St. John of the Cross Quotes

My sole occupation is love.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom, 1586)
As for trials, the more the better.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 174)
Cares do not bother the detached man.
John of the Cross (Ascent of Mount Carmel - Book 3, Chapter 20)
There is nothing better or more necessary than love.
John of the Cross (Notes to Stanza)
The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light.
John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul, 1585)
The soul that walks in love neither tires others nor grows tired.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 97)
When Thou didst regard me, thine eyes imprinted in me Thy grace.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom, 1586)
Consider that God reigns only in the peaceful and disinterested soul.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 71)
A soul enkindled with love is a gentle, meek, humble, and patient soul.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 29)
This immensity is indescribable and because of it the soul is dying of love.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom - Stanza 7, 1586)
The will is content with nothing less than His presence and the sight of Him.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom - Stanza 7, 1586)
It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still so that God may speak.
John of the Cross (Ascent of Mount Carmel)
One human thought alone is worth more than the entire world, hence God alone is worthy of it.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 35)
Love consists not in feeling great things but in having great detachment and in suffering for the Beloved.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 115)
The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. The soul has to proceed rather by unknowing rather than knowing.
John of the Cross (Ascent of Mount Carmel - Book I, Chapter 4)
Live as though only God and yourself were in this world, so that your heart may not be detained by anything human.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 144)
The soul that desires God to surrender himself to it entirely must surrender itself entirely to him without keeping anything for itself.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 128)
In remaining unattached, a person is unencumbered and free to love all rationally and spiritually, which is the way God wants him to love.
John of the Cross (Ascent of Mount Carmel - Book 3, Chapter 23)
You will say that I am lost;
That, being enamoured,
I lost myself; and yet was found.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom, 1586)
I no longer tend the herd
Nor have I any other work
Now that my every act is love.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom, 1586)
Contemplation is nothing else but a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love.
John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul - Chapter 10, 1585)
When the soul, then, in any degree possesses the spirit of solitary love, we must not interfere with it... In a word, it is for this love that we are all created.
John of the Cross (Notes to the Stanza 28)
What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 132)
God is awakened in the soul. God breathes in the soul... Oh, how happy is this soul that is ever conscious of God resting and reposing within its breast!
John of the Cross (Living Flame of Love, 1585)
Oh, night that guided me, Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, Lover transformed in the Beloved!
John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul, 1585)
I remained, lost in oblivion; My face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself, Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.
John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul, 1585)
Let us rejoice, O my Beloved!
Let us go forth to see ourselves in Thy beauty,
To the mountain and the hill,
Where the pure water flows:
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom, 1586)
The soul is drawing nearer to Him, and so she has greater experience within herself of the void of God, of very heavy darkness, and of spiritual fire which dries up and purges her, so that thus purified she may be united with Him.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom - Stanza 13, 1586)
The very pure spirit does not bother about the regard of others or human respect, but communes inwardly with God, alone and in solitude as to all forms, and with delightful tranquility, for the knowledge of God is received in divine silence.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 28)
In solitude she lived,
And in solitude built her nest;
And in solitude, alone
Hath the Beloved guided her,
In solitude also wounded with love.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom, 1586)
Reveal Thy presence,
And let the vision and Thy beauty kill me,
Behold the malady
Of love is incurable
Except in Thy presence and before Thy face.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom, 1586)
O killing north wind, cease!
Come, south wind, that awakenest love!
Blow through my garden,
And let its odours flow,
And the Beloved shall feed among the flowers.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom, 1586)
In search of my Love
I will go over mountains and strands;
I will gather no flowers,
I will fear no wild beasts;
And pass by the mighty and the frontiers.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom, 1586)
The soul that travels in the light and verities of the faith is secured against error, for error proceeds ordinarily from our own proper desires, tastes, reflections, and understanding, wherein there is generally too much or too little; and hence the inclination to that which is not seemly.
John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul, 1585)
My sole occupation is love.
All my occupation now is the practice of the love of God, all the powers of soul and body, memory, understanding, and will, interior and exterior senses, the desires of spirit and of sense, all work in and by love. All I do is done in love; all I suffer, I suffer in the sweetness of love.
John of the Cross (Notes to the Stanza 28)
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.
John of the Cross (Sayings of Light and Love - 54)
When a soul has advanced so far on the spiritual road as to be lost to all the natural methods of communing with God; when it seeks Him no longer by meditation, images, impressions, nor by any other created ways, or representations of sense, but only by rising above them all, in the joyful communion with Him by faith and love, then it may be said to have found God of a truth, because it has truly lost itself as to all that is not God, and also as to its own self.
John of the Cross (Notes to the Stanza 29)
My Beloved is the mountains,
The solitary wooded valleys,
The strange islands,
The roaring torrents,
The whisper of the amorous gales;
The tranquil night
At the approaches of the dawn,
The silent music,
The murmuring solitude,
The supper which revives, and enkindles love.
John of the Cross (Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom, 1586)
This divine knowledge of God never deals with particular things. This sublime knowledge can be received only by a person who has arrived at union with God, for it is itself that very union. It consists in a certain touch of the divinity produced in the soul, and thus it is God Himself who is experienced and tasted there… This knowledge savors of the divine essence and of eternal life. They are so sensible that they sometimes cause not only the soul but also the body to tremble. Yet at other times with a sudden feeling of spiritual delight and refreshment, and without any trembling, they occur very tranquilly in the spirit. Since this knowledge is imparted to thesoul suddenly, without exercise of free will, a person does not have to be concerned about desiring it or not. He should simply remain humble and resigned about it, for God will do His work at the time and in the manner he wishes. God does not bestow these favors on a possessive soul, since He gives them out of a very special love for the recipient. For the individual receiving them is one who loves God with great detachment.
John of the Cross (Ascent of Mount Carmel - Book II, Chapter 26)
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John of the Cross Biography

John of the Cross portrait

Born: 1542
Died: 1591

John of the Cross or in Spanish San Juan de la Cruz was a Spanish Carmelite friar, priest and mystic. He is best known for his insightful mystical writings and poetry. Alongside Teresa of Avila he has been very influential in Spanish Christian history.

Notable Works

Dark Night of the Soul (1585)
Living Flame of Love (1585)
The Ascent of Mount Carmel (1585)
Spiritual Canticle (1586)

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