He was born in Spain at the time of the Protestant reformation.
John was persuaded by St Teresa of Avila to work with her in the reform of the Carmelite order, both are considered great Catholic reformers.
This was no easy task. It brought him into conflict with Church authorities and caused him much suffering and even imprisonment.
John was a great mystic and wrote deep Spiritual poems and other writings.
Among other things, he spoke about the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’.
This is about the purification of our attachments on a journey of total surrender to God in unconditional love.
He eloquently describes how we are invited to love God who is Love not because we want something back but because love is sufficient unto itself.
Jesus tells us to take up our cross and to follow Him every day.
John teaches us echoing St Paul that there are no shortcuts in the Spiritual life.
The Cross is part of our journey. We grow by accepting the sufferings of life in Faith.
We grow in love with true sufferings. There is no greater wisdom than that of Christ. The Cross is the gateway into His wisdom.
We are encouraged not to grow weary of suffering, not to give up. This suffering leads us into the fulfilment of the deepest longing of our hearts, into Union with Christ.
These sentiments expressed so well by St John of the Cross are echoed again and again by so many of the Saints in their mystical experiences.
Commitment, Faith and Hope lead us into Love.
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