Sayings of Light and Love:


Sayings of Light and Love: I

In a series of very short maxims*, St. John of the Cross attempted to leave those he advised with some guidance as they continued in the life of prayer. The Sayings of Light and Love is a collection of all the known maxims that can be shown definitively to be by St. John of the Cross. I have chosen the first of these sayings to share today because it is particularly appropriate to the present situation in the Church. However, it is important to note that it is equally important to both the church and to individuals at almost any given time.

1. The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more.

Throughout church history people could have found use for this simple reminder. In the face of the "crisis" of the Church we face in America today (can there truly be a "crisis" if we know "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it?") we see a great outpouring of people at once condemning the truly terribly nature of the crimes, and yet supporting the Church (in the sense of the Mystical Body of Christ--the signpost of His Divine Establishment). Of course the excision of a cancerous lesion is always traumatic to the body as a whole, but there can be no healing until it is removed. Whether we all agree on the course and the fashion of this removal is incidental, I think all agree that no allowance can be made for those who prey upon the weakest and most disenfranchised. I tremble when I think about Jesus among the children, "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matt 19:14)" (I believe that there is another quote perhaps more to the point regarding "A millstone around his neck.") If so, what happens to one who leads a child astray? All such need our strongest and most ardent prayers and disapproval of their conduct. They need the healing love of the Holy Catholic Church, but they must not be allowed to wreak further havoc upon it.

The simple phrase of John of the Cross reminds us that Christ is ever nearer in time of trial. And we are also reminded of the words of our Savior, "And you will hear of wars and rumors of war. (Matt. 24:6)" In other words, every time is traumatic in its own way. If we are not seeing the church rent from the inside, we see persecutions outside. It helps at all times to recall the words of Paul, "In my weakness is His strength." So too with the body of the Church. Christ strengthens it with those who come out as prayer warriors, intent on enlisting in the supernatural battle that rages around us at all times. "For we are not contending against flesh and blood but against. . .the world rulers of this present darkness (Eph 6:12)."

The truths St. John of the Cross chooses to share with us are not the fruit of mere human wisdom. They are the profound fruit of intimate knowledge of the gospel and close communion with Our Lord Himself. St. John can show us a clear way to Jesus if we can clear away enough of the brush of our own uncertainties and doubts. The ultimate destiny of every Christian is to be a saint. Better for us all if more can accomplish this during their time on Earth.

* Note from above--after following the link, look in the archives, then look in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross for Sayings of Light and Love.


Bookmark and Share



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 22, 2002 7:15 PM.

Violence Morally Neutral? was the previous entry in this blog.

Reflection on the Introduction to the Second Eucharistic Prayer is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll