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Sayings of Light and Love #5

January 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, John of the Cross, Meditations, Spiritual Direction

Sayings of Light and Love #5

 of Light and LoveWhoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide (spiritual director) will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor (caregiver and protector). No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens.

Note: The notes in the parentheses above are translation helps for the reader. St. John wrote these sayings of light and love individually, but they often follow themes. This saying and a number of others that follow are on the topic of spiritual direction. Essentially, St. John indicates that without a spiritual director for protection and guidance, any potential fruit that the pilgrim might bear will be plundered before it even has a chance to emerge.

John of the Cross – New Advent Link

More “Sayings of Light and Love”


Saint John of the Cross, O.C.D. (1542-1591),  a Spanish priest and Doctor of the Church, considered to be the Doctor of Mystical Theology, was a reformer of the Carmelite Order, along with Saint Teresa of Avila (Saint Teresa of Jesus), who founded the Discalced Carmelites.  He is known as the Doctor of Mystical Theology and is known for his writings (especially his poetry), including: The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Counsels to a Religious, Dark Night of the Soul, Living Flame of Love, Precautions (Cautions), Spiritual Canticle, Spiritual Maxims: Words of Light, Points of Love and Other Counsels.  He was beatified in 1675 by Pope Clement X and canonized in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1926 by Pope Pius XI, after consultation with Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange O.P.  He is buried in the Monastery of the Carmelitas Descalzas (Convent of the Discalced Nuns), in Segovia, Spain.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Cathy

    I really needed this today. It tells me that God knows my mind and my heart, and He knows better what I need than I do! Thank you for allowing Christ to work through you to touch all!

  • GHM_52

    Dan, does that mean that our salvation depends on our finding a good spiritual director?

    • Dear friend, no, it does not mean that. However, those who understand the state of the human soul would never attempt to go it alone and would never advise others to do so.

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