Spend a few minutes
with Saint John of the Cross
and his Sayings of Light and Love.
To begin, click the arrow to the right.The slides will advance themselves, but you can alsonavigate yourself using the left and right arrowsor swiping left or right on a touch device.
The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil
bares itself more and more,
so does the Lord bare his treasures more.
O Lord, my God,who will seek you
with simple and pure love,
and not find that you are all one can desire, for you show yourself first
and go out to meet those who seek you?
Though the path is plain and smooth
for people of good will,
those who walk it will not travel far,
and will do so only with difficulty
if they do not have
good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit.
It is better to be burdened
and in company with the strong
than to be unburdened and with the weak.
When you are burdened
you are close to God, your strength,
who abides with the afflicted.
When you are relieved of the burden
you are close to yourself, your own weakness;
for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience.
Whoever wants to stand alone
without the support of a master and guide
will be like the tree
that stands alone in a field
without a proprietor.
No matter how much the tree bears,
passers-by will pick the fruit
before it ripens.
A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit
at the expected time.
The virtuous soul
that is alone
and without a master
is like a lone burning coal;
it will grow colder
rather than hotter.
Those who fall alone
remain alone in their fall,
and they value their soul little
since they entrust it
to themselves alone.
If you do not fear falling alone,
do you presume that you will rise up alone?
Consider how much more can be accomplished
by two together than by one alone.
while heavily laden
will find it difficult
to rise under the burden.
The blind person who falls
will not be able to get up alone;
the blind person who does get up alone will go off on the wrong road.
God desires the smallest degree
of purity of conscience in you more than all the works
you can perform.
God desires the least degree
of obedience and submissiveness more than all those services
you think of rendering him.
God values in you
the inclination to dryness
and suffering for love of him
more than all the consolations, spiritual visions, and meditations
you could possibly have.
Deny your desires and you will find
what your heart longs for.
For how do you know
if any desire of yours
is according to God?
O sweetest love of God,
so little known,
whoever has found this rich mine
is at rest!
Since a double measure of bitterness must follow the doing of your own will, do not do it
even though you remain
in single bitterness.
The soul that carries within itself
the least appetite for worldly things
bears more unseemliness and impurity
in its journey to God
than if it were troubled
by all the hideous and annoying temptations and darknesses describable;
for, so long as it does not consent
to these temptations,
a soul thus tried
can approach God confidently,
by doing the will of His Majesty,
who proclaims: Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh you (Mat. 11:28).
The soul that in aridity and trial
submits to the dictates of reason
is more pleasing to God
than one that does everything with consolation, yet fails in this submission.
Those who work for God with purest love
not only care nothing about whether others see their works, but do not even seek
that God himself know of them.
Such persons would not cease to render God the same services, with the same joy and purity of love, even if God were never to know of these.
God is more pleased by one work,
however small, done secretly,
without desire that it be known,
than a thousand done with the desire
that people know of them.
The pure and whole work
done for God in a pure heart merits a whole kingdom
for its owner.
A bird caught in birdlime has a twofold task:
It must free itself and cleanse itself.
And by satisfying their appetites,
people suffer in a twofold way:
They must detach themselves and,
after being detached,
clean themselves of what has clung to them.
Those who do not allow their
appetites to carry them away
will soar in their spirit
as swiftly as the bird
that lacks no feathers.
The fly that clings to honey
hinders its flight,
and the soul that allows itself
attachment to spiritual sweetness
hinders its own liberty
Withdraw from creatures
if you desire to preserve,
clear and simple in your soul,
the image of God.
Empty your spirit and withdraw far from them
and you will walk in divine lights,
for God is not like creatures.