Tag Archives: John of the Cross

Article: “O Sweet Cautery”: John of the Cross and the Healing of the Natural World, by Mary Frohlich

In her article for Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society (v. 43, n. 2, Dec. 2016, pp. 308-331), Mary Frohlich  argues for the value of the great 16th century Spanish mystic’s spirituality in meeting today’s ecological challenges. In the article’s abstract, Mary writes

Contrary to what may appear in a superficial understanding of his spirituality, John of the Cross strongly affirms the goodness of creation and its capacity to mediate the presence of God. He specifically identifies the web of mutual interactions among creatures as a primary manifestation of divine love, and he affirms that the more a person participates in God, the more he or she participates fully and joyfully in this community of creatures. Activation of creation’s full capacity to mediate divinity, however, depends on the full fruition of the human person in God. Experientially, this involves a lengthy process of a back-and-forth rhythm between the glimpse of God in creation and the complete renunciation of dependence on creaturely knowledge in favor of faith. John’s writings invite us to participate in the healing of the natural world by pursuing this contemplative rhythm all the way to its fruitional climax.

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.