A major figure of the Counter-Reformation, St. John of the Cross was a Doctor of the Church and a reformer of the Carmelite order. Along with the works of St. Teresa of Avila, his writings are regarded as the peak of Spanish mysticism.
Ascent of Mount Carmelby St. John of the Cross
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He was called "the greatest of all mystical theologians" by spiritual teacher Thomas Merton. And when St. John of the Cross was proclaimed to be a Doctor of the Church, Pope Pius XI praised his work as "a guide and handbook for the man of faith who proposes to embrace a life of perfection." The writings of the pious Carmelite priest, as well as those of St. Teresa of Avila, are regarded as the peak of Spanish mysticism. This remarkable guide to the spiritual life stands as his most popular work.
Imprisoned in Toledo during the sixteenth century, St. John wrote about his spiritual struggles with a unique poetic vision, illuminating a path for the faithful to grow closer to God. He believed that a spiritual union was open to us, but not before experiencing the confusion and despair of a dark night of the soul. Yet John's words are uplifting, lyrical, and filled with hope for any soul who aspires to the Divine union. By emptying ourselves of earthly distractions—memory, will, and sensual desires—we can make room for the pure light of God's grace. A primer to his Dark Night of the Soul, this acclaimed translation will resonate with modern pilgrims searching for wisdom.
- Dover Publications
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This is a great book, it's a little difficult to understand unfortunately unless you are familiar with the language of contemplatives. Even once you're familiar with their language, it's still a little difficult to follow... I think my brain got stretch marks from reading it. I do recommend it though... The Author starts off with the same poem that is found in his highly celebrated work "Dark Night of the Soul" and he then goes on to interpret and expound on the poem, but he does it slightly differently than he did in the "Dark Night", but overall I would say that if you've read one then you've probably read the other... I would have enjoyed it if he had actually gotten to the part where you leave the dark night and enter into divine union, but alas, he never got to that part... My recommendation is that you buy it if it has a really sweet cover... haha!