Gems of Spiritual Wisdom
John of the Cross (1542-1591) was a Spanish friar, theologian, poet and religious reformer. He is perhaps best known for the depth of insight of his poem and commentary entitled, The Dark Night of the Soul. Here are some gems of spiritual wisdom that come from his collection of sayings which he jotted down over many years for the sake of those who sought his advice for Christian living:
- Lord, my God, You are not a stranger to him who does not estrange himself from You.
- The soul that journeys to God but does not shake off its cares and quiet its appetites is like one who drags a cart uphill.
- See that you are not suddenly saddened by the adversities of this world, for you do not know the good they bring, being ordained in the judgments of God for the everlasting joy of the elect.
- He who seeks not the cross of Christ seeks not the glory of Christ.
- All the goodness we possess is lent to us, and God considers it His own work.
- The Devil fears a soul united to God as he does God Himself.
- More is gained in one hour from God’s good things than in a whole lifetime from your own.
- Never give up prayer; and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction.
- Remember always that everything that happens to you, whether prosperous or adverse, comes from God, so that you neither become puffed up in prosperity nor discouraged in adversity.
- Conquering the tongue is better than fasting on bread and water.
- Suffering for God is better than working miracles.
- In all things, both high and low, let God be your goal.