Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez

Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez
1542
1591

Spanish Priest, Friar, Poet, Catholic Mystic, Major Figure in the Counter-Reformation

Author Quotes

When the soul is led into silence, it must forget even the practice of loving advertence? it must practice that advertence only when it is not conscious of being brought into solitude or interior rest or forgetfulness.

When a soul has advanced so far on the spiritual road as to be lost to all the natural methods of communing with God; when it seeks Him no longer by meditation, images, impressions, nor by any other created ways, or representations of sense, but only by rising above them all, in the joyful communion with Him by faith and love, then it may be said to have found God of a truth, because it has truly lost itself as to all that is not God, and also as to its own self.

When evening comes, you will be examined in love. Learn to love as God desires to be loved and abandon your own ways of acting.

When fixed on something else, one's appetite leaves no room for the angel to move it.

When God brings the soul into that emptiness and solitude where it can neither use its faculties nor make any acts, it sees that it is doing nothing and strives to do something. Therefore it becomes distracted and full of aridity and displeasure.

When the inspirations are from God they are always in the order of the motives of his law, and of the faith, in the perfection of which the soul should ever draw nearer and nearer to God.

When the soul desires to remain in inward ease and peace, any operation and affection or attention wherein it may then seek to indulge will distract it and disquiet it and make it conscious of aridity and emptiness of sense.

Well and good if all things change, O Lord God, provided I am rooted in You.

What does it profit you to give God one thing if he asks of you another? Consider what it is God wants, and then do it. You will as a result satisfy your heart better than with something toward which you yourself are inclined.

What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.

What you most seek and desire you will not find by this way of yours, nor through high contemplation, but in much humility and submission of heart.

What, more do you want, O soul! And what else do you search for outside, when within yourself you possess your riches, delights, satisfactions, fullness, and kingdom -your Beloved whom you desire and seek? Be joyful and gladdened in your interior recollection with Him, for you have Him so close to you. Desire Him there, adore Him there. Do not go in pursuit of Him outside yourself. You will only become distracted and wearied thereby, and you shall not find Him, nor enjoy Him more securely, nor sooner, nor more intimately than by seeking Him within you.

We must dig deeply in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides.

We shall go at once to the deep caverns of the rock which are all secret, there we shall enter in and taste of the new wine of the pomegranate.

We think others are like ourselves and we judge others according to what we ourselves are, since our judgment arises from within us and not outside us.

We must adjust our trials to ourselves, and not ourselves to our trials.

This way of life contains very little business and bustling, and demands mortification of the will more than knowledge. The less one takes of things and pleasures the farther one advances along this way.

Those who do not allow their appetites to carry them away will soar in their spirit as swiftly as the bird that lacks no feathers.

Those who do not love their neighbor abhor God.

Those who fall alone remain alone in their fall, and they value their soul little since they entrust it to themselves alone.

Those who trust in themselves are worse than the devil.

Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit.

To be taken with love for a soul, God does not look on its greatness, but the greatness of its humility.

To lose always and let everyone else win is a trait of valiant souls, generous spirits, and unselfish hearts; it is their manner to give rather than receive even to the extent of giving themselves. They consider it a heavy burden to possess themselves, and it pleases them more to be possessed by others and withdrawn from themselves, since we belong more to that infinite Good than we do to ourselves.

To reach the supernatural bounds a person must depart from his natural bounds and leave self far off in respect to his interior and exterior limits in order to mount from a low state to the highest.

Author Picture
First Name
Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez
Birth Date
1542
Death Date
1591
Bio

Spanish Priest, Friar, Poet, Catholic Mystic, Major Figure in the Counter-Reformation