Our questions

Today is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross, the youngest child of a poor family from Toledo, Spain during the mid-16th century. He entered the Carmelite monastery in 1563, went on to study theology at the famous University of Salamanca in 1564, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1567. Dissatisfied with the laxity of his order, he considered becoming a hermit but was persuaded by St. Teresa of Avila to remain a Carmelite and work for the reform of the order.

Not all Carmelites were pleased with his reforming activities, and he was actually imprisoned on order of a superior and subjected to great hardship for 9 months before escaping. His efforts led to the establishment of the Discalced Carmelites, a reformed branch of the Carmelite order. He is also noted for his spiritual writings: The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Living Flame of Love and perhaps his best known work, The Dark Night of the Soul.

The readings for the day continue the questioning of Jesus by the chief priest and elders. If only the advice of St. John of the Cross would have been available to the leaders:

Therefore, if someone were now to ask questions of God or seek any vision or revelation, he would not only be acting foolishly but would be committing an offense against God – for he should set his eyes altogether upon Christ and seek nothing beyond Christ.

God might answer him after this manner, saying: This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him. I have spoken all things to you in my Word. Set your eyes on him alone, for in him I have spoken and revealed to thee all things, and in him you shall find more than you ask for, even more than you want. (Ascent of Mt. Carmel)

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