Sanctification in Daily Work
  • Links

  • Suggested Links

  • Categories

  • Archives

St. John of the Cross

nullToday is the feast of that great 16th century Spanish mystic and doctor of the Church, St. John of the Cross. Today’s Office of Readings has a passage from a spiritual Canticle of his that says:

“[T]he apostle Paul said of Christ: In him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God…Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much [interior and exterior] suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there is consolation and desire. The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross.

Saint Paul therefore urges the Ephesians not to grow weary in the midst of tribulations, but to be rooted and grounded in love, so that they may know with all the saints the breadth, the length, the height and the depth – to know what is beyond knowable, the love of Christ, so as to be filled with all the fullness of God.

Here John speaks of the “narrow gate” through which we must pass to merit eternal life. Sadly so many avoid this gate because it is lined with fire and one inevitably gets burned. But we do not travel through it alone. Pope Benedict, in his encyclical Spe Salvi, speaks of Christ the true shepherd in this way:

“The true shepherd is one who knows even the path that passes through the valley of death; one who walks with me even on the path of final solitude, where no one can accompany me, guiding me through: he himself has walked this path, he has descended into the kingdom of death, he has conquered death, and he has returned to accompany us now and to give us the certainty that, together with him, we can find a way through.”

We are not alone in our sufferings. Indeed, when we suffer we are even closer to the Redeemer through the power of the Cross.

Prayer of Peace by St. John of the Cross

O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of Peace.

Read more about
St. John of the Cross and his other writings.

Comments are closed.