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Spiritual Hero of the Week: San Juan de la Cruz


San Juan de la Cruz [St. John of the Cross] is our spiritual hero this week. Born in 1541, San Juan de la Cruz grew up in poverty and was drawn to the contemplative life. His soul longed for mystical union with God that his piety offended members of his order, including its head. The turning point of his life came in 1567 when he met Teresa of Avila, a kindred spirit who was looking for a partner in her Carmelite reform movement. She appointed him prior of the first community of discalced friars. Later, John of the Cross served as a spiritual director at her convent. John wrote: “Contemplation is nothing else but a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love.” One of the great mystics of the Christian tradition, he teaches us how to draw closer to God during the “dark night of the soul.”


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