Saturday, December 14, 2013

St. John of the Cross

"Souls will be unable to reach perfection who do not strive to be content with having nothing, in such fashion that their natural and spiritual desire is satisfied with emptiness; for this is necessary in order to reach the highest tranquility and peace of spirit. Hence the love of God in the pure and simple soul is almost continually in act" St. John of the Cross

Today is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross. St. John of the Cross (along with St. Teresa of Avila) is one of the founders of the Discalced Carmelites. St. John is one of the acknowledged masters of mystical theology. Indeed, perhaps no other writer has had greater influence on Catholic spirituality.

Two years ago, in the midst of a winter storm in my local park, I shot this above image of a pine tree, engulfed in wind blown snow. It was quiet, I was alone. St. John says that our "natural and spiritual desire" is satisfied with emptiness. I find that when I am in quiet places, even places close to home - I can free myself from life's burdens for a time, and open myself up to hearing the voice of God. Yes, we should all seek a quiet place now and then.

Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk, February 13, 1949 – "It seems to me that what I am made for is not speculation but silence and emptiness, to wait in darkness and receive the Word of God entirely in His Oneness and not broken up into all His shadows."

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