I was reading (and getting a lot out of) the book I got today, or yesterday, its after midnight, at the Hope Center. Dark nights of the Soul. Its so good and rich! I was worried it would be new agey or too self help-y and if that was the case it would go back from whence it came…
In it, he mentions St. John of the Cross. I instantly recognized it as being catholic but the reference was so good I wanted to know more about this person. He is HERE on wikipedia if you are interested. His writings and poetry are just beautiful and have sort of drawn me in.
He was imprisoned by monks after being a part of a reformation. I cant figure out if it was a reform of the catholic church or just a section of it. Anyways, he didn’t seem like your normal catholic priest. So he was in prison and beaten by monks for being a part of this reformation. He was kept in a holding cell no larger than his body for 9 months. Taken out only to be beaten. During this time he clung to God and got so much inspiration for his writings. Finally he escaped with these writings he collected during his time there, which are the poems we have to read now. I read that he later felt a burden for people, Believers, that are faced with Dark nights of the soul. Like he suffered what he did to give inspiration and encouragement to these people.
Here are his poems if you want to check them out. I found some quotes today, these were my favorites..
“The soul that is attached to anything however much good there may be in it, will not arrive at the liberty of divine union. For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast; for, until the cord be broken the bird cannot fly.”
Since joy comes only from God, John believed that someone who seeks happiness in the world is like “a famished person who opens his mouth to satisfy himself with air.”
“Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love.”
“In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.“
I then looked for people who have been inspired by this mans writings and found this musician from New York city. Check out his blog. I cant find where I want to quote, the whole thing needs to be read to get it.
The days are getting shorter. The nights are getting colder. And it makes me think: my heart is like a pile of kindling I’ve been collecting for such a long time. What use will it have sitting there in the corner, gathering frost, except to be set on fire?
But I just really enjoyed that paragraph. Puts it all into perspective for me. Set our hearts on fire, Lord!!