John of the Cross (Harper Collins Spiritual Classics Series)
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John of the Cross was a sixteenth-century Spanish Carmelite monk, mystic, and contemporary of Teresa of Avila who became one of Christianity's foremost spiritual teachers. He is most famous for his lyrical poetry, in which he beautifully describes a tender, loving God. This volume contains his most stirring works, including the classic The Dark Night, in which John expands on the role of darkness in the spiritual journey:
"It remains to be said, then, that even though this happy night darkens the spirit, it does so only to impart light concerning all things. And even though it humbles persons and reveals their miseries, it does so only to exalt them. And even though it impoverishes and empties them of all possessions and natural affection, it does so only that they may reach out divinely to the enjoyment of all earthly and heavenly things, with a general freedom of spirit in them all." -- John of the Cross
St John of the Cross (1542-1591) was born Juan de Yepes Alvarez in a small village in Castile, Spain. In his youth he met the Carmelite nun Teresa (later St Teresa) of Avila, and joined her monastic reform movement. He is considered, along with Teresa, as the founder of the Discalced Carmelites, men and women who dedicated themselves to a life of prayer. Along with his classic Dark Night of the Soul, he is also known for writing Ascent of Mount Carmel, A Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and The Bridegroom Christ. His works are highly regarded and widely studied by the church today.