The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross

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The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross

Paperback: 814 pages
This revised edition of The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross was produced to mark the fourth centenary of the death of St. John of the Cross. The result is an English translation of his writings that preserves the authentic meaning of the great mystics writings, presents them as clearly as possible, and at the same time gives the reader the doctrinal and historical information that will lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the teachings of the Mystical Doctor.

Included in The Collected Works are:
The Ascent of Mount Carmel
The Dark Night
The Spiritual Canticle
The Living Flame of Love
St. John’s poetry
Extant letters and other counsels

The Spanish Carmelite St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) is the most important mystical writer in the Catholic tradition. He also played a leading role in the 16th-century reform of the Carmelites.

He was mentored by and corresponded with the older Carmelite, Teresa of Ávila. Both his poetry and his studies on the development of the soul are considered the summit of mystical Spanish literature and among the greatest works of all Spanish literature.

John is a saint because his life was a heroic effort to live up to his name: “of the Cross.” “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34b)

For John, the mystic path meant living with an all-consuming desire more fully to know and love God, abandoning everything that did not contribute to that communion. God illuminates the individual who, in consequence, has the desire and power to shed the illusions of this world. These illusions include the messages of the senses, which distort the reality of union with God.