“Stanzas of the Soul” by St. John of the Cross (The Love Project, Day 41)

John of the Cross

On a dark night, kindled in love with yearnings — oh, happy chance!
I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest.
In darkness and secure, by the secret ladder, disguised — oh, happy chance!
In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest.

In the happy night, in secret, when none saw me,
Nor I beheld aught, without light or guide,
save that which burned in my heart.

This light guided me more surely than the light of noonday
to the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me —
A place where none appeared.

Oh, night that guided me, Oh night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, Lover transformed in the Beloved! …

St. John of the Cross, Prologue to Dark Night of the Soul

Today’s Love in Action: The theme of “dark nights” recurs frequently among the saints. This divine silence, some say, is actually God’s way of protecting us — without the darkness to shield us, we could not bear his divine light! If this captures your imagination, why not add this spiritual classic to your Lenten reading list?

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