Thursday, April 8, 2010

Saint John of the Cross

The Simple Mind is away from the computer

Saint John of the Cross is as modern a mystic as any. Born in Castile, Spain in 1542, the product of a 'love match' between his prosperous father and his mother, a former serving woman. The families of the lovers were most displeased at this unlikely match. Yet theirs was a home which knew of a deep, enduring love; in this home the future saint was born.

The Way of Self-Denial,
by Saint John of the Cross

That you may have pleasure in everything
Seek your own pleasure in nothing.

That you may know everything
Seek to know nothing.

That you may possess all things
Seek to possess nothing.

That you may be everything
Seek to be nothing.

In detachment the spirit finds peace and rest because it covets nothing. Nothing wearies it by elation, nothing oppresses it by dejection. It stands in the center of its own humility.

Desire to be empty and poor for the Christ's sake. This state must be embraced with a full heart, and you must really desire it. If your heart is truly engaged, in these efforts, you shall speedily attain great joy and consolation.

Be continuously careful and earnest in imitating the Christ in everything, make your life conform to his.

From Daily Reading with St. John of the Cross, edited by Ruth Burrows and Sister Elizabeth Ruth, ODC, England

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