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Saint John of The Cross

Saint John of the Cross is the mystical doctor. His writings on the soul united with God in prayer reveal the most profound mystical expressions, experiences and insights ever imagined. They are for those precise reasons often misunderstood or misinterpreted unless one has a wise spiritual director who is experienced in contemplative prayer and well versed in mystical and ascetical theology.

This Carmelite saint writings are the most profound, literary masterpieces both in his gorgeous prose and poetry. "As a poet St. John of the Cross ranks with the greatest. Many literary critics consider him Spain's greatest lyric poet. He was a supremely great artist, endowed with a full measure of natural skill." (E. Allison Peers, The Tablet, July 4, 1942, p 6.)

John has no peers when it comes to explaining and guiding others to a complete and total union with God in prayer through the mystical and contemplative life.

Juan de Yepes writings, example and witness to the gospels are extraordinary. He understood the mystery of God in Jesus Christ as far as it is humanly possible, lived it in intimate union with God and his Mother and wrote that mystery as it pertains to prayer life and the expression of God's charity in word and actions toward others.

St John of the Cross, 1542-1591. The Doctor of Mystical Theology, Feast Dec 14th.

When you sincerely desire inspiration to the fullest of your being, read John. Entreat him to guide you! He awaits your request. This particular doctor has a heavenly gift to bestow favors upon those who prayerfully petition him because he is so richly endowed.
Known before his religious life as Juan de Yepes, he is truly considered the mystical doctor not only by the Carmelite Order to which he wholeheartedly belonged but also for all posterity. His appeal and gifts are for the universal church and for all creatures who seek union with God in prayer and action. God poured his Spirit in him quite abundantly. John is a master and a marvel beyond description when it comes to the imitation of Christ. He lived a thoroughly, holy, prayerful life and expressed it with generous, Christian words and actions.
God leads us, generally, through the visible rather than the invisible. No better guide than the mystical doctor will you ever find. However, this saint is so subtle and profound that he is often misunderstood and misinterpreted. St John will marvelously lead you, usually, through someone else. John relied on others and allowed himself to be recruited by Teresa of Avila in her reform of Carmel. She sensed in him a holiness and wisdom that would help her in the renewal of the Order of the Virgin, especially with the men. John was one of the original founders of the new order that God inspired St Teresa to initiate and played a vital role in many important offices that he held.
When you are led by others, as John, you will become more humble and less susceptible to pride. In the spiritual ascent to God, there are many pitfalls, ambushes and spiritual traps for those who aspire for intimate union with God. When we allow God to completely purify us in this life and fully cooperate with God's Spirit, and those providentially selected for us, we will be in for such an awakening and amazement that we will not believe could be possible. This will normally happen ever so gradually.
God wants to inflame our souls. Thoughts of making spiritual acts of love become more acute, tangible and most consuming. The presence of Godís love becomes more alive, real and spiritually passionate. One becomes preoccupied in how to love more but the anxiety is gentle and not disturbing. In this stage of oneís life, there doesnít seem enough time to love. One begins to long for eternity and is caught up in contemplation. Oneís greatest sorrow will be focused on not having loved enough, more than, sorrow for past sins.
All Christians, no matter the division or denomination, have union with God if they possess charity. Charity is the life of love. It is the life of God. To be charitable is to be a Christian. There are many forms of love but the noblest is the love that shares, gives unstintingly and unreservedly. The Greek word for this love is called Agape. It is pure and perfect. It becomes transforming love when it is sacrificial for helping others at great cost to oneself. Jesus said it best: greater love than this no one has than to lay down one's very life for others-even if they are enemies or friends. Jesus wanted all to be his friends. This included his traitor, Judas. In Gethsemane, on the night of his arrest, he asked: Judas, have you come to betray me with a kiss? He did not shrink from being kissed by Judas to show that he desires all to approach him confidently if we can. Jesus is tenderly approachable to transform us. We can be sure that Jesus kissed his friends and love ones more frequently than is recorded in the gospels. Other books by reputable holy people also mentioned that Jesus shed more tears than the few occasions mentioned in scripture.
Jesus Christís leading human and divine characteristics were his extraordinary warmth and affection showed to all especially sinners who were truly sorry for bad deeds, those struggling with temptations and especially those who were eager to return to Godís friendship and belong wholly to him.

Our friar knew we could only give to others what we receive from God. John's charity was most generous. He will, usually, direct you to find a spiritual guide if you sincerely petition him. You should trust and submit to that person. God normally works through others although any holy and wise person on earth or in heaven can directly guide you. It does not matter who leads you to union. St John exhorts all to aim for union. Long for union. Pray for union. One has to be led to obtain union. It can come at the beginning, the middle or end of our spiritual journey. Pray that it may come soon. A unionized person is guided and is led as God ordains-with an almighty, spiritual power. Spiritual love becomes a consummate passion.
God may prefer to guide you by the Father, Son or Holy Spirit. Frequently God uses his Mother, Mary. Personally, God leads us through our own guardian angel. God leads most of us through the church. Remember that there is a price to be paid for union with God. Read St John of the Cross to discover the nature of union. His writings have the power to attract and excite you to a deeper union with God.