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The Ascent of Mount Carmel by St. John of…

The Ascent of Mount Carmel

by St. John of the Cross

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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It has been sometime since I read John of the Cross and I think that biblical studies and Barth have ruined me for mysticism. Oh well. John of the Cross is a poetic soul and well I think there may be too much Neoplatonism in places, there is a lot of wisdom here. John of the Cross uses one of his poems to frame this discussion of progress in the spiritual life (like in Dark Night of the Soul) Ascent of Mt Carmel is built on a poem about a Dark Night of the Soul where we have the three 'dark nights': the dark night of the senses, the dark night of faith, and the dark night of God. Each of these correspond to times of night (early evening is the senses when we are starting out on the spiritual life; the dark night of faith is mid-night when the time seems darkest, and God is the dark night closest to the light of day where we exprience the soul in union with God). These correspond to the classic mystical progression of purgation, illumination, union, although there is purgation that happens at every stage of the dark night. We strip away material attachments, the benefits and supernatural gifts of God until we find our joy in God alone. A lot to ponder, and some interesting examples of medieval exegesis too. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
This is a recent publication of this master peice. The is a re-edited editon for today's reader. ( )
  shooster | Jan 2, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
St. John of the Crossprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lewis, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
This book is the first installment of a larger group. It addresses the spiritual path an individual should embark upon in their quest for union with God. This was written in the Golden era of Spain.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0800730127, Paperback)

One of St. John of the Cross' most important and insightful works, Ascent of Mount Carmel is a brilliant work of Christian mysticism. Considered one of the great Spanish poets, St. John depicts the soul's ascent to Mount Carmel--allegorically, the place of God--and the "dark night" that the soul must endure to reach it. St. John describes the different mystic experiences the soul encounters on its way to union with God through the dark night. Although St. John continues to describe the dark night in Dark Night of the Soul, the sequel to Ascent of Mount Carmel, this book provides a hauntingly beautiful, profound, and mystical account of Christian spirituality. It is highly recommended.

Tim Perrine
CCEL Staff Writer

It also now comes with a beneficial introduction to Ascent of Mount Carmel, an outline of St. John's life, and an introduction to St. John's works.

This edition features an artistic cover, a new promotional introduction, an index of scripture references, links for scripture references to the appropriate passages, and a hierarchical table of contents which makes it possible to navigate to any part of the book with a minimum of page turns.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:05 -0400)

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He was called "the greatest of all mystical theologians" by spiritual teacher Thomas Merton. And when St. John of the Cross was proclaimed to be a Doctor of the Church, Pope Pius XI praised his work as "a guide and handbook for the man of faith who proposes to embrace a life of perfection." The writings of the pious Carmelite priest, as well as those of St. Teresa of Avila, are regarded as the peak of Spanish mysticism. This remarkable guide to the spiritual life stands as his most popular work. Imprisoned in Toledo during the sixteenth century, St. John wrote about his spiritual struggles with a unique poetic vision, illuminating a path for the faithful to grow closer to God. He believed that a spiritual union was open to us, but not before experiencing the confusion and despair of a dark night of the soul. Yet John's words are uplifting, lyrical, and filled with hope for any soul who aspires to the Divine union. By emptying ourselves of earthly distractions-memory, will, and sensual desires-we can make room for the pure light of God's grace. A primer to his Dark Night of the Soul, this acclaimed translation will resonate with modern pilgrims searching for wisdom.… (more)

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