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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

The Flower of Love

One of my favorite poets is Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit also known as Jessica Powers. She lived from 1905 to 1988. She became a Carmelite in her thirties. In her poem Flower of Love she reflects on St. John of the Cross's saying, "Where there is no love, put love and you will find love." The difficult labor of putting love where there is no love is described in terms of a planting a flower. This flower has the potential of recreating Paradise in our hearts. These last strophes seem to offer particular encouragement to those who struggle to plant such a flower in their own lives:

Blessed are they who stand upon their vow

and are insistent

that love in this bleak here, this barren now

become existent.


Blessed are they who battle jest and scorn

to keep love growing

from embryo immaculately born

to blossom showing.


Primarily for them will petals part

to draw and win them,

It, when the pollen finds their opened hearts,

will bloom within them.

(1948)


Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, Ed. Regina Siegfried, ASC and Robert F. Morneau, Washington D.C.: ICS Publications (1999), 41.

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