Click here for PDF of my favourite poems of John of the Cross and some notes on the stanzas of The spiritual Canticle and chapter notes on The Ascent of Mount Carmel.
The Poems are best read in a quiet place. Read slowly – phrase by phrase – until the meaning of each phrase becomes clear like the stars becoming clear to the eye that sits and gazes upon them over time without distraction. Try not to think out what each phrase means. It is not an exercise of the mind. Contemplation is an exercise of the heart. Meaning reveals itself if we wait long enough – patience and perseverance. If we are in love we simply gaze at the one we love until the two of us become as one; until the other reveals who they are; this is the way John writes. He is conveying a mystical experience of having fallen in love. Let the rapture of love carry you.