Thursday, October 18, 2012

Longing for Love's Union with God

I came across a poem I saved written by a Sufi poet of  14th century Persia named Hafiz. Sufism is defined as the mystical dimension of Islam.  It began early in Islam and is considered by "orthodox Muslims" as a deviation from Islam. It shows a different side to Islam in contrast to Muslim extremists. One author defines Sufism this way:

"the essence of Sufi practice is quite simple. It is that the Sufi surrenders to God, in love, over and over; which involves embracing with love at each moment the content of one's consciousness (one's perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, as well as one's sense of self) as gifts of God or, more precisely, as manifestations of God."

I do not know very much about Sufism except that I have enjoyed reading Sufi poetry, especially by the poet Rumi, whose work is widely available in modern times. I find that Sufi poetry does express a  longing to love God in a union that burns in the heart and fills the soul. I would like to experience that kind of love which Christian mystics also write about. I have had brief moments of it; enough so that I see heaven as ecstatic love that will fulfill every longing and joy we hope for in this life, except in the life to come such love will be continuous and unending.

And so I share with you a poem from Hafiz:
"Awake awhile.
It does not have to be
Right now.

One step upon the Sky's soft skirt
Would be enough.

Awake awhile.
Just one True moment of Love
Will last for days.

Rest all your elaborate plans and tactics
For Knowing Him,
For they are all just frozen spring buds
So far from Summer's Divine Gold.

Awake, my dear.
Be kind to your sleeping heart.
Take it out into the vast fields of Light
And let it breathe.

Give me back my wings.
Lift me,
Lift me nearer.'

Say to the sun and moon,
Say to our dear Friend,
'I will take You up now, Beloved,
On that wonderful Dance You promised.' "

~ Hafiz ~

Bernini's statue of St. Teresa of Avila (Christian mystic)
in Ecstasy

Return to Home Page