Article: The New Self of John of the Cross, by David B. Perrin

David’s article appeared in Vinayasadhana: Dharmaram Journal of Psycho-Spiritual Formation, v. 5, n. 1, January 2014. Here is its abstract:

This essay outlines the journey of transformation and conversion in God as reflected in the writings of Saint John of the Cross. (1542-1591). Recognized as a mystic and Doctor of the Church John speakes to us of an “old self” (largely characterized by a pre-occupation with self-interest) who is slowly transformed into the “new self” (largely characterized by a life focused on generous self-giving, even to the point of extreme suffering and death). John of the Cross, well known for his description of the “Dark Night of the Soul” and the “Spiritual Marriage,” is often overlooked as a model of personal-spiritual transformation because “The Dark Night” and the “Spiritual Marriage” seem so unattainable by the ordinary pilgrim. However, this article suggests John’s journey is a journey possible in every individual and is characteristic of the call to holiness reflected in the Christian journey for all. Although few may receive the fullness of the graces of the “Dark Night” and the “Spiritual Marriage,” transformation into the “new self” is the journey to which we are called and is more common than we might first assume.

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