St John Of The Cross:Mystic And Doctor Of The Church


"Going everywhere, my God, with you, everywhere things will happen as I desire for you."

                                                                                                                      ~St John of the Cross

St John of the Cross, whose feast day we celebrate today, is co~founder along with St Teresa of Avila, of the Order of Carmelites Discalced.
St John of the Cross is probably best known for his writings on the Dark Night of the Soul, as well as his many maxims on the soul and her union with God. The Carmelite order has given us many saints and Doctors of the Church, along with Sts John and Teresa of Avila is also St Therese of Liseux.
Much of St John's poetry was written while he spent 9 months imprisoned for not returning to the house of his profession in Medina.
The writings of St John of the Cross are not always easy to read, but are a rich source of spiritual reading and meditation. I find his Maxims aiding  my own spiritual life.

Jesus Christ, God's Final Word is one of St John's Advent readings. It is usually used in the Roman Office of readings on Monday during the second week of Advent. I've included an excerpt here.
While we are on the topic of saints, I posted on my other blog that I have some saints left over from my parish prayer meeting. If you would like me to prayerfully choose a saint for you for 2010, leave a comment and I will gladly do so. Some interesting things have happened for those who asked for saints. The saints are really the ones who choose us.

Jesus Christ, God's Final Word
The principal reason why the Old Law permitted us to ask questions of God, and why prophets and priests had to seek visions and revelations of God, was because at that time faith had no firm foundation and the law of the Gospel was not yet established; and thus it was necessary that men should enquire of God and that he should speak, whether by words or by visions and revelations or whether by figures and images or by many other ways of expressing His meaning. For all that he answered and revealed belonged to the mysteries of our faith and things touching it or leading to it.

But now that the faith is founded in Christ, now that in this era of grace the law of the Gospel has been made manifest, there is no reason to enquire of God in that manner nor for him to speak to us or answer us as he did then. For, in giving us, as he did, his Son, who is his one and only Word, he spoke to us once and for all, in this single Word, and he has no occasion to speak further.

And this is the meaning of that passage with which the Letter to the Hebrews begins, trying to persuade the Hebrews that they should abandon those first ways of dealing and communicating with God which are in the law of Moses, and should set their eyes on Christ alone: At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, in the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son. That is, God has said so much about so many things through his Word that nothing more is needed, since that which he revealed partially in the past through the prophets, he has now revealed completely by giving us the All, which is his Son.

Therefore if someone were now to ask questions of God or seek any vision or revelation, he would not only be acting foolishly but would be committing an offence against God – for he should set his eyes altogether upon Christ and seek nothing beyond Christ.

God might answer him after this manner, saying: This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him. I have spoken all things to you in my Word. Set your eyes on him alone, for in him I have spoken and revealed to thee all things, and in him you shall find more than you ask for, even more than you want.

I descended upon him with my Spirit on Mount Tabor and said This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him. You have no reason to ask for new teaching or new answers from me because if I spoke to you in the past then it was to promise Christ. If people asked questions of me in the past then their questions were really a desire of Christ and a hope for his coming. For in him they were to find all good things, as has now been revealed in the teaching of the Evangelists and the Apostles.



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Comments

Anne said…
I find St. John of the Cross' imprisonment to be absolutely unbelievable! Thanks for this Advent reflection by him, it is lovely.

Karinann, I would be honored if you would choose a saint for me! Thanks!
Karinann said…
Anne- Glad you enjoyed St John's reflection.
Check your e-mail for your saint!