St. John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross (1542 – 1591) was a Carmelite priest, mystic, and author. He is also a Doctor of the Church. Both his poetry and his writings on the development of the soul are considered among the greatest on the subject of mystical theology.


Path of Perfection

But those who at this time are going on to perfection proceed in a very different way, and in a very different temper of mind: they grow and are built up in humility, not only looking on their own works as nothing, but also dissatisfied with themselves; they look upon all others as much better,…


Spiritual Pride

WHEN beginners become aware of their own fervor and diligence in their spiritual works and devotional exercises, this prosperity of theirs gives rise to secret pride—though holy things tend of their own nature to humility—because of their imperfections; and the issue is that they conceive a certain satisfaction in the contemplation of their works and…


Dark Night of the Soul: The Imperfection of Beginners

SOULS begin to enter the dark night when God is drawing them out of the state of beginners, which is that of those who meditate on the spiritual road, and is leading them into that of proficients, the state of contemplatives, that, having passed through it, they may arrive at the state of the perfect,…


Introduction to the Dark Night of the Soul

The following is an Introduction penned by Fr. Benedict Zimmerman for Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross. The Dark Night, though only a short treatise in comparison with the remaining works of St. John of the Cross, is perhaps from a practical point of view the most important of the…