"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."

St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel."

Thomas á Kempis

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"The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more."

St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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 St John of the Cross   (1542 - 1591)

 

THE SPIRITUAL CANTICLE

by St John of the Cross

CONTENTS

 

Introduction To The Spiritual Canticle

Prologue to the Spiritual Canticle

Stanzas between the Soul and the Bridegroom (The whole canticle)

STANZA 1
The Search for the Beloved (stanzas 1-12).

The initial burst into song; the bride laments the absence of her bridegroom.

First steps of the spiritual journey.

Longings and the weariness of impatient love.

 

STANZA 2

STANZA 3

STANZA 4

STANZA 5

STANZA 6

STANZA 7

STANZA 8

STANZA 9

STANZA 10

STANZA 11

STANZA 12

STANZA 13

Preparations for Perfect Union (stanzas 13-21).

Encounters of loving union. Urgent desires for complete freedom from inner and outer obstacles.
 

STANZAS 14 and 15
STANZA 16
STANZA 17
STANZA 18
STANZA 19
STANZAS 20 and 21
STANZA 22

Full Union (stanzas 22-40).

The mutual, total surrender and gift of self in spiritual marriage.

Comparison of the present with the past.

Delights of union and desires for the vision of glory.


 

STANZA 23
STANZA 24
STANZA 25
STANZA 26
STANZA 27
STANZA 28
STANZA 29
STANZA 30
STANZA 31
STANZA 32
STANZA 33
STANZA 34
STANZA 35
STANZA 36
STANZA 37
STANZA 38
STANZA 39
STANZA 40
   
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