St. John of the Cross
Growing up, I was very Blessed to have my Mamá Lola tell us Stories of the Saints. Their lives, their challenges, their Miracles, their sufferings, but most of all, I remember how Awesome they were! They were like Super-Heroes!
Whenever I would ask my Mamá Lola about a Saint with my name, she would smile and say that there were none.
I would smile and in my innocence would always exclaim that I would be the First!
That seems so long ago…
In regards, to San Juan…there were so many San Juanes that I sort of amalgamated them 😕
It was not until I met Vlad that San Juan de la Cruz stood out once again.
Do Enjoy his Works and perhaps this will entice you to read more about him and his life…
But please do remember this, “His writings on the soul united with God in prayer reveal the most profound mystical expressions, experiences and insights ever imagined. They are for those precise reasons often misunderstood or misinterpreted unless one has a wise spiritual director who is experienced in contemplative prayer and well versed in mystical and ascetical theology” (Doctors of the Catholic Church.com).
We tend to read what WE want to read. Interpret our way. Such is the case with any written work, thus, why should this differ?
“Cántico” in English.
He showed his secret heart;
had certain marvelous matters to confide.
Proposals. For my part
I kept nothing aside,
but made a promise: to become his bride.
“Cantico” en Español.
¿Por qué, pues has llagado
aqueste corazón, no le sanaste?
Y pues me le has robado,
¿por qué así le dejaste,
y no tomas el robo que robaste?
“Noche oscura” en Español.
¡Oh noche que me guiaste!,
¡oh noche amable más que el alborada!,
¡oh noche que juntaste
amado con amada,
amada en el amado transformada!
“Noche oscura” in English AND Spanish.
In joyous night,
In secret, no one having seen me,
Nor did I look upon a something,
Having no light nor guidance
But that which blazed within a heart.
¡Oh llama de amor viva
que tiernamente hieres
de mi alma en el más profundo centro!
Pues ya no eres esquiva
acaba ya si quieres,
¡rompe la tela de este dulce encuentro!
¡Oh cauterio süave!
¡Oh regalada llaga!
¡Oh mano blanda! ¡Oh toque delicado
que a vida eterna sabe
y toda deuda paga!
Matando, muerte en vida has trocado.
¡Oh lámparas de fuego
en cuyos resplandores
las profundas cavernas del sentido,
que estaba oscuro y ciego,
con estraños primores
color y luz dan junto a su querido!
¡Cuán manso y amoroso
recuerdas en mi seno
donde secretamente solo moras,
y en tu aspirar sabroso
de bien y gloria lleno,
cuán delicadamente me enamoras!
Oh white hot flame of passion,
how carefully you scorch me
in the center of my soul’s deepest part!
No longer are you distant
attain it if you wish now,
rip the curtain for our sweet rendezvous.
Oh cautery so pleasant!
Oh medicated ulcer!
With a delicate, soft hand and light touch
that endless life it knows of
and every debt it pays back,
And by killing, you have changed death to life.
Oh lambent flaming lanterns
in whose resplendent flickers
the deep underground caverns of my soul
that once were blind and sullen
with exquisite strange beauty
to their lover shine warm, glorious light.
So lovesome and so peaceful
you call within my bossom
where in secret isolation you reside;
and in your fragrant breathing
so full of glorious virtue
with such splendor you enkindle my love.
And various poems, among which “El pastorcico” truly stands out…
San Juan…tu supiste en carne viva la desolación…intercede por mi…te pido y me ayudes a no caer en desesperación…