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

The purest suffering bears and carries in its train the purest understanding.

The purest suffering produces the purest understanding.

The second cause whence these rebellions sometimes proceed is the devil, who, in order to disquiet and disturb the soul, at times when it is at prayer or is striving to pray, contrives to stir up these motions of impurity in its nature; and if the soul gives heed to any of these, they cause it great harm. For through fear of these not only do persons become lax in prayer?which is the aim of the devil when he begins to strive with them?but some give up prayer altogether, because they think that these things attack them more during that exercise than apart from it, which is true, since the devil attacks them then more than at other times, so that they may give up spiritual exercises.

The secret of one's conscience is considerably harmed and damaged as often as its fruits are manifested to others, for then one receives as reward the fruit of fleeting fame.

The sensual part is purified in aridity, the faculties are purified in the emptiness of their perceptions and the spirit is purified in thick darkness.

The sooner the soul reaches this restful tranquility, the more abundantly does it become infused with the spirit of Divine wisdom. At times the soul will feel itself to be tenderly and serenely ravished and wounded, not knowing how, since the Spirit communicates Himself without any act on the part of the soul.

The soul approaches God more nearly by not understanding than by understanding. Faith is darkness to the understanding.

The Lord measures our perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds, but by the manner in which we perform them.

The meek are those who know how to suffer their neighbor and themselves.

The more habituated he becomes to this calm, the deeper his experience of the general, loving knowledge of God will grow. This knowledge is more enjoyable than all other things, because without the soul?s labor it affords peace, rest, savor, and delight.

The more lofty the degree of loving union to which God destines the soul, so much more profound and persistent must be its purification.

The poor one who is naked will be clothed; and the soul that is naked of desires and whims, God will clothe with his purity, pleasure, and will.

The pure and whole work done for God in a pure heart merits a whole kingdom for its owner.

The illumination of the soul and its union with God corresponds to its purity.

The little white dove has returned to the ark with the bough; and now the turtle-dove

The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more.

The greater the progress it makes, the farther it must withdraw from itself walking in faith, believing and not understanding; and thus it approaches God more nearly by not understanding than by understanding.

The humble are those who hide in their own nothingness and know how to abandon themselves to God.

The breathing of the air, the song of the sweet nightingale, the grove and its beauty

The bride has entered the pleasant and desirable garden, and there reposes to her heart?s content; her neck reclining on the sweet arms of the Beloved.

The deep caverns of sense, with strange brightness, give heat and light together to their Beloved. ?Together? because the communication of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in the soul are made together, and are the light and fire of love.

The devil fears a soul united to God as he does God himself.

The entire world is not worthy of a human being's thought, for this belongs to God alone; any thought, therefore, not centered on God is stolen from him.

The Father spoke one Word, which was his Son, and this Word he speaks always in eternal silence, and in silence must it be heard by the soul.

The fly that clings to honey hinders its flight, and the soul that allows itself attachment to spiritual sweetness hinders its own liberty and contemplation.

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