Commentaries on the Song of Songs

Volumes I and II

     

 

by Father Alfonso Gálvez

Published by Shoreless Lake Press, New Jersey

Vol. I, 1994, 447 pages; Vol. II, 2000, 473 pages

 

Review:

 

The Commentaries on the Song of Songs, perhaps the most important work of the author, comprises two volumes which embrace the vast and difficult undertaking of commenting on this sometimes misinterpreted and many times misunderstood relatively short book of the Old Testament.

 

Throughout both volumes of his Commentaries, Father Gálvez expounds the simple and profound realities of Love, most especially Divine-human love: The love-relationship between God and man can only happen through a relationship of mutual self-surrender and possession. This leads infallibly not to a mere union of both as lovers but to a true communion and true interchange of lives.

 

Evidence is provided that, above all else, The Song of Songs is a Poem of Love; and within its stanzas, Father Gálvez finds the link between the Old and the New Testaments – between the Paternal Love of God for His people and the Spousal Love of the Redeemer for His bride. 

 

The author’s discourse provides that most intimate link between God and man – made possible and real through the Incarnation when God accepted and employed a human body with all that that entails: the possibility of loving with human senses and intellect and freedom and will: From the moment of the Incarnation onwards, man is already able to address … the Word made Man in Jesus Christ… who has made Himself accessible to His creature since He has taken to himself a human nature… How could supernatural love, or divine-human love, ever lack the qualities which even mere human love possesses?

 

Father Gálvez reveals the madness, the near recklessness of love seeking to express itself: Man can now love …with a perfect and total love, with a love which is crazy – in a divine way. Now at last man can truly fall in love with God, in the sense that he can now make God the tangible, sensible, object of his love; he can love him as someone like unto himself … The bride desires the kisses of the Bridegroom’s mouth…she does not even mind death if it is through death that she will attain, for ever more, the enduring love-kiss of the Bridegroom.

 

And where his most eloquent prose leaves off, the author’s own poetry takes over:

 

I ascended to the stars,

Burning with love in sweet fire,

So that, if I should find you there,

I might ask you with a soft plea:

Give me a kiss of love, may I die thereafter!