BELOVED: I hear my love. See how he comes leaping on the mountains, bounding over the hills. My love is like a gazelle, like a young stag. See where he stands behind our wall. He looks in at the window, he peers through the opening. My love lifts up his voice, he says to me, ‘Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come. For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone. Flowers are appearing on the earth. The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove (turtledave) is heard in our land.
The fig tree is forming its first figs and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance. Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come. ‘My dove (dave), hiding in the clefts of the rock, in the coverts of the cliff, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.’
The story between God and us is a love story that is expressed in today’s text in a poetic and tender language! Perhaps it is unusual for us to hear God’s longing for us expressed in a way that corresponds to the love between man and woman, more in the language of human infatuation. But it is precisely these lines from the Song of Songs that express very well how the Lord looks for us, how he yearns for us and how he wants to unite with us!
Each one of us knows from his personal life or from rich literature, from theatre and film the magic that lies in a true love story; the awakening for the other person, the longing for his closeness, but also the suffering that arises when a love is not fulfilled, not answered or rejected!
For love is the most sensitive point in our lives, we are all dependent on love! Without love no true life is possible! The reason lies in the fact that God created us out of love and some mystics say that God was delighted when he looked at the soul created by him!
This rapture can sometimes be experienced when one sees small children! They can cause this rapture by their presence alone! This can give us a personal impression of how God sees us and especially how he looks at a soul that lives in the state of grace! Or the bridegroom’s delight at his bride!
True love between man and woman is an image of how God loves our soul and wants to lead her to her home, as well as an image of how the soul responds to God’s wooing and in turn is awaken for the presence of the Bridegroom and yearns for him!
Love between man and woman is rightly called the highest happiness on earth, and the fulfilment of such happiness is a great gift! But not all people experience this happiness. It is precisely in the relationship between man and woman that there is so much suffering and often painful and hopeless situations in life that have arisen as a result of love being hurt! Some may even despair!
But in such situations it is important to understand that the non-fulfilment of a great earthly happiness does not mean that one cannot experience the happiness of a love! If the image cannot be realized, then one must realize that the original image is the relationship between God and the soul! This way is open to everyone, and the love relationship with God is not just a substitute for a human love that has not been fulfilled! It can, however, heal infidelity, saturate the unfulfilled heart and give great security! God is faithful and we need not to fear that he will ever break this faithfulness and that we will be abandoned by him!
In our Church, we know people, especially in our spiritual vocations, who fully correspond to this love between God and the soul and who want to dedicate themselves! Love for God has awakened in them in such a way that they can experience everything and more that is described in today’s text, and so it is logical that the mystics (believers who emphasize the inner experience with God) apply this poetic text especially to the love relationship with God!
And indeed, the text begins to speak! The soul waits for the Lord and contemplates him with great love! She knows herself loved, she knows that the Lord sees her and always keeps an eye on her, that he looks through the windows of her soul! She hears the invitation which the Lord constantly gives, the invitation to live this love in joy!
And when we look at the text with these eyes, then we remember the many passages in Holy Scripture in which the Lord testifies to us his love, wants to penetrate his wisdom into our soul and wants to take up residence in us!
Let us let the text speak to us and understand that God means us personally, that he wants to see our soul as his bride he clothes with supernatural beauty and prepares for marriage and wants to put on her the jewels of divine virtues! And when we know that we are loved and can perceive the signs of God’s love everywhere, then the bride shines in ever greater beauty and delights the divine Bridegroom!