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Ascent of Mount Carmel

Product no.: 978-0486468372
He was called "the greatest of all mystical theologians" by spiritual teacher Thomas Merton.

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Publisher's Synopsis
And when St. John of the Cross was proclaimed to be a Doctor of the Church, Pope Pius XI praised his work as "a guide and handbook for the man of faith who proposes to embrace a life of perfection." The writings of the pious Carmelite priest, as well as those of St. Teresa of Avila, are regarded as the peak of Spanish mysticism. This remarkable guide to the spiritual life stands as his most popular work.

Imprisoned in Toledo during the sixteenth century, St. John wrote about his spiritual struggles with a unique poetic vision, illuminating a path for the faithful to grow closer to God. He believed that a spiritual union was open to us, but not before experiencing the confusion and despair of a dark night of the soul. Yet John's words are uplifting, lyrical, and filled with hope for any soul who aspires to the Divine union. By emptying ourselves of earthly distractions—memory, will, and sensual desires—we can make room for the pure light of God's grace.

A primer to his Dark Night of the Soul, this acclaimed translation will resonate with modern pilgrims searching for wisdom.

Reprint of Ascent of Mount Carmel from The Complete Works of Saint John of the Cross (Volume I), originally published by The Newman Bookshop, Westminster, Maryland, 1946.

This translation by E. Allison Peers was hailed by the London Times "...the most faithful that has appeared in any European language." 

"...points out to souls the way of perfection as though illumined by light from on high, in his limpidly clear analysis of mystical experience. And although [his works] deal with difficult and hidden matters, they are nevertheless replete with such lofty spiritual doctrine and are so well adapted to the understanding of those who study them that they can rightly be called a guide and handbook for the man of faith who proposes to embrace a life of perfection."       ~Pope Pius XI


"In a dark night
With longings kindled in love
oh blessed chance
I went forth without being observed
My house already being at rest

Through darkness and secure
By the secret ladder disguised
oh blessed chance
Through darkness and in concealment
My house already being at rest

In the blessed night
In secret that none saw me
Nor I beheld aught
Without any other light or guide
Save that which was burning in the heart

That which guided me
More sure than the light of noonday
Where he was awaiting me
Him whom I knew well
In a place where no one appeared

Oh thou night that guided
Oh lovely night moreso than the dawn
Oh thou night that joined
Lover with beloved
Beloved in the lover transformed

Upon my flowery breast
Which I kept whole for himself alone
There he stayed sleeping
and I was caressing him,
And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze

The breeze from the turret
While I was parting his locks
With his gentle hand
He was wounding my neck
And causing all my senses to be suspended

I remained myself and forgot myself
My face reclined on the lover
All ceased and I abandoned myself
Leaving my concern
forgotten among the lilies."

St. John of the Cross, Spanish San Juan de la Cruz, original name Juan de Yepes y Álvarez, (born June 24, 1542, Fontiveros, Spain—died December 14, 1591, Ubeda; canonized 1726; feast day December 14), one of the greatest Christian mystics and Spanish poets, Doctor of the Church, reformer of Spanish monasticism, and cofounder of the contemplative order of Discalced Carmelites.

Editor Peers, E. Allison
Author St. John of the Cross
Translator Peers, E. Allison
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 352 pp.
Publisher Dover Publications 2008
Browse these categories as well: Mystic and Esoteric Christianity, Christian Classics: Ancient and Modern, The Church: Doctors, Saints and Mystics, Masterworks of the Western Mystery Tradition, Metaphysics, Mysticism and Initiation, Spiritual Biography and Autobiography, Noteworthy Releases 2008

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Number: 64 Page 1 of 64