What book of the Old or New Testament has generated the most commentaries in the history of the Church? Not John’s Gospel, not Paul’s letter to the Romans, not the prophet Isaiah, no, it is the Song of Songs. It is a book that is unknown to many Catholics, and shocking to those who discover it for the first time because of its descriptions of a lover and his beloved—God is only mentioned once and that is at the very end.
And yet the greatest of the Fathers have commented on it. Origen’s is the classic and St. Jerome says of it: “Origen, having surpassed all of the interpreters of all the books of Scripture, surpassed himself in this interpretation of the Canticle.” St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Francis de Sales, St. John of the Cross, all have added to the great tradition of interpreting this book for they see it as God’s love for Israel and the Church, Christ’s love for Mary, for the Church, and for each of us. The author draws on all these classics of Catholic tradition to give us a verse by verse reading of the Song of Songs which will deepen the spiritual lives of all of us—a deepening rooted in God’s word and the most profound Catholic tradition.
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