Carmelitemissionaries

Friday, 14 December 2012

FEAST OF ST.JOHN OF THE CROSS

 
Where have you hidden,
 
       Beloved, and left me moaning?

       You fled like the stag

       after wounding me;

          I went out calling you, but you were gone. 

(C, 1)







St. John of the Cross, this great lover of God, was a "child of love" in the truest sense of the word.  

  Love is at the heart of the spirituality of St. John of the Cross.




 To begin with, the starting point for approaching John's negation spirituality is the expe rience of being loved by God a God who desires to enter into a personal relationship of love with human beings and our response to that love. Any notion of self-denial, detach ment, renunciation, or emptiness that is not born of an experience of God's personal love makes no sense to John of the Cross. God always takes the initiative. "We love because he first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). In the beginning of the Spiritual Canticle , which sings of and recounts the Christian journey toward union with God in terms of love, John writes that the soul is only able to begin the journey of love in search for union with God because she first had an experience of God's love, and as a fruit of that experience, came to an aware ness that love is the purpose of existence (C, 1, 1). It is this experience of God's love that ignites the fire of love within a person so that one can begin the journey towards union with God through love.

 
       Where have you hidden,
       Beloved, and left me moaning?
       You fled like the stag
       after wounding me;
       I went out calling you, but you were gone. (C, 1)

  To possess God in all, you should not possess anything in all. For how can the heart that belongs to one belong completely to the other? (Letter 17 to Magdalena del Espiritu Santo, July 28, 1589)

  ultimately, only God can satisfy the human heart because God created us for a communion of life with God, created us for happiness and wholeness. And although the world and creatures are beautiful, made in the image and likeness of God, they cannot slake the deepest thirsts of the human spirit. Anything less than the infinite fails to satisfy us (F, 3, 18). This is a message that resounds throughout John's works. It is a truth he learned early in life. He grew up in misery and poverty; he knew hunger and abandonment. And like all the mystics of the great world religions, he was convinced that so much of human suffering comes from not realizing the truth that, ultimately, only God can satisfy the human heart.
       The experience, therefore, of being deeply loved by God, God who takes the initiative and invites us to enter into a personal relationship of love, is the foundation for understanding John's negation spirituality. This is important because not only does it emphasize that it is God who takes the initiative but, in terms of any form of self-denial or renunciation or dying to self, we must view it in the context of a personal relationship of love with God.

 Jesus, therefore, is the model of the path of negation according to John of the Cross. To follow Jesus, to live according to the Gospel, implies by its very nature a life of loving dedication to pleasing God and a surrender of false securities and selfishness. It means treading the path of the cross, the way of service, compassion, and self-giving love. It me ans dying to self in order that others may live.







( http://www.icspublications.org/archives/others/cs6_5.html)



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