This light guided me: John of the Cross

Sunday, May 20, 2018 | 1:00pm

Juan De La Cruz

On this day of Pentecost, we turn to St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)—master mystic poet and writer during the Spanish Golden age of literature. St. John of the Cross became a Carmelite monk in 1563 and helped St. Teresa of Avila to reform the Carmelite order. He was imprisoned and endured persecution for his efforts. St. John has been compared with such great writers as St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

John of the Cross is known for his poetry. For our discussion, we will utilize his own written commentary on his poem; Dark Night. St. John chose the term "dark night" to describe the journey of the soul from darkness in to the light of a purified union with God. His commentary on the poem, entitled Dark Night of the Soul, grapples with man’s relationship with God. The book explores the poem’s subjects of man’s failings including pride, avarice, and envy. It considers the afflictions and pain suffered by the soul, and how we can reach divine love and union with God. (Paraphrase from the London Times review of interpretation by E. Allison Peers).

One reader described the goal of the book as “drawing closer to God thru being drawn further out of self.”

Participants are encouraged to read the poem Dark Night, and the commentary: Dark Night of the Soul prior to our meeting. The poem is readily available on-line. Many editions of the commentary are available. For unity, Paula recommends the translation of Dark Night of the Soul, by E. Allison Peers, available from such publishers as Dover Thrift Editions and the Image Classic series. Also available in e-book and PDF download form.

Facilitator: Paula Mays
Sunday, May 20, 1-2:30 pm
Space is limited. Please register: [email protected]

Dark Night is one of three commentaries written by St. John on his poetry. The others include:  The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Spiritual Canticle and the Living Flame.

This course is for those who seek to deepen their relationship with God through study and learning. As another reader of the work stated, “this is for those who want to go deep,” into their Christian faith. In his translation, Peters says, “St. John of the Cross explains the four benefits of the dark night: 1. Delight of peace, 2. Habitual remembrance and thought of God, 3. Cleanness and purity of soul, 4. Practice of the virtues.”

  • Admission
    • Free; Please register
  • Dates Offered
    • May 20, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm