“Without a light to guide”

I apologize again for my spotty posting these days.  Lack of power (less than 24 hours!) and a bad cold have been inhibiting.  Here’s a bit on St. John of the Cross, whose feast we celebrate today, as Fr. Mark points out: “just one week before the longest night of the year.”

John of the Cross: A Saint for Advent

Saint John of the Cross comes to us in the middle of Advent; he comes to us just one week before the longest night of the year. He comes to us at the very moment when God speaks to us through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, saying: “I am the Lord, there is no other; I form the light, and create the darkness” (Is 24:6). Saint John comes to guide us through the night; he is familiar with all its secrets.

Blest night of wandering
In secret, where by none might I be spied,
Nor I see anything;
Without a light to guide,
Save that which in my heart burnt in my side.

That light did lead me on,
More surely than the shining of noontide,
Where well I knew that One
Did for my coming bide;
Where he abode, might none but he abide.

(In an Obscure Night, trans. by Arthur Symons)

Poetry, the best poetry, is born of suffering and forged in the crucible of life. (To read more, go here: Though It Be Night

2 thoughts on ““Without a light to guide”

  1. I love St John of the Cross. I was thinking about him this morning when I was praying with John 20 — Mary came to the tomb “while it was still dark”. It reminded me both of John’s night and of the “snow poles” that mark the paths that are completely obscured by the snow.

    1. Thanks, as always, for your reflection, Tesa, and giving me more to think about. I like the link between Mary coming to the tomb “while it was still dark” and John of the Cross. I’ve got to think more about that.

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