Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez

Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez

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

Author Quotes

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 blind person who falls will not be able to get up alone; the blind person who does get up alone will go off on the wrong road.

Take God for your bridegroom and friend, and walk with him continually; and you will not sin and will learn to love, and the things you must do will work out prosperously for you.

Take neither great nor little notice of who is with you or against you, and try always to please God. Ask him that his will be done in you. Love him intensely, as he deserves to be loved.

That person has truly mastered all things who is not moved to joy by the satisfaction they afford or saddened by their insipidness.

The annihilation of the memory in regard to all forms (including the five senses) is an absolute requirement for union with God. This union cannot be wrought without a complete separation of the memory from all forms that are not God. In great forgetfulness it is absorbed in a supreme good. #8. Once he has the habit of union he no longer experiences these lapses of memory in matters concerning his moral and natural life. All the operations of the memory and other faculties in this state are divine.

Sometimes, too, when their spiritual masters, such as confessors and superiors, do not approve of their spirit and behavior (for they are anxious that all they do shall be esteemed and praised), they consider that they do not understand them, or that, because they do not approve of this and comply with that, their confessors are themselves not spiritual. And so they immediately desire and contrive to find someone else who will fit in with their tastes; for as a rule they desire to speak of spiritual matters with those who they think will praise and esteem what they do, and they flee, as they would from death, from those who disabuse them in order to lead them into a safe road?sometimes they even harbor ill-will against them. Presuming thus, they are wont to resolve much and accomplish very little. Sometimes they are anxious that others shall realize how spiritual and devout they are, to which end they occasionally give outward evidence thereof in movements, sighs and other ceremonies; and at times they are apt to fall into certain ecstasies, in public rather than in secret, wherein the devil aids them, and they are pleased that this should be noticed, and are often eager that it should be noticed more.

Souls will be unable to reach perfection who do not strive to be content with having nothing, in such fashion that their natural and spiritual desire is satisfied with emptiness; for this is necessary in order to reach the highest tranquility and peace of spirit. Hence the love of God in the pure and simple soul is almost continually in act.

Speak little and do not meddle in matters about which you are not asked.

Spiritual things in the soul believes that, if trials come to it, that it will never escape from them. And if spiritual blessings come, the soul believes its troubles are now over.

Spiritual wounds of love are very delightful and desirable. The soul would desire to be ever dying a thousand deaths from the thrusts of the lance, for they make her go out of herself and enter into God.

Strive always to keep God present and to preserve within yourself the purity he teaches you.

Strive for the greater honor and glory of God in all things.

Strive to preserve your heart in peace; let no event of this world disturb it; reflect that all must come to an end.

Suffering for God is better than working miracles.

Preserve a loving attentiveness to God with no desire to feel or understand any particular thing concerning Him.

Pure contemplation consists in receiving.

Reflect how necessary it is to be enemies of self and to walk to perfection by the path of holy rigor, and understand that every word spoken without the order of obedience is laid to your account by God.

Reflect that the most delicate flower loses its fragrance and withers fastest; therefore guard yourself against seeking to walk in a spirit of delight, for you will not be constant. Choose rather for yourself a robust spirit, detached from everything, and you will discover abundant peace and sweetness, for delicious and durable fruit is gathered in a cold and dry climate.

Reflect that your guardian angel does not always move your desire for an action, but he does always enlighten your reason. Hence, in order to practice virtue do not wait until you feel like it, for your reason and intellect are sufficient.

Rejoice habitually in God, who is your salvation [Lk. 1:47], and reflect that it is good to suffer in any way for him who is good.

Reveal Thy presence, and let the vision and Thy beauty kill me, behold the malady of love is incurable except in Thy presence and before Thy face.

Secret contemplation is the science of love. It is an infused and loving knowledge of God, which enlightens the soul and at the same time enkindles it with love, until it is raised up step by step, even unto God its Creator. For it is love alone that unites and joins the soul with God.

See that you are not suddenly saddened by the adversities of this world, for you do not know the good they bring, being ordained in the judgments of God for the everlasting joy of the elect.

See that you do not interfere in the affairs of others, nor even allow them to pass through your memory; for perhaps you will be unable to accomplish your own task.

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Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez
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Spanish Priest, Friar, Poet, Catholic Mystic, Major Figure in the Counter-Reformation