On a dark night
When Love burned bright
Consuming all my care,
While my house slept,
Unseen, I crept
Along the secret stair.
So wrote St. John of the Cross (left) as he escaped from the dungeon where he had been imprisoned at Toledo. One can see the diminutive figure of the heroic friar, as he crept along the secret dark passages in his escape to the devoted Discalced nuns of St Teresa of Avila.
During the long lonely nights of enforced darkness and desolation, when human love had forsaken him, the great bright light of Divine Love burned brightly within him. With the little loves of this world asleep in the house of his being, his eager heart led him on to where none but the Lover of his soul awaited him.
A guide as bright
As noonday light,
Which brought me where none but he
Could wait for me
And make his presence felt.
While few of us can rise to the heights of divine love as expressed in these verses of St.John of the Cross, we can all creep along the secret stair the Lord reveals to each one of us. For myself, the sacred steps of the rosary have been that stairway.
From the basic steps of the Lord's Prayer along the pathways of the Hail Marys and through the caverns of the blessed mysteries, I have found stillness and security, holding on to the life-line of my Rosary-beads. What is your life-line? Pray that you may find your secret stair?