Dark Night of the Soul

The Dark Night of the Soul

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Publisher: TAN Books
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Format: Paperback
Pages: 194
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In Dark Night of the Soul, Saint John of the Cross presents for us a portrait painted from his own experience of one who advances successfully through the struggles of the spiritual life. The dark night that St John describes is not abandonment by God but special consideration from Him for those who desire to purify and perfect their souls.

With a soul purified from earthly attachments, we can advance through the much quoted but oft misunderstood dark night of the souls into unity with God. By accepting the desolation and difficulty of this process, the soul cooperates with God and opens itself to receiving and revealing more perfectly God's glory.

Be not afraid--Dark Night of the Soul, though austere and exacting in its instructions for holy living, is laced with St. John's charity and kindness, his love of all things beautiful and sacred--including you.

"There are others who are vexed with themselves when they observe their own imperfectness, and display an impatience that is not humility; so impatient are they about this that they would fain be saints in a day. Many of these persons purpose to accomplish a great deal and make grand resolutions; yet as they are not humble and have no misgivings about themselves, the more resolutions they make, the greater is their fall and the greater their annoyance, since they have no the patience to wait for that which God will give them when it pleases Him."

"These persons, in communicating, strive with every nerve to obtain some kind of sensible sweetness and pleasure, instead of humbly doing reverence and giving praise within themselves to God. And in such wise do they devote themselves to this that, when they have receive no pleasure or sweetness in the senses, they think that they have accomplished nothing at all. This is to judge God very unworthily; they have not realized that the least of the benefits which come from this Most Holy Sacrament is that which concerns the senses; and that the invisible part of the grace that it bestows is much greater; for, in order that they may look at it with the eyes of faith, God oftentimes withholds from them these other consolations and sweetnesses of sense."

"These persons have the same defect as regards the practice of prayer, for they think that all the business of prayer consists in experiencing sensible pleasure and devotion and they strive to obtain this by great effort, wearying and fatiguing their facultires and their heads; and when they have not found this pleasure they become greatly discourage, thinking that they have accomplished nothing."

"These persons likewise find it irksome when they are commanded to do that wherein they take no pleasure. Because they aim at spiritual sweetness and consolation, they are too weak to have the fortitude and bear the trials of perfection. They resemble those who are softly nurtured and who run fretfully away from everything that is hard, and take offense at the Cross, wherein consist the delights of the spirit."

"This is the first and principal benefit caused by this arid and dark night of contemplation: the knowledge of oneself and of one's own misery."

St. John of the Cross's Biography:
St. John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross was a major figure of the Counter-Reformation, a Spanish mystic, a Roman Catholic saint, a Carmelite friar and a priest who was born at Fontiveros, Old Castile. John of the Cross is known for his writings. Both his poetry and his studies on the growth of the soul are considered the summit of mystical Spanish literature and one of the peaks of all Spanish literature. He was canonized as a saint in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII. He is one of the thirty-six Doctors of the Church.

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A Key Book in the Western Catholic Tradition! But not to be read directly by everyone.