God speaks to us in poetry through the beauty of his creations. When we look at the ocean, a green field, or a sea of trees, we are going through a mystic experience. Our lives, physical, spiritual, and the bridge in between is a mystical experience. We try with our human capabilities to explain this experience to others. The closest we have come to successfully relay this experience to others is, perhaps, poetry.
For retired Air Force Colonel Ronnie Smith, his more than 1000 flights over Antarctica was a mystic communion with God through nature. Through the immense beauty and many challenges of crossing the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, Smith has found contemplation and divine majesty. His many years of flying over the beautiful and mighty ice caps of Antarctica has shaped the poetry that he writes in his book, Roses for the Most High: Poetry Celebrating the Mystical Christian Path.
His poems call to the reader's heart and mind to communicate differently. It encourages us to see the holy in our physical world and to recognize God's presence in each moment of our daily lives.
Roses for the Most High is organized into three sections - The Mystic Saints, The Mystic Blessed Mother, and The Mystic Path. In the Mystic Saints, Smith talks about the journeys of the mystical saints opening with a quote or a Bible verse that relates to them. The Mystic Blessed Mother exalts the virtues of Mary and contemplates her presence in the lives of those who look to her. In the final chapter, The Mystic Path, Smith contemplates many aspects of Catholic life.
The poems in Roses for the Most High will resonate with those who are on a mystic journey of their own. It is a beautiful guide for those who seek to lead a contemplative life constantly aware of God's presence.
"While the book as a whole is excellent, for myself, I found the Mystic Path most enlightening. It demonstrates the search for personal illumination in a profound way. These poems guide the reader toward a greater spiritual understanding. I would highly recommend this work for any seeker."
— Ed Benjamin, Amazon Reader's Review
Ronnie Smith was born of U.S. Air Force parents in Udine, Italy, and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Loyola University, Maryland (B.A.) and the University of Maryland. Ron played semi-pro basketball in Europe before entering the U.S. Air Force in 1983 to fly C-130 transport aircraft. He has traveled the world as a professional aviator, bringing a spiritual dimension to his writing through this inspiration. After many years of flying in the polar regions, he became the in-theater Commander of Operation DEEP FREEZE for the U.S. Antarctic Program from 2005-2008. His poetry has appeared in The New York Times, The Wisconsin Review, and The Evansville Review, among others. A student of the Christian Mystical tradition and Catholic faith, Ronnie's writings, art, and paintings capture the esoteric truths of the universal Christian faith through the medium of archetypal and mystical symbols.