Advent Retreat with John of the Cross

I want to read and try to begin the descent into my “dark night of the soul” and I have decided to make an Advent retreat into Ascent of Mount Carmel. I am not sure where this will lead, I can only hope I am graced with a closer relationship with God.

I am reading the following version for my retreat-

John of the Cross with Foreword by Claudia Mair Burney CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION BY HENRY L. CARRIGAN, JR.® Paraclete Press Brewster, Massachusetts

Anyone interested in reading along can find the online version at:

Introduction page XIX, Ascent of Mount Carmel is a spiritual treatise that follows the soul on its journey toward perfection, as it purifies itself and passes through the various parts of the dark night of the soul on its way to union with the divine. John devotes attention to the early stages of the mystical life, realizing that during these stages the soul has its most difficulty throwing off the worldly attachments that hinder its progress to union. In an orderly and systematic fashion, John provides a road map to the soul’s journey to the divine.


CHAPTER 1 The first stanza is introduced.

“On a dark night, aroused in love with yearnings— oh, happy chance!—I went out without being observed, since all in my house were asleep.”

God calls and if we hear and listen we are called into contemplation. When our “senses” are asleep, or perhaps our focus is inward. We can only hope with God’s grace we can remain attentive and begin this journey we are being called to.




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