The Dark Night of the Soul

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Cosimo, Inc., Apr 1, 2007 - Religion - 240 pages
2 Reviews
While spiritual guidance may be simply a comfort to some, it is an absolute necessity to those who would undertake the monumental task of fulfilling the soul's destiny of unity with God. In coming into the presence of the divine Creator, man would find himself infinitely smaller and wholly finite, a crushing blow to the ego, but the necessary process by which one truly becomes communed with God. Proceeding through the forest of human imperfections, St. John of the Cross offers a light in the darkness. A sympathetic guide, this poem and its explication are offered to ease the task of shedding the mental trappings of human existence, and to encourage fortitude in the face of suffering and the detachment of the spirit from the merely imagined self in order to fully become a blessed child of God, ready and able to embrace the glory that entails. Spanish mystic and poet ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS (1542-1591) played a major role in the Catholic Reformation of the 16th century, and produced several renowned writings, including his Spiritual Canticle and Sayings of Love and Peace.
 

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This is a great book, delivered in the hands of the suffering soul by Understanding as a means of comfort and encouragement. It communicates words of encouragement and serves as a sign for the approaching dawn.

Contents

I
5
II
8
III
14
IV
17
V
23
VI
25
VII
30
VIII
33
XXI
94
XXII
102
XXIII
108
XXIV
117
XXV
122
XXVI
127
XXVII
133
XXVIII
142

IX
37
X
44
XI
48
XII
53
XIII
61
XIV
68
XV
72
XVI
75
XVII
78
XVIII
81
XIX
83
XX
88
XXIX
145
XXX
156
XXXI
163
XXXII
166
XXXIII
172
XXXIV
177
XXXV
183
XXXVI
185
XXXVII
195
XXXVIII
198
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Page xii - And he said to her : Thou hast spoken like one of the foolish women : if we have received good things at the hand of God, why should we not receive evil ? In all these things Job did not sin with his lips.
Page xii - For the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any twoedged sword : and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also, and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Page 23 - Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is bom of the Spirit is spirit.

About the author (2007)

St. John of the Cross represents the pinnacle of Spanish mysticism. In contrast to St. Teresa's works, which refer frequently to things of this world, St. John's poetry works on a purely spiritual, abstract plane. His poems consist of allegorical descriptions of the journey of his spirit through mortification of earthly appetites, illumination, and purification of the soul to union with God. In his prose commentaries on his own poems he laments the insufficiency of language to communicate his mystical experiences and his interior life. A disciple of St. Teresa, he became the spiritual director of her convent at Avila in 1572 and was responsible for carrying out many of her rigorous new programs for the Carmelite Order. Objections to his extreme reforms led to a period of imprisonment and torture in Toledo. During this time, according to tradition, he wrote Spiritual Canticle. His concentrated symbolic poetry has been studied with enthusiasm by such modern poets as T. S. Eliot, Paul Valery, and Jorge Guillen.

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