St. John of the Cross is one of the Doctors of the Church, a renowned Mystic, and has some of the deepest thinking and most beautiful writing of the Church. It is no easy read however and I have only barely dipped into some of his writings. His most famous work is, of course, "The Dark Night of the Soul." I learned about him first through my love of the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, a close friend of St. John. Together they worked to reform the Carmelite Order which had strayed from it's founding principles of poverty and prayer. And so they did.
St. John knows of that tough spot, desolation, difficulty in prayer, and yet, he knows it's bounty as well and the beauty that can be found even in that. He writes beautifully of the call to die to one's self. No small feat that, but in that, in bearing life's crosses, we become more truly us and therefore closer to God. He also wrote that "Silence is God's first language." See, so much for me to learn! That's one of the reasons I like him.
Here is another, a quote:
"Where there is no love, put love -- and you will find love."
Happy Feast day!
Icon by Lynne Taggart
St. John of the Cross, pray for us.