‘The Dark Night of the Soul

I’m beginning to read St. John of the Cross’s classic work of Christian mysticism ‘Dark Night of the Soul,’ and will attempt to post thoughts and ideas on the text throughout the coming days.

‘I abandoned and forgot myself, laying my face on my Beloved; all things ceased; I went out from myself, leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.’ (‘ Dark Night of the Soul’)

‘I have said that God is pleased with nothing but love; but before I explain this, it will be as well to set forth the grounds on which the assertion rests. All our works, and all our labours, how grand soever they may be, are nothing in the sight of God, for we can give Him nothing, neither can we by them fulfil His desire, which is the growth of our soul. As to Himself He desires nothing of this, for He has need of nothing, and so, if He is pleased with anything it is with the growth of the soul; and as there is no way in which the soul can grow but in becoming in a manner equal to Him, for this reason only is He pleased with our love. It is the property of love to place him who loves on an equality with the object of his love. Hence the soul, because of its perfect love, is called the bride of the Son of God, which signifies equality with Him. In this equality and friendship all things are common, as the Bridegroom Himself said to His disciples: I have called you friends, because all things, whatsoever I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you.’ (‘Notes on the Stanzas,’ Note to stanza 27)

2 thoughts on “‘The Dark Night of the Soul

  1. Theophilus January 25, 2012 / 3:27 am

    I experienced some of what St. John of the Cross describes during the time that my mother was dying. After that time, I did have a greater closeness with the Lord. It is quite interesting to me that the Hebrew tabernacle seems to be constructed as a mystic symbol: In the court, one is washed. Then one is submerged in darkness and beauty with only one source of light. Finally, one comes into the sweet-smelling presence and light of God.


    • whitefrozen January 25, 2012 / 9:36 pm

      Very well said. ‘The true light, which enlightens every man…’


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