“In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.”
St. John of the Cross
“The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light.”
St. John of the Cross
So a few weeks ago, I decided that I wanted–or maybe that should read,
I needed to revisit a dear old friend…St. John of the Cross.
I felt St. John’s own ‘dark night of the soul’ calling my own lonely
For a quick bit of background on my ancient friend…according to Wikipedia
John of the Cross (born Juan de Yepes y Álvarez;
Spanish: Juan de la Cruz; 24 June 1542 – 14 December 1591),
venerated as Saint John of the Cross, was a Spanish Catholic priest,
mystic, and a Carmelite friar of converso origin.
He is a major figure of the Counter-Reformation in Spain,
and he is one of the thirty-six Doctors of the Church.
John of the Cross is known especially for his writings.
He was mentored by and corresponded with the older Carmelite, Teresa of Ávila.
Both his poetry and his studies on the development of the soul
are considered the summit of mystical Spanish literature and among
the greatest works of all Spanish literature.
He was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726.
In 1926 he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI,
and is commonly known as the “Mystical Doctor”.
And thus I went searching for my own copy of St. John’s book
as I find that sometimes…I simply desperately
need a Christian mystic in the worst of ways!
So I began to search…
Where was it???
Where was my book?
Was it on a bookshelf?
Was it in a box that might have been overlooked in the move?
Was it in this stack or that stack??
I scoured every book I owned.
I scanned every shelf in the house.
I tore every drawer in the house apart.
I rummaged through every box and tub that remains squirreled away in a
Had it ended up in the yard sale by accident?
Had it errantly gone to the Goodwill?
Or worse—had it been borrowed???
St. John and his dark night were no where to be found.
All of which seemed to be adding to my own oppressively growing darkness.
However, I actually think that oppressive darkness of mine was probably due
to too much digested news…but I digress.
And thus, I knew my only recourse…order another book!
Of which I did.
When the package arrived in the mail, I was so excited to greet my
dear old friend.
And for those of you who know me, you know that I treasure my books!
I was so excited opening the package and pulling out the small new treasure
tucked neatly within.
Excitedly, I opened the book…
savoring the newness and crispness of each fresh page.
I looked excitedly and expectantly at those first few pages…
all with great anticipation.
And that is when I first saw it…
It was the moment I felt the collision of both then and now.
An odd yet sickening juxtaposition of time and space.
This was when I first saw something I found almost repugnant given who it was that
I was reading—reading the deep personal struggle of one who had the courage
and the gift to write about what we all have each struggled over…
that very depth of wondering…”God are you there? Do you hear me?”
Immediately I stopped dead in my tracks…
did I just catch an odd out of place “warning” of all things????
A trigger warning for St. John of the Cross.
I felt a bit of heat rising up into my cheeks.
“This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as
it would if it were written today. Parents night wish to discuss with
their children how views on race have changed before
allowing them to read this classic work.”
“Oh really–does not reflect the same values??”–
I found myself speaking aloud for anyone present to hear.
Despite what one might think, I will opt not to jump on my soapbox today…
for I have done so often here in this little corner of mine in
this blogosphere of ours.
I just fret that when I see what we are allowing in our schools as now,
we feel threatened by a 16th century mystic monk.
It amazes me what we are allowing our children to exposed to and yet
we opt to censor a Christian mystic.
I just don’t seem to know us anymore and that is what i think troubles me most.
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on,
he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”
St. John of the Cross
Good point: “It amazes me what we are allowing our children to exposed to and yet
we opt to censor a Christian mystic.”
I remember reading about a quarter of St. John of the Cross’s Dark Night of the Soul many decades ago before I could no longer understand it. The introduction to my copy warned that I would likely run into difficulties understanding it about the place where I did. Although I only vaguely remember what I read now, the memories are positive.
It’s a deep read that I have struggled with over the years but I think as I age and experience more of life, I begin to understand more of his words.
What we allow in our schools… The Texas governor is under fire for trying to rid the Texas school libraries of what he considers porn, and I agree. Yet, Christian values carry a warning. I play some free games (mostly puzzles) on my tablet. When a Christian commercial pops up, a little icon pops up. If the commercial offends you, you can block it. You cannot block LGBTQ+ commercials. The icon is not available.
Exactly Mark— this is all driving me nuts—
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
The CRT’s imprint?? Thank God we’re still able to obtain a copy of the book… I feel your frustration SC!! Hugs from GW
Oh my goodness! I’m a bit shocked. That is just so unreal! Arrggg….
I know right?!
😞 so sad .
Can you do me a favor and let me know if the photos on my latest post are loading ?
I know, right!!??
It’s crazy! Oy vey. I don’t get it.
Oy vey is very correct!!!
And when you see the sexual issues they’re introducing to young children yet we put warnings out on Christian mysticism— we are standing on a floundering ship
I have a copy in Word without a public health warning Julie. I’ll save it as a docx and email it to you.
Thank you— health warning indeed— sheer madness!!!!
“For behold, darkness will cover the earth, And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you, And His glory will appear upon you.” Very disappointing to see your discovery, Julie; however, we both know NOTHING shall prevail against the love of God.