|Reflections of St. John of the Cross
Juan de la Cruz, (St. John of
the Cross), 1542–1591, Spanish
mystic and poet, Doctor of the
Church. His name was originally
Juan de Yepes.
He was a founder of the Discalced
Carmelites and a friend of St. Theresa of
Ávila, who guided him in his spiritual
life. Because of his ardor in pursuing her
reforms he, antagonized the hierarchy.
In 1577, he was imprisoned in Toledo
and was subjected to physical and mental
It was in his prison cell that St. John wrote his famous Spiritual Canticle and began
his Songs of the Soul.
These poems — a blend of exquisite lyricism and profound mystical thought — are
among the finest creations of the golden age of Spanish literature. St. John is
regarded by many as Spain's finest lyric poet.
After an escape in 1578, considered by many to be miraculous, he went to
Andalusia, where his last years were spent in a constant struggle against his
opponents and in the creation of masterly prose treatises on mystical theology,
notably The Dark Night of the Soul and The Ascent of Mount Carmel.
|THE SPIRITUAL CANTICLE
Songs between the Soul and
|Songs of the Soul in the intimate
communication of loving union
1. Now I occupy my soul and all my
energy in his service; I no longer tend
the herd, nor have I any other work
now that my every act is love.
2. The bride has entered the sweet
garden of her desire, and she rests in
delight, laying her neck on the gentle
arms of her Beloved.
3. She lived in solitude, and now in
solitude has built her nest; and in
solitude he guides her, he alone, who
also bears in solitude the wound of love.
4. Let us rejoice, Beloved, and let us go
forth to behold ourselves in your
beauty, to the mountain and to the hill,
to where the pure water flows, and
further, deep into the thicket.
|THE DARK NIGHT
Songs of the Soul that rejoices in
having reached the high state of
perfection, union with God, by
the path of spiritual negation.
1. One dark night, fired with love's
urgent longings ~ ah, the sheer grace! ~
I went out unseen, my house being now
2. In darkness, and secure, by the
secret ladder, disguised,~ah, the sheer
grace! ~ in darkness and
concealment,my house being now
3. 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.
4. I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved; all
things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares forgotten among the
1. O living flame of love that tenderly
now consummate! if it be your will: tear
through the veil of this sweet
2. I entered into the unknowing, yet
when I saw myself there, without
knowing where I was, I understood
great things; I will not say what I felt for
I remained in unknowing transcending
3. I was so 'whelmed, so absorbed and
withdrawn, that my senses were left
deprived of all their sensing, and my
spirit was given an understanding while
not understanding, transcending all
4. He who truly arrives there cuts free
from himself, all that he knew before
now seems worthless, and his
knowledge so soars that he is left in
unknowing transcending all knowledge.
5. He weeps, but not from the wound
of love, there is no pain in such
affliction, even though the heart is
pierced; he weeps in knowing he's been
6. The shepherd says: I pity the one
who draws herself back from my love,
and does not seek the joy of my
presence, though my heart is an open
wound with love for her.
7. The Father to the Son: "My Son,
only your company contents me, and
when something pleases me, I love that
thing in you; whoever resembles you
most satisfies me most. My Son, I will
give myself to him who loves you and I
will love him with the same love I have
for you, because he has loved you
whom I love so."
New Beginnings House of Prayer ~ P. O. Box 854 ~ Galena Park, TX 77547
~ (713) 927-7534 ~
Best viewed at 1024 x 768 resolution setting.
Copyright 2009-2012. All rights reserved.