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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Sayings of Light and Love 31 – St John of the Cross

March 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, John of the Cross

Sayings of Light and Love 31

Sayings of Light and Love 31:

O good Jesus, if you do not soften it [the hardened soul], it will ever continue in its natural hardness.

Saint John of the Cross

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Saint John of the Cross, O.C.D. (1542-1591), a priest and Doctor of the Church, is considered to be the Doctor of Mystical Theology, and was a reformer of the Carmelite Order, along with Saint Teresa of Avila (Saint Teresa of Jesus), who founded the Discalced Carmelites … and who talked him into remaining a Carmelite instead of becoming a Carthusian. He was very familiar with both Holy Scripture and with Saint Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica. Known as the Doctor of Mystical Theology, he is also 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 canonized in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII and was named a Doctor of the Church in 1926 by Pope Pope Pius XI based on his eminent sanctity, eminent doctrine and the solemn declaration of the Roman Pontiff himself.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, 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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  • Camila

    Isn’t it interesting that the saints having the clearest understanding and purest will offered themselves for the salvation of their fellow humans?

    Humans who had greater ignorance and deserved least their prayers. It seems to me there is a paradox that the holier a person becomes the more willingly and promptly he seeks to interceded through prayer and good works the misery of his neighbor – regardless of their sins. They see in them a sister or a brother suffering deeply, who because of sin, suffers a great separation from God, Whom the saint can’t imagine living without. The saints see the sinful misery so clearly and such clarity prompts them to act. One can imagine the opposite, no? Where the saint after all, oh so holy, need not ‘mingle’ with ‘sinners’. This is not so.

    Providentially I read this today and fits very well with the quote above.

    “O Lord, how I stood before thee to speak good for them, to turn away thy wrath from them” (Jer. 18:20)

    This is why we see the same prophet, when he sees the evils that he has predicted come to pass, is far from being joyful-as he would have been had he wished for them to suffer-but is instead brought to tears by the sight of their (enemy’s) disaster.

    (from Meditations for Lent by Jacques-Benigne Bossuet)

    Jeremiah didn’t simply say “I said so” – he wept!

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