John, Dark Night 2 22

CHAPTER XXII


Explains the third(281) line of the second stanza.

1 IT is very clear that it was a happy chance for this soul to go forth withsuch an enterprise as this, for it was its going forth that delivered itfrom the devil and from the world and from its own sensuality, as we havesaid. Having attained liberty of spirit, so precious and so greatly desiredby all, it went forth from low things to high; from terrestrial, it becamecelestial; from human, Divine. Thus it came to have its conversation in theheavens, as has the soul in this state of perfection, even as we shall goon to say in what follows, although with rather more brevity.

2. For the most important part of my task, and the part which chiefly led me to undertakeit, was the explanation of this night to many souls who pass through it andyet know nothing about it, as was said in the prologue. Now this explanationand exposition has already been half completed. Although much less has beensaid of it than might be said, we have shown how many are the blessings whichthe soul bears with it through the night and how happy is the chance wherebyit passes through it, so that, when a soul is terrified by the horror ofso many trials, it is also encouraged by the certain hope of so many andsuch precious blessings of God as it gains therein. And furthermore, foryet another reason, this was a happy chance for the soul; and this reasonis given in the following line:

In darkness and in concealment.

CHAPTER XXIII


Expounds the fourth line(282) and describes the wondrous hiding place whereinthe soul is set during this night. Shows how, although the devil has an entranceinto other places that are very high, he has none into this.

1 IN concealment' is as much as to say 'in a hiding-place,' or 'in hiding';and thus, what the soul here says (namely, that it went forth 'in darknessand in concealment') is a more complete explanation of the great securitywhich it describes itself in the first line of the stanza as possessing,by means of this dark contemplation upon the road of the union of the loveof God.

2. When the soul, then, says 'in darkness and in concealment,' itmeans that, inasmuch as it journeyed in darkness after the manner aforementioned,it went in hiding and in concealment from the devil and from his wiles andstratagems. The reason why, as it journeys in the darkness of this contemplation,the soul is free, and is hidden from the stratagems of the devil, is thatthe infused contemplation which it here possesses is infused into it passivelyand secretly, without the knowledge of the senses and faculties, whetherinterior or exterior, of the sensual part. And hence it follows that, notonly does it journey in hiding, and is free from the impediment which thesefaculties can set in its way because of its natural weakness, but likewisefrom the devil; who, except through these faculties of the sensual part,cannot reach or know that which is in the soul, nor that which is takingplace within it. Wherefore, the more spiritual, the more interior and themore remote from the senses is the communication, the farther does the devilfall short of understanding it.

3. And thus it is of great importance forthe security of the soul that it s inward communication with God should beof such a kind that its very senses of the lower part will remain indarkness(283) and be without knowledge of it, and attain not to it: first,so that it may be possible for the spiritual communication to be more abundant,and that the weakness of its sensual part may not hinder the liberty of itsspirit; secondly because, as we say, the soul journeys more securely sincethe devil cannot penetrate so far. In this way we may understand that passagewhere Our Saviour, speaking in a spiritual sense, says: 'Let not thy lefthand know what thy right hand doeth.'(284) Which is as though He had said:Let not thy left hand know that which takes place upon thy right hand, whichis the higher and spiritual part of the soul; that is, let it be of sucha kind that the lower portion of thy soul, which is the sensual part, maynot attain to it; let it be a secret between the spirit and God alone.

4. It is quite true that oftentimes, when these very intimate and secret spiritualcommunications are present and take place in the soul, although the devilcannot get to know of what kind and manner they are, yet the great reposeand silence which some of them cause in the senses and the faculties of thesensual part make it clear to him that they are taking place and that thesoul is receiving a certain blessing from them. And then, as he sees thathe cannot succeed in thwarting them in the depth of the soul, he does whathe can to disturb and disquiet the sensual part--that part to which he isable to attain--now by means of afflictions, now by terrors and fears, withintent to disquiet and disturb the higher and spiritual part of the soulby this means, with respect to that blessing which it then receives and enjoys.But often, when the communication of such contemplation makes its naked assaultupon the soul and exerts its strength upon it, the devil, with all his diligence,is unable to disturb it; rather the soul receives a new and a greater advantageand a securer peace. For, when it feels the disturbing presence of the enemy,then--wondrous thing!--without knowing how it comes to pass, and withoutany efforts of its own, it enters farther into its own interior depths, feelingthat it is indeed being set in a sure refuge, where it perceives itself tobe most completely withdrawn and hidden from the enemy. And thus its peaceand joy, which the devil is attempting to take from it, are increased; andall the fear that assails it remains without; and it becomes clearly andexultingly conscious of its secure enjoyment of that quiet peace and sweetnessof the hidden Spouse, which neither the world nor the devil can give it ortake from it. In that state, therefore, it realizes the truth of the wordsof the Bride about this, in the Songs, namely: 'See how threescore strongmen surround the bed of Solomon, etc., because of the fears of the night.'(285)It is conscious of this strength and peace, although it is often equallyconscious that its flesh and bones are being tormented from without.

5. At other times, when the spiritual communication is not made in any great measureto the spirit, but the senses have a part therein, the devil more easilysucceeds in disturbing the spirit and raising a tumult within it, by meansof the senses, with these terrors. Great are the torment and the afflictionwhich are then caused in the spirit; at times they exceed all that can beexpressed. For, when there is a naked contact of spirit with spirit, thehorror is intolerable which the evil spirit causes in the good spirit (Imean, in the soul), when its tumult reaches it. This is expressed likewiseby the Bride in the Songs, when she says that it has happened thus to herat a time when she wished to descend to interior recollection in order tohave fruition of these blessings. She says: 'I went down into the gardenof nuts to see the apples of the valleys, and if the vine had flourished.I knew not; my soul troubled me because of the chariots'--that is, becauseof the chariots and the noise of Aminadab, which is the devil.(286)

6. At other times it comes to pass that the devil is occasionally able to see certainfavours which God is pleased to grant the soul when they are bestowed uponit by the mediation of a good angel; for of those favours which come througha good angel God habitually allows the enemy to have knowledge: partly sothat he may do that which he can against them according to the measure ofjustice, and that thus he may not be able to allege with truth that noopportunity is given him for conquering the soul, as he said concerning Job.(287)This would be the case if God allowed not a certain equality between thetwo warriors--namely, the good angel and the bad--when they strive for thesoul, so that the victory of either may be of the greater worth, and thesoul that is victorious and faithful in temptation may be the more abundantlyrewarded.

7. We must observe, therefore, that it is for this reason that,in proportion as God is guiding the soul and communing with it, He givesthe devil leave to act with it after this manner. When the soul has genuinevisions by the instrumentality of the good angel (for it is by thisinstrumentality that they habitually come, even though Christ reveal Himself,for He scarcely ever appears(288) in His actual person), God also gives thewicked angel leave to present to the soul false visions of this very typein such a way that the soul which is not cautious may easily be deceivedby their outward appearance, as many souls have been. Of this there is afigure in Exodus,(289) where it is said that all the genuine signs that Moseswrought were wrought likewise in appearance by the magicians of Pharao. Ifhe brought forth frogs, they brought them forth likewise; if he turned waterinto blood, they did the same.

8. And not only does the evil one imitateGod in this type of bodily vision, but he also imitates and interferes inspiritual communications which come through the instrumentality of an angel,when he succeeds in seeing them, as we say (for, as Job said(290): Omne sublimevidet). These, however, as they are without form and figure (for it is thenature of spirit to have no such thing), he cannot imitate and counterfeitlike those others which are presented under some species or figure. And thus,in order to attack the soul, in the same way as that wherein it is beingvisited, his fearful spirit presents a similar vision in order to attackand destroy spiritual things by spiritual. When this comes to pass just asthe good angel is about to communicate spiritual contemplation to the soul,it is impossible for the soul to shelter itself in the secrecy and hiding-placeof contemplation with sufficient rapidity not to be observed by the devil;and thus he appears to it and produces a certain horror and perturbationof spirit which at times is most distressing to the soul. Sometimes the soulcan speedily free itself from him, so that there is no opportunity for theaforementioned horror of the evil spirit to make an impression on it; andit becomes recollected within itself, being favoured, to this end, by theeffectual spiritual grace that the good angel then communicates to it.

9. At other times the devil prevails and encompasses the soul with a perturbationand horror which is a greater affliction to it than any torment in this lifecould be. For, as this horrible communication passes direct from spirit tospirit, in something like nakedness and clearly distinguished from all thatis corporeal, it is grievous beyond what every sense can feel; and this lastsin the spirit for some time, yet not for long, for otherwise the spirit wouldbe driven forth from the flesh by the vehement communication of the otherspirit. Afterwards there remains to it the memory thereof, which is sufficientto cause it great affliction.

10. All that we have here described comes to pass in the soul passively, without its doing or undoing anything of itselfwith respect to it. But in this connection it must be known that, when thegood angel permits the devil to gain this advantage of assailing the soulwith this spiritual horror, he does it to purify the soul and to prepareit by means of this spiritual vigil for some great spiritual favour and festivalwhich he desires to grant it, for he never mortifies save to give life, norhumbles save to exalt, which comes to pass shortly afterwards. Then, accordingas was the dark and horrible purgation which the soul suffered, so is thefruition now granted it of a wondrous and delectable spiritual contemplation,sometimes so lofty that there is no language to describe it. But the spirithas been greatly refined by the preceding horror of the evil spirit, in orderthat it may be able to receive this blessing; for these spiritual visionsbelong to the next life rather than to this, and when one of them is seenthis is a preparation for the next.

11. This is to be understood with respect to occasions when God visits the soul by the instrumentality of a good angel,wherein, as has been said, the soul is not so totally in darkness and inconcealment that the enemy cannot come within reach of it. But, when GodHimself visits it, then the words of this line are indeed fulfilled, andit is in total darkness and in concealment from the enemy that the soul receivesthese spiritual favours of God. The reason for this is that, as His Majestydwells substantially in the soul, where neither angel nor devil can attainto an understanding of that which comes to pass, they cannot know the intimateand secret communications which take place there between the soul and God.These communications, since the Lord Himself works them, are wholly Divineand sovereign, for they are all substantial touches of Divine union betweenthe soul and God; in one of which the soul receives a greater blessing thanin all the rest, since this is the loftiest degree(291) of prayer in existence.


12. For these are the touches that the Bride entreated of Him in the Songs,saying: Osculetur me osculo oris sui.(292) Since this is a thing which takesplace in such close intimacy with God, whereto the soul desires with suchyearnings to attain, it esteems and longs for a touch of this Divinity morethan all the other favours that God grants it. Wherefore, after many suchfavours have been granted to the Bride in the said Songs, of which she hassung therein, she is not satisfied, but entreats Him for these Divine touches,saying: 'Who shall give Thee to me, my brother, that I might find Thee alonewithout, sucking the breasts of my mother, so that I might kiss Thee withthe mouth of my soul, and that thus no man should despise me or make boldto attack me.'(293) By this she denotes the communication which God Himselfalone makes to her, as we are saying, far from all the creatures and withouttheir knowledge, for this is meant by 'alone and without, sucking, etc.'--thatis, drying up and draining the breasts of the desires and affections of thesensual part of the soul. This takes place when the soul, in intimate peaceand delight, has fruition of these blessings, with liberty of spirit, andwithout the sensual part being able to hinder it, or the devil to thwartit by means thereof. And then the devil would not make bold to attack it,for he would not reach it, neither could he attain to an understanding ofthese Divine touches in the substance of the soul in the loving substanceof God.

13. To this blessing none attains save through intimate purgationand detachment and spiritual concealment from all that is creature; it comesto pass in the darkness, as we have already explained at length and as wesay with respect to this line. The soul is in concealment and in hiding,in the which hiding-place, as we have now said, it continues to be strengthenedin union with God through love, wherefore it sings this in the same phrase,saying: 'In darkness and in concealment.'

14. When it comes to pass that those favours are granted to the soul in concealment (that is, as we havesaid, in spirit only), the soul is wont, during some of them, and withoutknowing how this comes to pass, to see itself so far with drawn and separatedaccording to the higher and spiritual part, from the sensual and lower portion,that it recognizes in itself two parts so distinct from each other that itbelieves that the one has naught to do with the other, but that the one isvery remote and far withdrawn from the other. And in reality, in a certainway, this is so; for the operation is now wholly spiritual, and the soulreceives no communication in its sensual part. In this way the soul graduallybecomes wholly spiritual; and in this hiding- place of unitive contemplationits spiritual desires and passions are to a great degree removed and purgedaway. And thus, speaking of its higher part, the soul then says in this lastline:

My house being now at rest.(294)

CHAPTER XXIV


Completes the explanation of the second stanza.

1 THIS is as much as to say: The higher portion of my soul being like the lowerpart also, at rest with respect to its desires and faculties, I went forthto the Divine union of the love of God.

2. Inasmuch as, by means of that war of the dark night, as has been said, the soul is combated and purgedafter two manners-- namely, according to its sensual and its spiritual part--withits senses, faculties and passions, so likewise after two manners-- namely,according to these two parts, the sensual and the spiritual--with all itsfaculties and desires, the soul attains to an enjoyment of peace and rest.For this reason, as has likewise been said, the soul twice pronounces thisline--namely,(295) in this stanza and in the last--because of these two portionsof the soul, the spiritual and the sensual, which, in order that they maygo forth to the Divine union of love, must needs first be reformed, orderedand tranquillized with respect to the sensual and to the spiritual, accordingto the nature of the state of innocence which was Adam's.(296) And thus thisline which, in the first stanza, was understood of the repose of the lowerand sensual portion, is, in this second stanza, understood more particularlyof the higher and spiritual part; for which reason it is repeated.(297)

3. This repose and quiet of this spiritual house the soul comes to attain,habitually and perfectly (in so far as the condition of this life allows),by means of the acts of the substantial touches of Divine union whereof wehave just spoken; which, in concealment, and hidden from the perturbationof the devil, and of its own senses and passions, the soul has been receivingfrom the Divinity, wherein it has been purifying itself, as I say, resting,strengthening and confirming itself in order to be able to receive the saidunion once and for all, which is the Divine betrothal between the soul andthe Son of God. As soon as these two houses of the soul have together becometranquillized and strengthened, with all their domestics--namely, the facultiesand desires--and have put these domestics to sleep and made them to be silentwith respect to all things, both above and below, this Divine Wisdom immediatelyunites itself with the soul by making a new bond of loving possession, andthere is fulfilled that which is written in the Book of Wisdom, in thesewords: Dum quietum silentium contineret omnia, et nox in suo cursu mediumiter haberet, omnipotens sermo tuus Domine a regalibus sedibus.(298) Thesame thing is described by the Bride in the Songs,(299) where she says that,after she had passed by those who stripped her of her mantle by night andwounded her, she found Him Whom her soul loved.

4. The soul cannot come to this union without great purity, and this purity is not gained without greatdetachment from every created thing and sharp mortification. This is signifiedby the stripping of the Bride of her mantle and by her being wounded by nightas she sought and went after the Spouse; for the new mantle which belongedto the betrothal could not be put on until the old mantle was stripped off.Wherefore, he that refuses to go forth in the night aforementioned to seekthe Beloved, and to be stripped of his own will and to be mortified, butseeks Him upon his bed and at his own convenience, as did the Bride,(300)will not succeed in finding Him. For this soul says of itself that it foundHim by going forth in the dark and with yearnings of love.

CHAPTER XXV


Wherein is expounded the third stanza.

In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me, Nor I beheld aught, Withoutlight or guide, save that which burned in my

heart.

EXPOSITION

1 THE soul still continues the metaphor and similitude of temporal night indescribing this its spiritual night, and continues to sing and extol thegood properties which belong to it, and which in passing through this nightit found and used, to the end that it might attain its desired goal withspeed and security. Of these properties it here sets down three.

2. The first, it says, is that in this happy night of contemplation God leads the soulby a manner of contemplation so solitary and secret, so remote and far distantfrom sense, that naught pertaining to it, nor any touch of created things,succeeds in approaching the soul in such a way as to disturb it and detainit on the road of the union of love.

3. The second property whereof it speakspertains to the spiritual darkness of this night, wherein all the facultiesof the higher part of the soul are in darkness. The soul sees naught, neitherlooks at aught neither stays in aught that is not God, to the end that itmay reach Him, inasmuch as it journeys unimpeded by obstacles of forms andfigures, and of natural apprehensions, which are those that are wont to hinderthe soul from uniting with the eternal Being of God.

4. The third is that, although as it journeys it is supported by no particular interior light ofunderstanding, nor by any exterior guide, that it may receive satisfactiontherefrom on this lofty road--it is completely deprived of all this by thisthick darkness--yet its love alone, which burns at this time, and makes itsheart to long for the Beloved, is that which now moves and guides it, andmakes it to soar upward to its God along the road of solitude, without itsknowing how or in what manner. There follows the line:

In the happy night.(301)

NOTES



(100) (i.e., between sense and spirit.) (101) Ps 147,17 (D.V. and A.V.). (102) Sg 9,15 (103) (Lit., 'Continues with other imperfections.')(104) (i.e., 'deadening of the mind.') (105) Os 2,20. (106) 1Co 13,11 (107) (Ep 4,24) (108) Ps 102,2 (A.V., xcvii, 2).(109) (Lit., 'not attaining.') (110) Ps 17,13 (A.V., xviii, 12). (111) Jb 8,20 (112) Ps 38,12 (A.V., xxxix, 11). (113) Jb 23,6.(114) Jb 19,21. (115) (There is a reference here to Job vii, 20: cf. Sect. 5, above.) (116) Jon 2,1. (117) Ps 8,5-7 (A.V., xviii, 4-5).(118) Ps 77,6-8 (A.V., lxxxviii, 5-7). (119) Ps 88,9 (A.V., lxxxviii, 8). (120) Jon 2,4-7 (A.V., ii, 3-6). (121) Ez 24,10.(122) Ez 24,11. (123) Sg 3,6 (124) Ps 44,2-4 (A.V., lxix, 1-3). (125) (i.e., purgatory.) (126) Jb 16,13-17 (A.V., xvi, 12-16).(127) Lm 3,1-20. (128) Jb 12,22. (129) Ps 138,12 (A.V., cxxxix, 12). (130) (Lit., 'like to the dead of the world (or of the age).') (131) Ps 142,3 (A.V., cxliii, 3-4). (132) Ps 29,7 (A.V., xxx, 6). (133) (Lit., 'and play his tricks upon it.') (134) B. Bz., C, H.Mtr. all have this long passage on the suffering of the soul in Purgatory.It would be rash, therefore, to deny that St. John of the Cross is its author,(or to suppose, as P. Gerardo did, that he deleted it during a revision ofhis works). An admirably constructed synthesis of these questions will befound in B. Belarmino, De Purgatorio, Bk. II, chaps. iv, v. He asks if soulsin Purgatory are sure of their salvation. This was denied by Luther, andby a number of Catholic writers, who held that, among the afflictions ofthese souls, the greatest is this very uncertainty, some maintain that, thoughthey have in fact such certainty, they are unaware of it. Belarmino quotesamong other authorities Denis the Carthusian De quattuor novissimis, Gerson(Lect. I De Vita Spirituali) and John of Rochester (against Luther's 32ndarticle); these writers claim that, as sin which is venial is only so throughthe Divine mercy, it may with perfect justice be rewarded by eternal punishment,and thus souls that have committed venial sin cannot be confident of theirsalvation. He also shows, however, that the common opinion of theologiansis that the souls in Purgatory are sure of their salvation, and considersvarious degrees of certainty, adding very truly that, while these soulsexperience no fear, they experience hope, since they have not yet the Beatificvision. Uncertainty as to their salvation, it is said, might arise from ignoranceof the sentence passed upon them by the Judge or from the deadening of theirfaculties by the torments which they are suffering. Belarmino refutes theseand other suppositions with great force and effect. St. John of the Crossseems to be referring to the last named when he writes of the realizationof their afflictions and their deprivation of God not allowing them to enjoythe blessings of the theological virtues. It is not surprising if the Saint,not having examined very closely this question, of which he would have readtreatments in various authors, thought of it principally as an apt illustrationof the purifying and refining effects of passive purgation; and an aptillustration it certainly is. (135) Lm 3,44 (136) (Lm 3,9) (137) Lm 3,9 (138) Lm 3,28 (139) (Lit., 'at the Divine things.') (140) Ps 72,22 (A.V., lxxiii, 22). (141) 1Co 2,10. (Lit., 'penetrates all things.') (142) Sg 7,24. (143) 2Co 6,10. (144) (Lit., 'with a certain eminence of excellence.') (145) (Lit., '. . . sweetness, with great eminence.') (146)Ex 16,3. (147) Sg 16,21. (148) (Lit., 'from every kind.' Butsee Tobias viii, 2. The 'deprived' of e.p. gives the best reading of thisphrase, but the general sense is clear from the Scriptural reference.) (149)Tb 8,2. (150) Is 44,4 (1Co 2,9). (151) (Lit.,'be made thin.') (152) Is 24,17-18. (153) (Ph 4,7) (154)(We have here split up a parenthesis of about seventy words.) (155) (Lit.,'and wept.') (156) Lm 3,17. (157) Ps 37,9 (A.V., xxxviii,8). (158) (Lit., '. . . sees itself, it arises and is surrounded with painand affliction the affections of the soul, that I know not how it could bedescribed.' A confused, ungrammatical sentence, of which, however, the generalmeaning is not doubtful.) (159) Jb 3,24. (160) Jb 30,17. (161) Jb 30,16. (162) Lm 3,17. (163) Sg 7,11. (164) Ecclesiasticusli, 28-9 (A.V., li, 19-21). (165) (Lit., 'more delicate.') (166) (Lit., 'fury.')(167) (The sudden change of metaphor is the author's. The 'assault' is, ofcourse, the renewed growth of the 'root.') (168) (Lit., '. . . from the soul,with regard to that which has already been purified.') (169) (Lit., 'notenlightened': the word is the same as that used just above.) (170) (The wordtranslated 'over' is rendered 'gone' just above.) (171) (Lit., 'in loves';and so throughout the exposition of this line.) (172) (Lit., 'cling,' 'adhere.')(173) (Lit., 'shut up.') (174) (Here, and below, the original has recogidos,the word normally translated 'recollected') (175Ps 47,10 (A V., lix,9). (176) Dt 6,5. (177) Ps 57,15-16 (A.V., lix, 14-15).(178) Ps 44,2 (A.V., lxiii, 1). (179) (Lit., as in the verses, 'inloves.') (180) (For cievro, hart, read siervo, servant, and we have the correctquotation from Scripture. The change, however, was evidently made by theSaint knowingly. In P. Gerardo's edition, the Latin text, with cervus, precedes the Spanish translation, with ciervo.) (181) Jb 7,2-4.
(182) (No cabe: Lit., 'it cannot be contained,' 'there is no room for it.')
(184) (A.V., li, 10). (185) (Lit., 'enamoured.') (186) Lm 1,13. (187) Ps 11,7 (A.V., xii, 6). (188) The Schoolmenfrequently assert that the lower angels are purged and illumined by the higher.Cf. St. Thomas, Summa, I, q. 106, a. 1, ad. 1. (189) (Lit., 'and softens.')(190) (More literally, 'is sick.') (191) Ps 37,4 (A.V., xxxix, 3).(192) (Lit., 'the beginnings.') (193) The Saint here treats a question oftendebated by philosophers and mystics--that of love and knowledge. Cf. alsoSpiritual Canticle, Stanza XVII, and Living Flame, Stanza III. Philosophersgenerally maintain that it is impossible to love without knowledge, and equallyso to love more of an object than what is known of it. Mystics have, however,their own solutions of the philosophers' difficulty and the speculative Spanishmystics have much to say on the matter. (Cf., for example, the Medula Mistica,Trat. V, Chap. iv, and the Escuela de Oracion, Trat. XII, Duda v.) (194)St. John i, 5. (195) (Lit., 'the yearning to think of it.') (196) (The wordtranslated 'estimation' might also be rendered 'reverent love.' The 'loveof estimation,' which has its seat in the understanding, is contrasted withthe 'enkindling' or the 'love of desire,' which has its seat in the will.So elsewhere in this paragraph.) (197) Jn 20,1 (Mt 27,62-6). (198) Jn 20,15. (199) (Lit., 'outskirts,' 'suburbs.')

(200) Ct 5,8. (201) Gn 30,1. (202) Ep 4,4. (203)Ct 8,1. (204) Mt 10,36. (205) (Lit., 'The line, then,continues, and says thus.' In fact, however, the author is returning to thefirst line of the stanza.) (206) (Lit., 'taste.') (207) Some have consideredthis description exaggerated, but it must be borne in mind that all soulsare not tested alike and the Saint is writing of those whom God has willedto raise to such sanctity that they drain the cup of bitterness to the dregs.We have already seen (Bk. I, chap. xiv, Sect. 5) that 'all do not experience(this) after one manner . . . for (it) is meted out by the will of God, inconformity with the greater or the smaller degree of imperfection which eachsoul has to purge away, (and) in conformity, likewise, with the degree oflove of union to which God is pleased to raise it' (Bk. I, chap xiv, above).(208) Os 13,9. (209) Ps 17,12 (A.V., xviii, 11). (210) Ps 17,13 (A.V., xviii, 12). (211) Is 5,30. (212) Ps 30,21 (A.V., xxxi, 20). (213) 'Propter hoc Gregorius (Hom. 14 in Ezech.) constituit vitamcontemplativam in charitate Dei.' Cf. Summa Theologica, 2a, 2ae, q. 45, a.2. (214) Jr 1,6. (215) Ex 4,10 (cf. iii, 2). (216) Ac 7,32. (217) (Or: 'and they know not how to say it nor are able to do so.')(218) (Lit., 'to him that rules them.') (219) (Lit., 'that is set most faraway and most remote from every creatures.') (220) Ba 3,31. (221)Ps 75,19-20 (A.V., lxxvii, 18-19). (222) (Lit., 'of the roundnessof the earth.') (223) Jb 37,16. (224) (Lit., 'rises to scale, knowand possess.') (225) Ps 77,6 (A.V., lxxxiv, 7). (226) Lc 14,11.(227) Pr 18,12. (228) Gn 18,12. (229) (Lit., 'andannihilating oneself.') (230) 'Ut dicit Bernardus, Magna res est amor, sedsunt in eo gradus. Loquendo ergo aliquantulum magis moraliter quam realiter,decem amoris gradus distinguere possumus' (D. Thom., De dilectione Dei etproximi, cap. xxvii. Cf. Opusc. LXI of the edition of Venice, 1595). (231)(The word translated 'step' may also (and often more elegantly) be rendered'degree.' The same word is kept, however, throughout the translation of thischapter except where noted below.) (232) Ct 5,8. (233) Ps 142,7 (A.V., cxliii, 7). (234) Ps 62,10 (A.V., lxviii, 9). (235) (Lit.,'to enter (upon).') (236) Ct 3,2. (237) Ps 104,4 (A.V., cv,4). (238) Jn 20. (239) (The word in the Spanish is that elsewheretranslated 'step.') (240) Ps 111,1 (A.V., cxii, 1). (241) (Lit., 'makesin him this labour of eagerness.') (242) Gn 29,20. (243) (Lit., 'howmuch God merits.') (244) Ct 8,5. (245) Jr 2,2. (246) Ps 72,2 (A.V., lxxxiv, 2). (247) Gn 30,1. (248) (Lit., 'On thishungering step.') (249) Is 40,31. (250) Ps 41,2 (A.V., xlii, 1).(251) Ps 48,5 (A.V., lix, 4). (252) Ps 118,32 (A.V., cxix,32). (253) 1Co 13,7. (254) Ex 32,31. (255) Ps 36,4 (A.V., xxxvii, 4). (256) Ct 1,1. (257) Ct 3,4. (258)(Lit., 'attain to setting their foot.') (259) Da 10,11. (260) 'Dum Deumin ignis visione suscipiunt, per amorem suaviter arserunt' (Hom. XXX in Evang.).(261) (i.e., direct, not mediate.) (262) Mt 5,8. (263) Jn 3,2. (264) Jn 16,23. (265) (Lit., 'that it dislocates the sightof all understanding.') (2661 1P 5,9. (267) (Lit., 'a better undershirtand tunic.') (268) (Lit., 'this whiteness.') (269) Os 2,20. (270) Ps 16,4 (A.V., xvii, 4). (271) 1Th 5,8. (272) Ps 24,15(A.V., xxv, 15). (273) Ps 122,2 (A.V., cxxiii, 2). (274) Ct 4,9. (275) Lm 3,29. (276) Ibid. (For the quotation, see Bk.II, chap. viii, Sect. 1, above.) (277) Ct 3,3. (A.V., i, 4.) (For'chambers' the Spanish has 'bed.') (278) Ct 3,10. (279) (Or 'health.')(280) Rm 8,24. (281) i.e., in the original Spanish and in our verserendering of the poem in The Complete Works of Jn of the Cross, Ed.by E. Allison Peers, Vol. II (The Newman Press, Westminster, Md.). (282)i.e., in the original Spanish and in our verse rendering of the poem in TheComplete Works of John of the Cross, Ed. by E. Allison Peers, Vol. II(The Newman Press, Westminster, Md.). (283) (The Spanish also admits of therendering: 'remain shut off from it by darkness.') (284) Mt 6,3. (285)Ct 3,7-8. (286) Ct 6,10 (A.V., vi, 11-12). (287) Jb 1,1-11. (288) Such is the unanimous opinion of theologians. Some, with St.Thomas (Pt. III, q. 57, a. 6), suppose that the appearance which convertedSt. Paul near Damascus was that of Our Lord Jesus Christ in person. (289)Ex 7,11-22 Ex 8,7. (290) Jb 41,25. (291) (Lit., 'step.' Cf. Bk.II, chap. xix, first note, above.) (292) Ct 1,1. (293) Ct 8,1. (294) The word translated 'at rest' is a past participle: moreliterally, 'stilled.' (295) (Lit., 'twice repeats'--a loosely used phrase.)(296) H omits this last phrase, which is found in all the other Codices,and in e.p. The latter adds: 'notwithstanding that the soul is not whollyfree from the temptations of the lower part.' The addition is made so thatthe teaching of the Saint may not be confused with that of the Illuminists,who supposed the contemplative in union to be impeccable, do what he might.The Saint's meaning is that for the mystical union of the soul with God suchpurity and tranquillity of senses and faculties are needful that his conditionresembles that state of innocence in which Adam was created, but withoutthe attribute of impeccability, which does not necessarily accompany union,nor can be attained by any, save by a most special privilege of God. Cf.St. Teresa's Interior Castle, VII, ii. St. Teresa will be found occasionallyto explain points of mystical doctrine which John of the Cross takesas being understood. (297) (Lit., 'twice repeated.') (298) Sg 18,14. (299) Ct 5,7.

(300) Ct 3,1. (301) Thus end the majority of the MSS. Cf. pp.lxviii-lxiii, Ascent of Mount Carmel (Image Books edition), 26-27, on theincomplete state of this treatise. The MSS. say nothing of this, except thatin the Alba de Tormes MS. we read: 'Thus far wrote the holy Fray John ofthe Cross concerning the purgative way, wherein he treats of the active andthe passive (aspect) of it as is seen in the treatise of the Ascent of theMount and in this of the Dark Night, and, as he died, he wrote no more. Andhereafter follows the illuminative way, and then the unitive.' Elsewherewe have said that the lack of any commentary on the last five stanzas isnot due to the Saint's death, since he lived for many years after writingthe commentary on the earlier stanzas.


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