The result of the soul’s breathing the air is that she hears the sweet voice of her Beloved calling to her.
She hears the sweet voice of her Bridegroom Who is her sweet nightingale, renewing and refreshing the substance of the soul with the sweetness and mellowness of His voice, He calls her as He would call one now disposed to make the journey to eternal life, and she hears the pleasant voice urge: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come; for now the winter has passed, the rains have gone far off, the flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. [Ct. 2:10-12]
… the soul rejoices in and praises God with God Himself in this union, as we have said she loves God with God Himself.
Such is the song of the soul in the transformation that is hers…
… in the clear and serene contemplation of the vision of God.
- St John of the Cross. The Spiritual Canticle. (Stanza 39)