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

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.

Look at that infinite knowledge and that hidden secret. What peace, what love, what silence is in that divine bosom! How lofty the science God teaches there, which is what we call the anagogical acts that so enkindle the heart.

Lord God, my Beloved, if you still remember my sins in such a way that you do not do what I beg of you, do your will concerning them, my God, which is what I most desire, and exercise your goodness and mercy, and you will be known through them. And if you are waiting for my good works so as to hear my prayer through their means, grant them to me, and work them for me, and the sufferings you desire to accept, and let it be done. But if you are not waiting for my works, what is it that makes you wait, my most clement Lord? Why do you delay? For if, after all, I am to receive the grace and mercy that I entreat of you in your Son, take my mite, since you desire it, and grant me this blessing, since you also desire that.

Keep habitual confidence in God, esteeming in yourself and in your Sisters those things that God most values, which are spiritual goods.

Keep spiritually tranquil in a loving attentiveness to God, and when it is necessary to speak, let it be with the same calm and peace.

Let them trust in God... who will bring them into the clear and pure light of love. This last He will give them by means of that other dark night.

Let us rejoice, O my Beloved! Let us go forth to see ourselves in Thy beauty, to the mountain and the hill, where the pure water flows: let us enter into the heart of the thicket.

Let your speech be such that no one may be offended, and let it concern things that would not cause you regret were all to know of them.

Live as though only God and yourself were in this world, so that your heart may not be detained by anything human.

Live in the world as if only God and your soul were in it; then your heart will never be made captive by any earthly thing.

It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still, so that God may speak.

It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience.

It is good for the soul to have no desire to comprehend anything save God alone in hope through faith.

It is not God's will that a soul be disturbed by anything or suffer trials, for if one suffers trials in the adversities of the world it is because of a weakness in virtue. The perfect soul rejoices in what afflicts the imperfect one.

It is seriously wrong to have more regard for God's blessings than for God himself: prayer and detachment.

It practices patience and longsuffering. Four benefits of the dark night: delight of peace, habitual remembrance and thought of God, cleanness and purity of soul, and the practice of the virtues.

It seems now to the soul that it is going forth from its very self with much affliction. At other times things seem strange and rare, though they are the same that it was accustomed to experience before. The soul is now becoming alien and remote from common sense and knowledge of things in order to be informed with the Divine.

Its desired mate on the green banks has found.

It being certain that in this life we know God better by what he is not then by what he is, it is necessary, if we are to draw near unto him, that the soul must deny, to the uttermost, all that may be denied of its apprehensions, both natural and supernatural.

In the serene night, with the flame that consumes, and gives no pains.

In the twilight of life, God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human successes, but on how well we have loved.

In these apprehensions coming from above (like spiritual feelings), a person should only advert to the love of God they interiorly cause.

In this state of contemplation? it is God Who is now working in the soul. He binds its interior faculties, and allows it not to cling to the understanding, nor to have delight in the will, nor to reason with the memory.

In the midst of these dark and loving afflictions the soul feels within itself a certain companionship and strength, which bears it company and so greatly strengthens it that, if this burden of grievous darkness be taken away, it often feels itself to be alone, empty and weak.

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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