Song of Songs: A Spiritual Commentary

Invites the spirit of God to call you forth and lead you into the experience of the love you crave, the love that alone can satisfy. You will follow a path into the Song that reveals your own humanity and leads to the deepest delight of your soul.

M. Basil Pennington, OCSO
Illustrated by Phillip Ratner

6 x 9, 160 pp | 14 full-page b/w illus. | 978-1-59473-004-7

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Let Your Deepest Soul Rejoice!

“You are the Beloved of the Divine Lover. You are loved with a love beyond that which human words can express, which song and pen seek in some way to convey or at least hint at. Let go. Let the currents of love invade you. Let your deepest soul rejoice. ”

—from the Preface

In the tradition of Christian mysticism, including Bernard of Clairvaux, Gregory the Great, and Ambrose of Milan, M. Basil Pennington shares his reflections on the Bible’s most challenging mystical text, the ancient love poem that is the Song of Songs. In this extraordinary volume, Pennington is joined by the profound Jewish artist Phillip Ratner, whose inspired works call forth from Pennington not only transcendent prayer and rich analogy but also the deepest sentiments that are common to every human mind and heart.

Pennington reflects on the ways you can use the Song of Songs to fulfill your own unutterable aspirations. Enriched by Jewish and Christian faith, the drawings and meditations speak to you and every person who desires to connect with their deepest, most human longings. Allow yourself to let go and delve into the poetry of Song of Songs, to find joy in the boundless love of God for you, the beloved child. Allow yourself to experience this story of love—human love yearning for the Divine.

“Deeply romantic, utterly realistic, soundly theological, and pervasively spiritual.... Beautiful. Brings to life the unconditional love of God for each of us.”

American Benedictine Review

“A rich resource for meditation, Fr. Pennington’s poetic translations and piercing reflections combine with Jewish artist Ratner’s graphics to elucidate how this wonderful love poem can unlock the mystery of human engagement with God. This book could help a new generation of saints discover the wisdom contemplatives of the Middle Ages discerned in the Song of Songs’ depiction of human intimacy in its earthiness and sublimity.”

E. Glenn Hinson, professor emeritus, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

“A paean of reverence for what may be the holiest book in the Hebrew Bible, written by a man who is surely one of the most spiritually gifted teachers of our generation. Through his own poetic ruminations, Father Basil deftly leads us into that mysterious place where romance embraces the sacred.”

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Emanu-El Scholar, Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco; author, Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians, and other books on spirituality