Friday, December 14, 2012

Select Quotes from St. John of the Cross on his Feast Day

I would like to wish a blessed feast of St. John of the Cross to all of my brothers and sisters in Carmel. I will leave you with select quotes taken from a compilation at this site.

These first quotes come from the Ascent of Mt. Carmel:
Bk. 3. Ch. 5. #1. Moral good consists in the control of the passions and the restruction of the inordinate appetites. The result for the soul is tranquility, peace, repose, and moral virtue. The soul cannot control the passion without forgetting and withdrawing from the sources of these emotions. Disturbances never arise in a soul unless through the apprehensions of the memory. #3. The soul must go to God by not comprehending rather than by comprehending and it must exchange the mutable and comprehensible for the Immutable and Incomprehensible. 

Bk. 3. Ch. 6. #3. Distress and worry ordinarily makes things worse and even does harm to the soul itself. The endurance of all with equanimity not only reaps many blessings but also helps the soul to employ the proper remedy.

This one goes with the one in my side bar.  

Bk. 3. Ch. 7. #2. The more importance given to any clear apprehensions (visions, locutions, sentiments), natural or supernatural, the less capacity the soul has for entering the abyss of faith, where all else is absorbed.

A couple more... 

Bk. 3. Ch. 15. #1. The aim is union with God in the memory. #2. Images will always help a person toward union with God, provided he allows himself to soar – when God bestows the favor – from the painted image to the living God. 
Bk. 3. Ch. 20. #3. Cares do not bother the detached man.

These are from the Dark Night of the Soul

Ch. 11. From time to time the soul sees this flame and this enkindling grow so greatly within it that it desires God with yearning of love. #2. This love is not as a rule felt at first, but only the dryness and emptiness. The soul then experiences a habitual care and solicitude with respect to God. This Divine love begins to be enkindled in the spirit. #4. The soul enters the night of spirit in order to journey to God in pure faith, which is the means whereby the soul is united to God.

Ch. 12. #2. The first and principal benefit caused by the arid and dark night of contemplation: the knowledge of oneself and of one’s misery. #3. The soul learns to commune with God with more respect and more courtesy. #4. God will enlighten the soul, giving it knowledge, not only of its lowliness and wretchedness, but of the greatness and excellence of God. He cleanses and frees the understanding that it may understand the truth. #7. From the aridities and voids of this night of the desire, the soul draws spiritual humility. #8. The soul is aware only of its own wretchedness – and esteems neighbors.

Ch. 13. It might possibly now lose, through defective use, what before it lost through excess. #3. The soul loses the strength of its passions and concupiscence and it becomes sterile because it no longer consults its likings. #5. It practices patience and longsuffering. #6. 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. #10. 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). 
Ch. 18. #4. Ordinarily that which is of the greatest profit – namely, to be ever losing oneself and becoming as nothing – is considered the worst thing possible, and that which is of least worth, which is for the soul to find consolation and sweetness, is considered best.

From the Spiritual Canticle:

Prologue. #2. Mystical wisdom, which comes through love, need not be understood distinctly… for it is given according to the mode of faith, through which we love God without understanding Him. 

Stanza 1, #12. Pay no attention to anything which your faculties can grasp. You should never desire satisfaction in what you understand about God, but in what you do not understand about Him Never stop with loving and delighting in your understanding and experience of God, but love and delight in what is neither understandable nor perceptible of Him.

From the Living Flame of Love

Stanza 1, #19. God wars against all the imperfect habits of the soul and, purifying thesoul with the heat of His flame, He uproots these habits from it and prepares it so that at last He may enter it and be united with it by His sweet, peaceful and glorious love, as is the fire when it has entered the wood.

#29. Death is the ‘old man,’ namely, the employment of the faculties – memory, understanding and will – and the use and occupation of them in things of the world, and the occupation of the desires in the pleasure afforded by created things. All this and the exercise of the old life, which is the death of the new, or spiritual life… In this new life, when the soul has reached the perfection of union with God, all the desires and faculties of the soul… are changed into Divine operations. #30. Understanding is not the understanding of God. The will has now been changed into the life of Divine love. The memory has in its mind the eternal years. The desire now tastes and enjoys Divine food, being now moved by the delight of God. 

#57. When God brings the soul into that emptiness and solitude where it can neither use its faculties nor make any acts, it sees that it is doing nothing and strives to do something. Therefore it becomes distracted and full of aridity and displeasure. 

[2nd redaction] Stanza III. #34. Any kind of thought or meditation or pleasure would impede and disturb the soul and would introduce noise into the deep silence which the soul should observe in order to hear the deep and delicate voice in which God speaks to the heart in this secret place. #35. When the soul is led into silence, it must forget even the practice of loving advertence… it must practice that advertence only when it is not conscious of being brought into solitude or interior rest or forgetfulness. #36. Pure contemplation consists in receiving. 

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
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