Love’s Immensity

Scott Cairns, a remarkable poet and longtime favorite of mine has published a book recently called “Love’s Immensity” in which he has translated the teachings of early church mystics, desert fathers and mothers.  He has set them in verse, each one a delicious bite, a moment to savor.


I thought I would post one here for you today to demonstrate the way the early saints viewed the integration of body and spirit.  I hope that you will consider picking up this book and letting it walk alongside you.  It is a good companion on the road.  Read it slowly.  Read it often.


Capable Flesh

-Saint Irenaeus (c.125-c.210)

The tender flesh itself

will be found one day

-quite suprisingly-

to be capable of receiving,

and yes, full

capable of embracing

the searing energies of God.

Go figure.  Fear not.

For even at its beginning

the humble clay received

God’s art, whereby

one part became the eye,

another the ear, and yet

another this impetuous hand.

Therefore, the flesh

is not to be excluded

from the wisdom and the power

that now and ever animates

all things.  His life-giving

agency is made perfect,

we are told, in weakness-

made perfect in the flesh.


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