Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church.

Today the Church celebrates the feast of “The Mystical Doctor,” St. John of the Cross. The inner life was his universe, a world he tread and mapped on his way to union with God. He was alive to God and the things of God like none other: his watchword was “nada” – “nothing.” Nothing, nothing, nothing, and at the summit, nothing –

Nothing but God, that is, and God is surely “no-thing.” But everything was also bathed in the light of God, like a moonlit landscape. St. John of the Cross has been called the “poet of the night,” for in the divine darkness he inhabited, he loved and praised God for the beauty of landscapes few human eyes have beheld. Like His Master, he was rejected by the men of his time, so badly beaten by his brothers in religion that he bore the wounds for the rest of his life. The price of the love of God is rejection by the world and its agents even in the Church, and this he gladly endured.

As with Elijah, and the Lord Himself, he was ill-treated by men who did with him whatever they pleased, and in this lay the judgment of God, for the light of God was shed on them, and that light is itself judgment, “revealing the thoughts of many hearts.” St. John was an artist, who carved and sketched beautiful crucifixes: the God he loved was the supreme artist who conformed this holiest man to the likeness of His beloved Son. All the rest is nothing.

December 14th, 2013