I Catch on Fire

(2002)

"I Catch on Fire" is the second song of Jake Heggie's song cycle The Deepest Desire: Four meditations on Love. This song cycle sets the text of Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ.

I Catch on Fire
by Jake Heggie


Long black dress to my toes--Flowing black sleeves and veil.
A walking bolt of black material.
Fourth grade religion class--Teaching full force:
The Gospel according to...
Lit candle.
Fifty little eyes wide. Twenty-five voices shout:
"Sister! Sister! You're on fire!"
Flames shooting. Hands beating.
Silence. Breathing.
Children, this teaches us always to be careful with fire.
Now, years later, when I pray
I catch on fire. Amen.


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