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When I wrote yesterday’s post, I wasn’t conscious that we were on the doorstep of John of the Cross. I know that there are several “Greats” celebrated in December, but being on vacation has a way of erasing any sense of date or time…It’s quite delightful but not so good for “devotion to duty” as in a daily practice. I say that because yesterday’s post seems to me a surprisingly appropriate introduction to this memorial.

Discipline and self-denial are not popular terms in our era but, in truth, they might be the best – if not the only – way to find what many of us long for: deep and meaningful relationship with the Divine. Spiritual author, mystic, founder of communities of Carmelite monks and nuns, spiritual director to many including St. Teresa of Avila and Doctor of the Church, John of the Cross is one of the “bright lights” of Christianity. As we celebrate his feast, let us consider some of his thoughts for reflection.

Silence is God’s first language.

Where there is no love, pour love, and you will draw love out.

To love is to be transformed into what we love. To love God is therefore to be transformed into God.

Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction.

However softly we speak, God is so close to us that he can hear us; nor do we need wings to go in search of him, but merely to seek solitude and contemplate him within ourselves, without being surprised to find such good Guest there.