Set your eyes

Today is the Feast of St. John of the Cross, mystic and founder of the Discalced Carmelites, a reformed branch of the Carmelite order 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.

His works have been read and used since their issue in the 16th century. One of my favorite passages from his corpus is:

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)

In today’s gospel, the followers of St. John Baptist are sent to ask Jesus: “Are you the one [Messiah] who is to come, or should we look for another?” John of the Cross’ answer seems especially appropriate – for the followers of the Baptist and for us.

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