St. John of the Cross ODC

St. John of the Cross
(Spanish: San Juan de la Cruz; 1542 – 14 December 1591)

Feast: December 14
Patron of: contemplative life; contemplatives; mystical theology; mystics; Spanish poets.

“Love is the measure by which we shall be judged.”

“If you do not learn to deny yourself, you can make no progress in perfection.

“Live in the world as if only God and your soul were in it; then your heart will never be made captive by any earthly thing.

“In detachment, the spirit finds quiet and repose for coveting nothing.

“God desires the smallest degree of purity of conscience in you more than all the works you can perform.

“O you souls who wish to go on with so much safety and consolation, if you knew how pleasing to God is suffering, and how much it helps in acquiring other good things, you would never seek consolation in anything; but you would rather look upon it as a great happiness to bear the Cross of the Lord.

“To be taken with love for a soul, God does not look on its greatness, but the greatness of its humility.

“And I saw a river over which every soul must pass to reach the Kingdom of Heaven, and the name of that river was suffering … and then I saw a boat which carried souls across the river, and the name of that boat was Love.
Saint John of the Cross

“The Lord measures our perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds, but by the manner in which we perform them.

“I wish I could persuade spiritual persons that the way of perfection does not consist in many devices, nor in much cogitation, but in denying themselves completely and yielding themselves to suffer everything for the love of Christ.

“Where there is no love, pour love in and you will draw love out.

St. Peter Damian wrote: " When a man lives piously, and yet suffers, let him think that he belongs to the true members of Christ; for as he now follows Him in suffering, so will he also partake of His glory in heaven."
St. Gregory Nazianzen said: "we ought rather to wish that God would punish than spare us, when we have sinned." To sin and not be punished in this world, is a sign that God will punish us in the world to come.

St. John asked of God, in his first Mass, the grace of remaining free from all mortal sin.

Galatians 5:24
And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof.

Prayer to St. John of the Cross

O glorious Saint John of the Cross, great Doctor of the Church, who, from very longing to be configured to Christ crucified, didst desire nothing more ardently, even to the last moment of thy holy life, than to suffer and to be despised and rejected of all men; and so great was thy thirst for suffering, that thy generous heart was filled with joy in the midst of most painful torments and afflictions; I beseech thee, dear Saint, by the glory thou didst merit by thy manifold sufferings, intercede for me with Almighty God and obtain for me love of suffering, together with grace and strength to endure all tribulations and adversities with dauntless courage; for these are the sure means of coming into the possession of that crown of glory which is prepared for me in heaven. Ah yes, dear Saint, from that high and glorious throne where thou sittest triumphant, hear, I beseech thee, my earnest entreaties, that, following thee, I may become a lover of the Cross and of suffering, and thus may merit to be thy companion in glory. Amen