(DOWNLOAD E-PUB) ⛅ La noche oscura del alma ï eBook or E-pub free
I took this book up on my 10 day Mount Shasta retreat and it became the reverberating background of my whole experience In the translation by mystic scholar Mirabai Starr, St John of the Cross s description of the phases of the soul as she el alma nears unity with God far transcends any traditional definitions of Catholicism The Dark Night of the Soul is not merely a period of intense depression it is the annihilation of the ego, the final stage when spiritual rituals, symbols and beliefs no longer suffice and there is no comfort but emptiness the awareness that I Am Nothing In every major religion from Buddhism to Judaism, enlightenment or spiritual union or perfect consciousness is described as the ultimate Nothing Zero The dissolution of self into Oneness Like Rumi s devotional poetry to the eternal presence within, St John of the Cross posits the soul as lover and God as Beloved In the darkness of night, the wounded soul rises up in response to the affections of the will Like a lioness or a she bear that goes looking for her lost cubs, the wounded soul goes anxiously forth in search of her God In darkness, she feels only his absence She feels like she is dying with love for him Mind, body and soul are purified and illuminated in preparation for total union and the process, according to John, is excruciating The price, as Rumi says, is your life But to know God means to know yourself, and as Jung said, The way to light is through the darkness For anyone who is inflamed by love longing, this book is a beautiful and validating guideLove is like a fire It rises perpetually upward, yearning to be absorbed at its very center One fine day in the fourth grade at Immaculate Conception School, one of my classmates raised her hand and asked how were your sins cleaned out of you in Purgatory The old nun sneered, They re burned out of you Now I know where she heard that It s all right here in this book According to St John of the Cross while your soul is in Purgatory the love of God ignites it like a log And, like a log, its composition changes as the fire burns The entire month or so that it took me to read this difficult book I kept asking myself the same question of St John of the Cross that I asked secretly about Sr Gertrude Margaret s answer How do you know Did you visit Purgatory and come back to tell us So why did I read this book One fine Saturday morning during Advent I went to mass It wasn t Sunday, but I wanted to appreciate that Advent is different from the rest of the year and clean my spiritual house for the arrival of Jesus That particular Saturday just happened to be the Feast of St John of the Cross In his sermon, the priest told of how St John of the Cross struggled to found a religious order against heavy opposition from the church hierarchy, and that he wrote this book I immediately went to the library, anticipating that this would be a story of his personal struggles and would be inspirational The next day I told the priest I had borrowed this book from the library and he just rolled his eyes.I should have put it back on the shelf when I saw the word mysticism The only mystic I ever knew of was Pete Townsend of the Who and mysticism is a word that I just can t comprehend It s like partnership and passive activities in accounting WHAT THE HELL IS IT Apparently, mysticism is the state of transcending human existence to be one with God That s a beautiful thought, so I read the book.Ultimately, what I gleaned from it is that in order for the soul to be united with God it must free itself of all earthly chains This occurs in the Dark Night According to St John, the Dark Night could last for years And to prevent the soul from becoming complacent, God will test it and try it to the point of despair.Fast forwarding 40 years to a nun I know now Sr Jane says that in her opinion and she adds the disclaimer that her opinion is hers alone and not representative of official church doctrine you suffer Purgatory right here on earth in your lifetime I had a hard enough time reading Fulton J Sheen last year I m done with 16th Century Spanish mystics.
First edition, it appears, came out in the fifties Today I got my own copy in Arabic from the Carmelites of Lebanon It is a sheer delight to read In the first chapter he draws a beautiful image of the loving mother who is God likened to She has to wean her child I just loved this paragraph and we are fortunate that the book is also online for reading and on the Carmelites s site themselves, straight from the mouth of the hourse Here is what John of the Cross says,2 It should be known, then, that God nurtures and caresses the soul, after it has been resolutely converted to his service, like a loving mother who warms her child with the heat of her bosom, nurses it with good milk and tender food, and carries and caresses it in her arms But as the child grows older, the mother withholds her caresses and hides her tender love she rubs bitter aloes on her sweet breast and sets the child down from her arms, letting it walk on its own feet so that it may put aside the habits of childhood and grow accustomed to greater and important things The grace of God acts just as a loving mother by re engendering in the soul new enthusiasm and fervor in the service of God With no effort on the soul s part, this grace causes it to taste sweet and delectable milk and to experience intense satisfaction in the performance of spiritual exercises, because God is handing the breast of his tender love to the soul, just as if it were a delicate child 1 Pt 2 2 3.1 this concept is so special to me as it reminds me of Psalm 131as it says 1 My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me 2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me 3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forever. I finally managed to make my way through this It s remarkable reading, but it sure ain t easy reading This book was so heavy I might only be able to read blogs by the Real Housewives for the rest of my life. I ve been wanting to read St John of the Cross for some time, and awhile ago I happened to have picked up this little hardcover cheaply I finally began digging into it, and after reading about half, I have decided to read it later in a different translation It seems Mirabai Starr has taken it upon herself to take a few liberties with the text, two of which are bound to annoy me The first is that she has minimized all direct Christian references The second is that she has translated El Diablo as the fragmented self and has replaced all references to evil, sin, hell, and the devil, as states and entities with other such psychobabblish terms If you want to interpret these Christian terms as metaphorical, fine, but by all means, use the original metaphors don t attempt some bland substitution that kills the poetry and in all likelihood butchers the sense Of course the poet can speak to people of other religions, but let s not pretend St John of the Cross didn t have a specifically Christian understanding of God and humanity and sin I certainly don t want to read Rumi with all references to Mohammed replaced by some nonspecified prophet figure either If readers can t take away truth from a writing without being catered to by having an author s original vocabulary replaced with terms they find appealing never mind, rant over. There are two ways of thinking and speaking of God The first is the apophatic way, or the via negativa, the way of negation This way of thinking and speaking focuses on the transcendence of God and the inability of human language and experience to encompass all that God is and does The second is the kataphatic way, or the via affirmativa, the way of affirmation This way of thinking about God focuses on His immanence and His presence with us in and through His creation Charles Williams has rightly pointed out that each Christian must approach God through both ways to some degree or risk falling into heretical beliefs If God were ultimately transcendent, then we would become Gnostics, shunning matter and the material world as evil If God were ultimately immanent, then we would become pantheists, unable to separate God from His creation With that in mind, I recently read The Dark Night of the Soul by St John of the Cross, a practitioner par excellence of the apophatic way I intend to wrestle with this tough little book and its author and perhaps come to fisticuffs before it s all over We ll see how it turns out.First of all, some background St John of the Cross wrote of the dark night of the soul, a time when the first excitement of conversion and service to God wanes, and the believer is left with a sense of emptiness, a sense of God s absence He may continue to practice the same spiritual exercises as before, but the joy in them is gone It seems that he takes no pleasure in the things of God, and this leads to a spiritual depression Most if not all believers will experience this at some point in their lives St Augustine, St Francis, Martin Luther, G.K Chesterton and C.S Lewis all experienced these dark nights It is the goal of St John to show that when this occurs it is God s instrument to empty us of our pride and selfishness and focus us fully on Him, drawing us closer to Divine Love So far so good.St John open with an excellent discussion of the various manifestations of pride, including prideful things such as the desire to be teachers rather than learners, the desire to experience a spiritual high a sort of spiritual gluttony , and the desire to be recognized for one s great learning humility holiness St John stresses total reliance on Divine Grace and the inability of humans to stir up within themselves these experiences of God God alone must give a sense of His presence as a gift St John is also very concerned with articulating a theology of suffering as an aid to those who suffer in their Christian walk All of these things are good, and I appreciated them greatly.That being said, and I feel a bit guilty saying this, I didn t like this book overall The whole of the book is permeated with an ascetic sort of dualism The goal of salvation in the mind of St John of the Cross is for the soul to become one with God, to enjoy unity with its Creator In order for this to happen, the person must be emptied, first of every physical desire and pleasure and then of every spiritual desire and pleasure A perfect emptiness is necessary before the soul may enjoy unity with God Biblically the ultimate end of salvation is the resurrection of the body and eternal life in the new heavens and new earth St John s method, like the entire ascetic project, finds some sort of sharp division between body and soul and holds the soul up as the better of the two In the ascetic scheme we come closer to the Giver and embrace Him by scorning His gifts This whole way of thinking misses the fact that creation is charged with the presence of God Through sacraments and scripture, we see God everywhere and His truth proclaimed throughout the universe An author would be puzzled if I claimed to be his biggest fan and then proved it by refusing to read his books If we love an author, we will generally love his books, and it often works the other way as well if we love the books we will develop a love for the author This in essence is the kataphatic way, the way of affirmation St Francis revered nature and found God Dante loved Beatrice and found God Chesterton embraced the world and found God Lewis loved Balder and found God.How do we balance this, though, to avoid having idolatrous thoughts of God One theme that is abundantly clear throughout The Dark Night of the Soul is that God is far than we see of Him in Scripture and far than we see of Him in creation Because He is transcendent all that we know of Him through His world and Word are still but part of the whole Our finite minds and language cannot properly conceive the full majesty and glory of God In St John s logic this leads us to the obvious conclusion that we ought to mortify the flesh and spirit in order that our souls may peel back the veil and see God as He truly is However, not only is this not the only conclusion, I believe it is the wrong conclusion Martin Luther himself recognized the transcendence of what he termed the Hidden God He recognized all the same problems as St John His solution however was that we will never be creatures that will be able to penetrate that veil for we will always be finite creatures God would be totally unknowable to us except for the fact that He condescended to meet us where we are This means that we should look at the things God has revealed about Himself in order to know Him, physical things like the Word and Sacraments Only through these things can we know God, for we cannot peel back the veil and see the ineffable nature of God By this the two ways, the apophatic and kataphatic are reconciled in a way that St John can t quite reach.St John says that many who devote themselves to the contemplation of God that he encourages find it repugnant to speak of the things they have learned in secret for human language cannot tell of what they experience However, we are told in Scripture that Jesus is the Word of God God has chosen to reveal Himself in words Language is God s divine creation It is true that we may not know God as He really is, but that is because we cannot comprehend Him as He is We can only know Him as He reveals Himself, and therefore through special revelation In other words, words In fact I may go as far as to say that God does not want us to contemplate His nature or thoughts apart from what He has revealed to us Deut 29 29.Overall I had a hard time with this book I really wanted to like it I absolutely loved The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, but this was as different from the world affirming Lawrence as possible Often throughout Church history Christians have held that the way of affirmation, of knowing God through His creation and revelation, is the beginning which will eventually lead to the way of negation, knowing God in a contemplative fashion apart from the things revealed Charles Williams reverses the two saying that we may start with contemplation, but we must move on to affirmation as we mature I believe that this is Biblical in light to the great emphasis in the Scriptures on resurrection, material blessings, and the creation in general As Williams writes, It is necessary first to establish the awful difference between God and the world before we can be permitted to see the awful likeness It is, and will always remain, necessary to remember the difference in the likeness Neither of these two Ways indeed is, or can be, exclusive. Songs of the SoulOn a dark night,Inflamed by love longing O exquisite risk Undetected I slipped away.My house, at last, grown still.Secure in the darkness,I climbed the secret ladder in disguise O exquisite risk Concealed by the darkness.My house, at last, grown still.That sweet night a secret.Nobody saw me I did not see a thing.No other light, no other guideThan the one burning in my heart.This light led the wayMore clearly than the risen sunTo where he was waiting for me The one I knew so intimately In a place where no one could find us.O night, that guided me O night, sweeter than sunrise O night, that joined lover with Beloved Lover transformed in Beloved Upon my blossoming breast,Which I cultivated just for him,He drifted into sleep,And while I caressed him,A cedar breeze touched the air.Wind blew down from the tower,Parting the locks of his hair.With his gentle handHe wounded my neckAnd all my senses were suspended.I lost myself Forgot myself.I lay my face against the Beloved s face.Everything fell away and I left myself behind,Abandoning my caresAmong the lilies, forgotten. not for the faint of heart (DOWNLOAD E-PUB) ß La noche oscura del alma × Plus Les Choses Divines Sont En Soi Claires Et Manifestes, Plus Elles Sont Naturellement Obscures Et Cach Es L Me Il En Est Ici Comme De La Lumi Re Naturelle Plus On Veut Fixer Le Soleil En Face, Et Plus On Blouit La Puissance Visuelle Et On La Prive De Lumi Re De M Me, Quand Cette Divine Lumi Re De La Contemplation Investit L Me Qui N Est Pas Encore Compl Tement Clair E, Elle Produit En Elle Des T N Bres Spirituelles, Parce Que Non Seulement Elle La D Passe, Mais Parce Qu Elle La Prive De Son Intelligence Naturelle Et En Obscurcit L Acte Sur Le Chemin Mystique, L Exp Rience De La Nuit N Est Ni Noire, Ni Dramatique, Ni Tragique Ce Magnifique Trait Po Tique Montre Au Contraire Qu Elle Est R Ceptrice De Le Ons Divines Une Uvre Majeure De La Voie N Gative This is not a book for everyone Well, it s potentially for everyone Anyone who not only believes in Christ, but desires to be as close to God through Him as possible The trick is that it comes at a terrible price few are willing to pay Yet, for those who will, the rewards are infinite.This is a work of classic mystical theology from the Catholic Reformation period by a Spanish mystic popularly known as St John of the Cross Read this book, and you ll find what an appropriate nickname that really is It s a truism of mystical piety that the closer one comes to God, the greater one struggles with his or her demons For those who desire to step into the light of union with God defined by John of the Cross as perfect love , the way is through the dark night of the senses and the dark night of the spirit.If you don t know what I mean, read Mother Teresa s Come Be My Light, in order to see what the dark night of the soul looks and feels like in an actual human being.John of the Cross does not hold up union with God or the dark night in a judgmental sense, suggesting that Christians who never go through such experiences are less than true Christians It is simply a way provided for those desiring to go deeper in their faith, as the cliche goes You have no idea how deep until you take the dive for yourself.This is a painfully honest, authentic, ultimately hopeful and deeply inspiring book by a challenging soul from the Christian tradition.