John of the Cross “The Dark Night of the Soul

John of the Cross worked along with Teresa of Avila to bring reformation to the Carmelite Order and throughout the Catholic Church in the 16th century.  Part of his work involved writing down his mystical experiences with God and a path to help others follow after; much like Teresa’s “Interior Castle”.  All of John’s books center around poetry he produced, and, he describes his works as explanations, or commentaries, on his poems.  In “the Dark Night of the Soul” he continues the theme of purging the soul of  evil so as to reveal the morning sun (God).  This theme is begun in his “Ascent of Mt. Carmel” and any reader who truly desires to understand the “Dark Night” should begin by reading this work.  These books combine to lead the reader down the path of perfection, in John’s words, “as obtainable in this life”.  Though the book is easy to read, it is often slow going because one must take time to truly understand what John is trying to express.  The road to perfection is not traveled in a day.If it is possible to separate books on the list for special mention, this is one of them, a true must read for everyone.

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