WEFOUNDSaint John of the Cross (Classic Reprint)


Never was fount so clear,
undimmed and bright;
From it alone, I know proceeds all light
although ’tis night.
– Saint John of the Cross

Just as we can never separate asceticism from mysticism , so in Saint John of the Cross we find darkness and light, suffering and joy, sacrifice and love united together so closely that they seem at times to be identified. – Thomas Merton

In detachment, the spirit finds quiet and repose for coveting nothing. Nothing wearies it by elation, and nothing oppresses it by dejection, because it stands in the center of its own humility. – Saint John of the Cross

San Juan de la Cruz / John of the Cross (1542-91) is one of the towering saints in Christian history and often considered, even by secular poets and scholars, to be the loftiest Spanish-language poet ever. He is also regarded as Catholicism’s “greatest mystical theologian” and an eminent Doctor of the Church as well. His prose works display a remarkably wise understanding of various extremely subtle nuances of psychological and spiritual development. It is said that “no other writer has had greater influence on Catholic spirituality.”

That summer of 1568, 26-year-old John learned from his older mentor Teresa (then 53) all about her new movement. In a letter written in September she notes, “… though he is small of stature [not quite five feet tall], I believe he is great in the eyes of God…. He is sensible and well-fitted for our way of life… There is not a friar but speaks well of him for he leads a life of great penitence… We have never seen the least imperfection in him. He has courage, but, as he is quite alone [the solitary male member of Teresa’s reform movement at this point], he needs all that the Lord gives him.”

The holy friars’ presence soon attracted many visitors, including John’s mother, brother and sister-in-law, who helped them in doing manual labor chores. John’s preaching in town on the holy life of joyous surrender to God and interior prayer drew a number of men to join the friars. So much so that after 18 months, the burgeoning band had to move to a larger building at Mancera, a nearby village.

Never was fount so clear,
undimmed and bright;
From it alone, I know proceeds all light
although ’tis night.
– Saint John of the Cross

Just as we can never separate asceticism from mysticism , so in Saint John of the Cross we find darkness and light, suffering and joy, sacrifice and love united together so closely that they seem at times to be identified. – Thomas Merton

In detachment, the spirit finds quiet and repose for coveting nothing. Nothing wearies it by elation, and nothing oppresses it by dejection, because it stands in the center of its own humility. – Saint John of the Cross

Never was fount so clear,
undimmed and bright;
From it alone, I know proceeds all light
although ’tis night.
– Saint John of the Cross

Just as we can never separate asceticism from mysticism , so in Saint John of the Cross we find darkness and light, suffering and joy, sacrifice and love united together so closely that they seem at times to be identified. – Thomas Merton

In detachment, the spirit finds quiet and repose for coveting nothing. Nothing wearies it by elation, and nothing oppresses it by dejection, because it stands in the center of its own humility. – Saint John of the Cross

San Juan de la Cruz / John of the Cross (1542-91) is one of the towering saints in Christian history and often considered, even by secular poets and scholars, to be the loftiest Spanish-language poet ever. He is also regarded as Catholicism’s “greatest mystical theologian” and an eminent Doctor of the Church as well. His prose works display a remarkably wise understanding of various extremely subtle nuances of psychological and spiritual development. It is said that “no other writer has had greater influence on Catholic spirituality.”

That summer of 1568, 26-year-old John learned from his older mentor Teresa (then 53) all about her new movement. In a letter written in September she notes, “… though he is small of stature [not quite five feet tall], I believe he is great in the eyes of God…. He is sensible and well-fitted for our way of life… There is not a friar but speaks well of him for he leads a life of great penitence… We have never seen the least imperfection in him. He has courage, but, as he is quite alone [the solitary male member of Teresa’s reform movement at this point], he needs all that the Lord gives him.”

The holy friars’ presence soon attracted many visitors, including John’s mother, brother and sister-in-law, who helped them in doing manual labor chores. John’s preaching in town on the holy life of joyous surrender to God and interior prayer drew a number of men to join the friars. So much so that after 18 months, the burgeoning band had to move to a larger building at Mancera, a nearby village.

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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