John of the Cross was a sixteenth–century Spanish Carmelite monk, mystic, and contemporary of Teresa of Avila who became one of Christianity's foremost spiritual teachers. He is most famous for his lyrical poetry, in which he beautifully describes a tender, loving God. This volume contains his most stirring works, including the classic The Dark Night, in which John expands on the role of darkness in the spiritual journey: ,,It remains to be said, then, that even though this happy night darkens the spirit, it does so only to impart light concerning all things. And even though it humbles persons and reveals their miseries, it does so only to exalt them. And even though it impoverishes and empties them of all possessions and natural affection, it does so only that they may reach out divinely to the enjoyment of all earthly and heavenly things, with a general freedom of spirit in them all.', –– John of the Cross
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