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

O sweetest love of God, so little known, whoever has found this rich mine is at rest!

Often God communicates to the soul, when it is least expecting it, the purest spiritual sweetness and love, together with a spiritual knowledge which is sometimes very delicate (and cannot be perceived by sense).

Oh night thou was my guide. Oh night more loving than the rising sun. Oh night that joined the lover to the beloved one transforming each of them into the other.

O guiding night! O night more lovely than the dawn! O night that has united the Lover with his beloved, transforming the beloved in her Lover.

O how gently and how lovingly dost thou lie awake in the depth and centre of my soul, where thou in secret and in silence alone, as its sole Lord, abidest, not only as in Thine own house or in Thine own chamber, but also as within my own bosom, in close and intimate union.

No matter how much individuals do through their own efforts, they cannot actively purify themselves enough to be disposed in the least degree for the divine union of the perfection of love. God must take over and purge them in that fire that is dark for them, as we will explain.

Not all the faculties and senses have to be employed in things, but only those that are required; as for the others, leave them unoccupied for God.

Now that I no longer desire all, I have it all without desire.

O crystal well! Oh that on Thy silvered surface Thou wouldest mirror forth at once those eyes desired which are outlined in my heart!

My Beloved, the mountains, the solitary sylvan valleys, the strange islands, the resounding rivers, the whistle of amorous air, the quiet night on par with the lift of dawn, silent music, sound solitude, the dinner recreates and love.

My sole occupation is love. All my occupation now is the practice of the love of God, all the powers of soul and body, memory, understanding, and will, interior and exterior senses, the desires of spirit and of sense, all work in and by love. All I do is done in love; all I suffer, I suffer in the sweetness of love.

My soul is occupied, and all my substance in His service; now I guard no flock, nor have I any other employment: my sole occupation is love.

My spirit has become dry because it forgets to feed on you.

Never allow yourself to pour out your heart, even though it be but for the space of a Creed.

Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction.

Never listen to talk about the weaknesses of others, and if someone complains of another, you can tell her humbly to say nothing of it to you

Never take others for your example in the tasks you have to perform, however holy they may be, for the devil will set their imperfections before you. But imitate Christ, who is supremely perfect and supremely holy, and you will never err.

Love is ever throwing out sparks; the effect of love is to wound, that it may enkindle with love and cause delight.

Love is the measure by which we shall be judged.

Love to be unknown both by yourself and by others. Never look at the good or evil of others.

Many beginners also at times possess great spiritual avarice. They hardly ever seem content with the spirit God gives them. They become unhappy and peevish because they don't find the consolation they want in spiritual things. Many never have enough of hearing counsels, or learning spiritual maxims, or keeping them and reading books about them. They spend more time in these than in striving after mortification and the perfection of the interior poverty to which they are obliged.

Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me. What do you ask, then, and seek, my soul? Yours is all of this, and all is for you. Do not engage yourself in something less or pay heed to the crumbs that fall from your Father's table. Go forth and exult in your Glory! Hide yourself in it and rejoice, and you will obtain the supplications of your heart.

More is gained in one hour from God's good things than in a whole lifetime from your own.

My Beloved is the mountains, the solitary wooded valleys, the strange islands, the roaring torrents, the whisper of the amorous gales; the tranquil night at the approaches of the dawn, the silent music, the murmuring solitude, the supper which revives, and enkindles love.

My Beloved, all that is rugged and toilsome I desire for myself, and all that is sweet and delightful I desire for you.

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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