He was called "the greatest of all mystical theologians" by spiritual teacher Thomas Merton. 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.