Sayings of Light and Love 2

Ruth Burrows, a Carmelite nun and modern writer says, “Being called to Carmel means…to live intensely, for all, the human destiny to be, with Jesus, a capacity for God’s self-giving.” 

Another Carmelite resource, Footprints of Love, says “The Church is the space in which the people gather who have let themselves be spoken to by God to the core of their being.”

Love and service for John of the Cross are the hallmarks of what it means to live a full, genuine, authentic Christian life.

During these times of testing remember how much good you can do for the whole world.

Sayings of Light and Love 2

Many people from all walks of life sought John out for his spiritual direction and wisdom. One of the methods he used was to jot down little ‘sayings’ which people could take away for personnel prayer and reflection.

Though they were written for individual people they form the basis of John’s teaching on the spiritual life, that is the experience of a life lived in relationship with God.

In his prologue to the sayings he makes it clear that he is very aware that it is one thing to be able to express something in words but quite another to be able to embody, to live the reality of the words. It is his desire that those who receive them will be ‘stirred’, stirred to go forward in the service and love of God.

When we are stirred something shifts, somethings changes in us, we experience, we see things in a new way. To be stirred suggests movement, it may be unsettling, a call to action or even a call to less action!

John is writing for, in his language, ‘the wayfarer’, a person on a journey, on the move;

‘They will be sayings of discretion for the wayfarer, light for the way and love in the wayfaring.’

And he goes on;

‘let us speak to the heart words bathed in sweetness and love…removing obstacles and stumbling blocks from the paths of many souls who unknowingly trip and unconsciously walk in the path of error…’

These sayings are to encourage, to uplift, not to trip people up, catch them out, but enable them to see, to move into deeper levels of awareness.

For John, God is a God of mercy, who always comes to our aid because without Him we can do nothing.

The pure spirit does not bother about the regard of others or human respect,

But communes inwardly with God, alone and in solitude

And with delightful tranquillity.

For the knowledge of God is received in

Divine silence.

John of the Cross

Sayings of light and love 28

Well and good if all things change,

Lord God,


 we are

rooted in you.

John of the Cross

Sayings of light and love 34

Reflect that your guardian angel does not always move your desire for an action, but does always enlighten your reason. Hence in order to practice virtue do not wait until you feel like it, for your reason and intellect are sufficient.

John of the Cross

Sayings of light and love 37

Lord, you return gladly and lovingly to lift up the one who offends you, but I do not turn to raise and honour the one who annoys me!

John of the Cross

Sayings of light and love 47

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