St John of the Cross – 14 Dec
Born in poverty. Cared for the poor in the hospital in Medina del Campo, Spain. Carmelite lay brother in 1563 at age 21, though he lived more strictly than the Rule required. Studied at Salamanca, Spain. Carmelitepriest, ordained in 1567 at age 25. Persuaded by Saint Teresa of Avila to begin the Discalced or barefoot reform within the Carmelite Order, he took the name John of the Cross. Master of novices. Spiritual director and confessor at Saint Teresa‘s convent. His reforms did not set well with some of his brothers, and he was ordered to return to Medina del Campo. He refused, and was imprisoned at Toledo, Spain, escaping after nine months. Vicar-general of Andalusia, Spain. His reforms revitalized the Order. Great contemplative and spiritual writer. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI on 24 August 1926.
Never was fount so clear,
undimmed and bright;
From it alone, I know proceeds all light
although ’tis night.
– Saint John of the Cross
At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love. – Saint John of the Cross
Just as we can never separate asceticism from mysticism, so in Saint John of the Cross we find darkness and light, suffering and joy, sacrifice and love united together so closely that they seem at times to be identified. – Thomas Merton
If you do not learn to deny yourself, you can make no progress in perfection. – Saint John of the Cross
In detachment, the spirit finds quiet and repose for coveting nothing. Nothing wearies it by elation, and nothing oppresses it by dejection, because it stands in the center of its own humility. – Saint John of the Cross
The Lord measures our perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds, but by the manner in which we perform them. – Saint John of the Cross