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St John of the Cross

(9 Posts)
sieglinde Fri 14-Dec-12 13:44:31

This is an amazing saint. Today is his feast day. This is a bit of one of his poems:

Where have You hidden Yourself,
And abandoned me in my groaning, O my Beloved?
You have fled like the hart,
Having wounded me.
I ran after You, crying; but You were gone.

O shepherds, you who go
Through the sheepcots up the hill,
If you shall see Him
Whom I love the most,
Tell Him I languish, suffer, and die.

In search of my Love
I will go over mountains and strands;
I will gather no flowers,
I will fear no wild beasts;
And pass by the mighty and the frontiers.

O groves and thickets
Planted by the hand of the Beloved;
O verdant meads
Enameled with flowers,
Tell me, has He passed by you?


A thousand graces diffusing
He passed through the groves in haste,
And merely regarding them
As He passed
Clothed them with His beauty.

HolofernesesHead Sat 15-Dec-12 08:28:19

That's beautiful. It's very reminiscent of the Song of Solomon, isn't it?

I love St John of the Cross. And the quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald; 'In the real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.'

sieglinde Sat 15-Dec-12 09:53:35

Hi, Holo. Yes, it is a kind of poetic commentary on the Song of Solomon - and I love that F Scott Fitzgerald quotation.

There's lots more of the poem - I just posted a bit of it.

HolofernesesHead Mon 17-Dec-12 17:53:08

Lovely! smile

And for today:

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

sieglinde Tue 18-Dec-12 09:35:10

Oh, thank you, Holo. I adore the O antiphons. Magnificent in love and longing.

Do you know Gorecki's settings of them?

sieglinde Tue 18-Dec-12 10:18:51

Anyone who loves plainsong and is interested in the O antiphons might like this site


sieglinde Tue 18-Dec-12 10:19:17



worldgonecrazy Tue 18-Dec-12 10:23:53

I often wonder about the relationship between St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. I believe they were very deeply in love with each other, but due to their religious beliefs, never fulfilled this love physically or felt able to express it.

When I read their works and of their life, there is such a huge amount of passion that finds release in other ways. I'm never sure whether to feel sad that they were never able to find the happiness of being with one's life partner, or to feel glad that their faith was so deep that they were somehow able to transcend their need for each other.

sieglinde Tue 18-Dec-12 11:55:21

I don't think I'd see them as 'in love'. I think I'd see them as sharing their longing for Christ. That can be overwhelming, and it's just plain true that only a few people will get where you are coming from.

You could argue it the other way around; that many/most people sublimate their longing for God into an overestimation of human sexuality and what it can do. Maybe I've been unlucky, but I have never - erm - experienced physical bliss comparable to Teresa's ecstasies. I think you see this especially in the recurrence of a longing for a powerful, all-knowing lover... Not expecting widespread agreement here. grin

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