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The ascent of Mount Carmel
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From Publishers Weekly
"The soul must pass through the dark night of the senses because all the passions it feels for created things are pure darkness in God's eyes," wrote the Spanish mystic Saint John of the Cross in the late 16th century. In Ascent of Mount Carmel: John of the Cross, John discusses the soul's need to pass through spiritual darkness before union with the divine can be possible. In a beautiful text that has been "edited and mildly modernized" by Henry Carrigan Jr., John offers an early treatise on his spiritual poetry, outlining themes that he fleshed out more fully in his more famous later work, Dark Night of the Soul.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Publishers Weekly, August 12, 2002
. . . a beautiful text. . .
While imprisoned, St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) devoted himself to writing poetry depicting his spiritual struggles. Ascent of Mount Carmel is an extended treatise on his poetry. While edited and modernized in this edition, the book retains the spirit and life of the original text. Ascent of Mount Carmel is the latest addition to Paraclete's distinguished Christian Classics series.
St. John believed that a soul wishing to reach Divine union must actively submit itself to a dark night of the senses. In this night, the soul must willingly detach itself from sensual desires, and empty itself of understanding, memory, and will, all of which lead the soul away from the purity of union with God. During this purification, the soul is plunged into darkness, without the light of its senses or reason, and without the light of God's grace which it is preparing to receive.
Because the treatise was never completed, the journey through the "dark night" is never completed. However, in Ascent of Mount Carmel, St. John provides an illuminating and lyrical guide for the soul desiring to reach union with God. His writings are sure to resonate with all modern pilgrims seeking wisdom from the early saints.
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