Aphorisms and quotations, poems, phrases from the writings of San Giovanni della Croce, Spanish priest and poet who lived in the sixteenth century, defined a master of the faith for having manifested in his life a marked inclination to love for neighbor, supported in his work by a deep contemplative prayer. In 1568 he was the first of the friars to adhere to the reform of the Carmelite Order, promoted by Saint Teresa of Jesus. The reformed order will be called the Discalced Carmelites.
Quotes St. John of the Cross
- Come on, get up: do not stagnate in superficial pity or in a weak virtuous commitment. Face the adversities of the night decisively, go up the rugged path of nothing to draw on the incandescence of Love. On the mountain, beyond the nothing-not-God, the All-God is enjoyable for you.
- The soul always tries to lean: not to the easiest, but to the most difficult; not the tastiest, but the most tasteless; not to what he likes most, but to what he likes least; not to rest, but to fatigue; not to comfort, but to what is not comfort; not at most, but at least; not to the highest and most valued, but to the most vile and despised; not looking for something, but not wanting anything; not in search of the better side of created things, but of the worst and in wanting nakedness, deprivation and poverty than there is in the world for the love of Jesus Christ.
- To reach possession of everything, not wanting to own anything. To come to be everything, not wanting to be anything. To get to know everything, don't try to know anything in anything. To come to what you don't enjoy now, you have to go where you don't enjoy. To get to what you don't know, you have to go through where you don't know. To get hold of what you don't have, you have to go through where you now have nothing. To get to what you are not, you have to go through where you are not now.
- When you stop on something, you neglect to rush towards the whole. And when you come to have everything, you must possess it without wanting anything, because if you want to possess something entirely, you do not have your only treasure in God.
- Blessed is nothing and blessed is the hiding place of the heart, which has so much strength to subject everything, not wanting to subjugate anything for itself and leaving every care to be able to burn more in love.
- To seek God requires a naked heart, strong and free from all evils and goods that are not purely God ... These are of three kinds: temporal, sensual and spiritual. Since both the one and the other, if he stays there or stops you, occupy the heart and are the soul of impediment for the nakedness of spirit which is required to follow the direct path of Christ, to go after him ...
- He who wants to be alone without the support of a teacher and a guide, is like a tree alone and without a master in a field, the fruits of which, however abundant, will be picked by passersby and therefore will not reach maturity.
- It is better to sit close to a strong person than to be weightless to a weak person. When you are loaded, you stay close to God who is your strength, who in fact stands with the troubled; when you are weightless, you stand by yourself, that you are your own weakness. The virtue and strength of the soul grow and strengthen in the travails of patience.
Aphorisms of Saint John of the Cross
- The virtuous soul, but alone, and without a master, is like lit but isolated coal, which instead of igniting will cool down.
- Deny your desires and you will find what your heart desires. What do you know if your desire is according to God?Recommended readings
- Phrases of St. Dominic of Guzman: biography
- Phrases of Santa Gemma Galgani: quotes and aphorisms
- Phrases of Saint Anthony of Padua: quotes, aphorisms
- Phrases of San Filippo Neri: famous aphorisms from the writings
- Phrases of San Camillo de Lellis: quotes and thoughts
- Even if for men of good will the way is easy and light, those who walk will progress little and with difficulty, if they do not have good legs, courage and tenacious insistence in it.
- The tree cultivated and carefully guarded by its owner bears fruit in the hoped-for time.
- Even if you remain in bitterness, do not try to do your will because, by doing it, you will feel doubly bitter.
- God is more pleased with that soul who with aridity and labor submits to what is reasonable that the one who, lacking in this, performs all her actions in the midst of consolations.
- Do not show yourself to creatures, if in your soul you wish to keep the face of God clear and simple. Rather empty and completely detach your spirit from those and you will walk in the divine light, since God is not like them.
- God likes more an action, however small, done in secret and without the desire to be known, than a thousand others done with the desire that they are seen by men. In fact, he who acts for God with the purest love, not only does it not matter that he is seen by men, but he does not even act to be seen by God; indeed, if he does not know it, the soul will not cease to render the same services to him with the same joy and with the same purity of love.
Phrases Saint John of the Cross
- An action done entirely and purely for God, with a pure heart, creates a whole kingdom for those who make it.
- The fly that lands on honey makes its flight impossible, the soul, which does not want to give up the flavor of the spirit, prevents its freedom and its contemplation.
- A sparrow that has landed on the mistletoe is doubly fatigued and detaching and cleaning itself. He also suffers in two ways who satisfies his appetite: in detaching himself and, once free, in purifying himself of what has remained attached to him.
- Do not do what, nor say an important word, such that Christ would not do and would not say, if he were in the state in which you are, and had the age and health that you have.
- Do not ask for anything other than the cross, and precisely without consolation, because this is perfect.
- Lord, my God, do not turn away from those who do not turn away from you: how can they say that you are absent?
- You will not find what you want or most desire, neither on this road of yours nor for that of high contemplation, but in a great humility and submission of heart.
- Make sure not to get involved in other people's things and not to let them even pass through your memory, because maybe you won't be able to complete your work.