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November 19th, 2011


Ascent of Mount Carmel | Christian Classics Ethereal Library

There are at least seven problems that come with rejoicing in my good works.

1) I become prideful.
2) I start judging others.
3) I seek extrinsic rewards.
4) I make sour the sweetness of what i do (i need to get back to this one)
5) I stop my spiritual journey in its tracks
6) I succumb to self deception, and
7) i become "incapable of receiving reasonable instruction about the good works that i should perform."

             From John of the Cross, Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Book III, Chapter 25 (in my copy, Chapter 28 at the link??).
Dark Night
poetry by John of the Cross
(1542 - 1591)

English version by
Ivan M. Granger


(Songs of the soul delighted at having reached the high state of perfection, the union with God, by way of spiritual negation.)

On a darkened night,
Anxious, by love inflamed,
-- O happy chance! --
Unnoticed, I took flight,
My house at last at peace and quiet.

Safe, disguised by the night,
By the secret ladder I took flight,
-- O happy chance! --
Cloaked by darkness, I scaled the height,
My house at last at peace and quiet.

On that blessed night,
In secret, and seen by none,
None in sight,
I saw with no other guide or light,
But the one burning in my heart bright.

This guide, this light,
Brighter than the midday sun,
Led me to the waiting One
I knew so well -- my delight!
To a place with none in sight.

O night! O guide!
O night more loving than the dawn!
O night that joined
The lover with the Beloved;
Transformed, the lover into the Beloved drawn!

Upon my flowered breast,
For him alone kept fair,
There he slept
There I caressed,
There the cedars gave us air.

I drank the turret's cool air
Spreading playfully his hair.
And his hand, so serene,
Cut my throat. Drained
Of senses, I dropped unaware.

Lost to myself and yet remaining,
Inclined so only the Beloved I spy.
All has ceased, all rests,
Even my cares, even I;
Lost among the lilies, there I die.







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