News and Updates: A Message from Dean Anderson, "10 Difficult Teachings from St. John of the Cross"

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Message from Dean Anderson, "10 Difficult Teachings from St. John of the Cross"

Here is a list of sayings from one of the Doctors of the Catholic Church that contemporary culture seems to reject.  Each statement was meant for deep reflection.  If one of these bothers you, take some time to meditate on it and let us know if you come to accept it or reject it and why.  How can we present these ideas in a way that makes sense to contemporary Christians?  Should we even try?  My hope is that we can generate some reflection and respectful dialogue.  This list does not begin to exhaust this saint’s difficult teachings, but it does cover one page of his writings pretty well.

1. Whoever knows how to die in all will have life in all.
2. Anyone who complains or grumbles is not perfect, nor even a good Christian.
3. The humble are those who hide in their own nothingness and know how to abandon themselves to God.
4. The meek are those who know how to suffer their neighbor and themselves.
5. If you desire to be perfect, sell your will, give it to the poor in spirit, come to Christ in meekness and humility, and follow him to Calvary and the sepulcher.
6. Those who trust in themselves are worse than the Devil.
7. Those who do not love their neighbor abhor God.
8. Suffering for God is better than working miracles.
9. Do not be suspicious of your brother or sister, for you will lose purity of heart.
10. As for trials, the more the better.

These are drawn from The Sayings of Light and Love 160-174 from The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, trans. Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (Institute for Carmelite Studies: Washington, 1991).


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