[1] The footnotes are P. Silverio's except where they are enclosed in square brackets.
[2] Cf. Translator's Preface to the First Edition, Sect. II.
[3] [H., III, ii.] [4] M. Magdalena is a very reliable witness, for she was not only a most discreet and able woman, but was also one of those who were very near to the saint and gained most from his spiritual direction. The quotation is from MS. 12,944.
[5] MS. 12,738, fol. 835. Ft. Jeronimo de S. Jose, too, says that the nuns of Toledo also copied certain poems from the Saint's dictation. M. Ana de S. Alberto heard him say of his imprisonment: 'God sought to try me, but His mercy forsook me not. I made some stanzas there which begin: "Whither hast vanished, Beloved"; and also those other verses, beginning "Far above the many rivers That in Babylon abound." All these verses I sent to Fray Jose de Jesus Maria, who told me that he was interested in them and was keeping them in his memory in order to write them out.'
[6] [H., III, ii.]
[7] MS. 12,944. 'He also occasionally wrote spiritual things that were of great benefit. There, too, he composed the Mount and drew a copy with his own hand for each of our breviaries; later, he added to these copies and made some changes.'
[8] [See, on this term, S.S.M., II, 282, and Catholic Encyclopedia, sub. 'Carmelites.']
[9] Fray Martin de San Jose in MS. 12,738, fol. 125.
[10] [H., IV, i.]
[11] MS. 12,738, fol. 1,431. The letter is undated as to the year.
[12] MS. 12,738, fol. 1,435.
[13] MS. 12,738, fol. 3. Cf. a letter of April 28, 1614, by the same friar (ibid., fol. 865), which describes the Saint's knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and skill in expounding them, as 'inspired' and 'Divine.'
[14] Ibid., fol. 18.
[15] Jeronimo de la Cruz (ibid., fol. 639) describes the Saint on his journeys as 'frequently reading the Bible' as he went along on his 'beast.'
[16] MS. 12,738, fol. 559. P. Alonso writes similarly in a letter to Fray Jeronimo de San Jose: 'And in this matter of speaking of God and expounding passages from Scripture he made everyone marvel, for they never asked him about a passage which he could not explain in great detail, and sometimes at recreation the whole hour and much more went by in the explanation of passages about which they asked him' (fol. 1,431).
[17] Ibid., fol. 847.
[18] [Cf. S.S.M., II, 123-48.]
[19] Vida, Bk. IV, Chap. xiv, Sect. 1.
[20] [On this subject cf. P. Crisogono de Jesus Sacramentado: San Juan de la Cruz, Madrid, 1929, Vol. II, pp. 17-34 et passim.]
[21] On Flemish influences on Spanish mysticism, see P. Groult: Les Mystiques des Pays-Bas et la litterature espagnole du seizieme siecle, Louvain, 1927 [, and Joaquin Sanchis Alventosa, O.F.M.: La Escuela mistica alemana y sus relaciones con nuestros misticos del Siglo de Oro, Madrid, 1946].
[22] [Cf. S.S.M., I (1927), 33-76, 291-405; (1951), 25-61, 235-328; II (1930), 309-43.]
[23] One well-known example will be found in the commentary on the 'Spiritual Canticle,' Chap. xii (cf. Sect. V below).
[24] MS. 12,738, fol. 639.
[25] To these we shall refer in the third volume of this edition.
[26] If any single person could have spoken from knowledge of this matter it would be P. Alonso de la Madre de Dios, as all papers connected with St. John of the Cross passed through his hands and he took hundreds of depositions in connection with the Beatification process. His statements, however (MS. 19,404, fol. 176 [P. Silverio, I, 179]), are as vague as any others. Rather more reliable are the Saint's two early biographers, P. Jose de Jesus Maria (Quiroga) and P. Jeronimo de San Jose. The former states in one place that he is using an autograph on the Ascent of Mount Carmel, but again it seems likely that he was mistaken, since the archives of the Reform were still intact in the next century and no genuine autograph of any length was found in them.
[27] [The commentary on the third stanza is begun in ii, xxv of Dark Night. If this be not counted, the number of stanzas left uncommented is six.]
[28] This is not so unlikely as it may seem, for the early manuscripts were all either unbound, or very roughly stitched together, and several of the extant copies have leaves missing. It was not till the time of the Beatification Process that greater care began to be taken of the Saint's writings, and they were bound strongly and even luxuriously.
[29] I.e., the three books of the Ascent and the two of the Night.
[30] MS. 3,180, Adicion B.
[31] It would be natural enough, of course, for Fray Agustin Antolinez to have noted this fact, but, as he makes no mention of St. John of the Cross at all, nothing can be safely inferred from his silence. It may be added that Fray Agustin's commentary is to be published by the Spanish Augustinians [and that P. Silverio (I, 190-3 ) gives a specimen of it which shows how well it deserves publication].
[32] As we shall later see, the Living Flame was written after the first redaction of the Spiritual Canticle, but before the second redaction, which mentions the Living Flame in the exposition of Stanza XXXI, thus misleading P. Andres as to its date. There is no doubt, in our mind, that the reference in the preface to the Living Flame is to the Canticle: the description fits it exactly.
[33] [P. Silverio's words are: 'For my own part, I think it very probable that he never composed them.' I myself give a little less weight to the negative evidence brought forward, and, though I too am inclined to the negative solution, I should hold the scales between the two rather more evenly.]
[34] If this were so, we might even hazard a guess that the title was that given in the Living Flame (I, 21) and not exactly applicable to any of the existing treatises, viz. The Dark Night of the Ascent of Mount Carmel.
[35] Memorias Historiales, C. 1 3.
[36] Saint Jean de la Croix, pp. 1 3-15.
[37] Cf. Ascent, I, i, below.
[38] Some manuscripts do in fact divide the treatise in this way; but apart from the fact that we have the authority of St. John of the Cross himself, in the passage just quoted (confirmed in Ascent, I, xiii), for a different division, the Alcaudete MS., which we believe to be the most reliable, follows the division laid down by the Saint. We may add that St. John of the Cross is not always a safe guide in these matters, no doubt because he trusted too much to his memory; in Ascent, II, xi, for example, he calls the fourth book the third.
[39] [H., V, iii.]
[40] Spiritual Canticle, Stanza XII, Sect. 6 [Second Redaction, XIII, Sect. 7].
[41] In the same passage as that referred to in the last note he declares his intention of not repeating what she has said (cf. General Introduction, III, above ).
[42] Our authority for this statement is P. Andres de la Encarnacion (Memorias Historiales, B. 32), who found the Chapter Book in the General Archives of the Reform at Madrid.
[43] Op. cit. (B. 33).
[44] [For a study of Tomas de Jesus, see S.S.M., II, 281-306.]
[45] Memorias Historiales, B. 35.
[46] Cf. General Introduction, I, above.
[47] [Cf. S.S.M., I (1927), 291-344; (1951), 235-79. An abridged English edition of the Names of Christ, translated by a Benedictine of Stanbrook, was published by Messrs. Burns Oates and Washbourne in 1926.]
[48] [Cf. S.S.M., I (1927), 295-6; (1951), 240.]
[49] [Cf. S.S.M., II, 41-76.]
[50] Historia critica de la Inquisicion de Espana, Vol. V, Chap. xxx, and elsewhere. [The original of this work is in French: Histoire critique de l'Incluisition d'Espagne, 1817-18.]
[51] Here we have a curious parallelism with the works of St. Teresa, first published at Salamanca in 1588 and also reprinted in Barcelona in the year following.
[52] He also supplies the Latin text of Scriptural quotations which St. John of the Cross gives in the vernacular, corrects the punctuation and spelling of the princeps and substitutes his 'Sketch' of the Saint's life for the biographical notes of that edition. The treatise in which he corrects most of the defects of the princeps is the Ascent of Mount Carmel.
[53] Phrasium mysticae Theologiae V.P. Fr. Joannis a Cruce, Carmelitarum excalceatorum Parentis primi elucidatio. Compluti, 1631.
[54] Subida del Alma a Dios; Apologia mistica en defensa de la contemplacion divina; Don que tuvo San Juan de la Cruz para guiar las almas, etc.
[55] This phrase, no doubt, was inserted in order to save the reputation of P. Jose's earlier supporters, and out of respect to his uncle, who had been a Cardinal and Inquisitor-General.
[56] Quoted by P. Andres de la Encarnacion (MS. 3,653, Previo 1).
[57] MS. 3,653, Previo 1.
[58] [The last two paragraphs form P. Silverio's description of his own edition. The lines followed in the present translation have been described in the Translator's Preface.]
[59] Ascent, Bk. III, Chap. ii.
[60] Ascent, Bk. III, Chap. iii, Sect. 1.
[61] Cf. Ascent, Bk. III, Chap. xvi, Sect.Sect. 1-2.
[62] [On the question of the curtailment of the Ascent, see Sobrino, pp. 159-66.]
[63] [On MSS. not described by P. Silverio, see Ephemerides Carmeliticae, Florence, 1950, IV, 95-148, and in particular p. 103, n. 9. As the variants and annotations in these MSS. will be of interest only to specialists, and few of them can be reproduced in a translation, those who wish to study them are referred to that article.]
[64] [H, sub Juan Evangelista (2)]
[65] [Lit.: 'It says, then, thus.']
[66] For a verse translation in the metre of the original, see Vol. II.
[67] [The adjectives are feminine throughout.]
[68] [The word translated 'at rest' is a past participle: more literally, +stilled.']
[69] [Lit.: 'I remained and forgot.']
[70] [Lit. 'and wideawake guides.']
[71] [Lit., 'a low manner.']
[72] Needless to say, the Saint does not here mean that he will not write in conformity with moral standards -- no writer is more particular in this respect -- nor that he will deal with no delectable matters at all, but rather that he will go to the very roots of spiritual teaching and expound the 'solid and substantial instruction,' which not only forms its basis but also leads the soul toward the most intimate union with God in love.
[73] The Codices give neither title nor sub-title: both were inserted in e.p. ['Desire' is to be taken as the direct object of 'describes'; 'these' refers to 'sense' and 'desire,' not to the dark night.]
[74] [Lit., 'appetites,' but this word is uniformly translated 'desires,' as the Spanish context frequently will not admit the use of the stronger word in English.]
[75] [The word translated 'sensual' is sometimes sensual, and sometimes, as here, sensitivo. The meaning in either case is simply 'of sense.']
[76] So Alc. The other authorities read: 'and of this we shall treat likewise, in the second part with respect to the activity [of the soul] [these last three words are not contained in the Spanish of any authority], and in the third and the fourth part with respect to its passivity.' E.p. follows this division. Alc., however, seems to correspond more closely with the Saint's intentions; for he did not divide each of his 'books' into 'parts' and appears therefore to indicate by 'part' what we know as 'book.' Now Book I is in fact devoted to the active purgation of sense, as are Books II and III to the active purgation of the spirit. For the 'fourth book,' see General Introduction, IV above.
[77] [The word translated 'at rest' is a past participle: more literally, +stilled.']
[78] [Lit., 'and it in them.' This 'it' means the soul; the preceding 'it,' the house.]
[79] I.e., in the 'Argument.'
[80] [More exactly, this 'passage' or 'transition' (transito).]
[81] [Lit., 'in negation of them.']
[82] [By 'the mean' is meant the middle, or main part, of the journey.]
[83] [Lit., 'without anything (sc. to do).']
[84] ['Blank board': Sp., tabla rasa; Lat., tabula rasa.]
[85] Psalm lxxxvii, 16 [A.V. lxxxviii, 15].
[86] St. John i, 5.
[87] 2 Corinthians vi, 14.
[88] Psalm cxiv, 9 [A.V. cxv, 8].
[89] Jeremias iv, 23.
[90] [The words often translated 'deformity,' 'deformed,' or 'vileness,' 'vile,' are the ordinary contraries of 'beauty,' 'beautiful,' and might be rendered, more literally but less elegantly, 'ugliness,' 'ugly.']
[91] Proverbs xxxi, 30.
[92] [For 'grace . . . misery' the Spanish has gracia . . . desgracia. The latter word, however, does not, as might be supposed, correspond to English 'disgrace.']
[93] E.p. omits 'supreme'; the Spanish word [having a more literally superlative force than the English] can hardly be applied, save in a restricted sense, to what is finite.
[94] St. Luke xviii, 19.
[95] 1 Corinthians iii, 19.
[96] Romans i, 22.
[97] 1 Corinthians iii, 18-19.
[98] [Lit., 'is supreme.']
[99] [The word is applicable to any kind of preferential position.]
[100] Genesis xxi, 10.
[101] Proverbs viii, 4-6, 18-21.
[102] Soliloq., chap. ii (Migne: Patr. lat., Vol. XL, p. 866).
[103] So Alc. The other authorities have merely: 'which may pertain to it,' and e.p. adds to this: 'through self-love.' Even when softened by Diego de Pesus this phrase of the Saint did not escape denunciation, and it was the first of the 'propositions' condemned in his writings (cf. General Introduction, VI, above). It was defended by P. Basilio Ponce de Leon in his Reply (p. lx), and more extensively by P. Nicolas de Jesus Maria (Elucidatio, Pt. II, Chap i, pp. 125-40). In reality, little defence is needed other than that contained in the last chapters of the Ascent of Mount Carmel, which clearly show the harm caused by supernatural favours, when these are abused, to the memory, the understanding and the will. Who, after all, can doubt that we may abuse 'things supernatural' and by such abuse hinder the soul from attaining union with God?
[104] St. Luke xiv, 33.
[105] E.p. alters this to: 'in the same Scripture.' [It does not, in fact, occur in the same book.]
[106] Numbers xi, 4.
[107] [Lit., 'so high.']
[108] [Wisdom xvi, 20.]
[109] Psalm lxxvii, 31 [A.V. lxxviii, 31].
[110] [Exodus xxxiv, 2-3.] E.p.: 'within sight of the Mount.' A, B: 'near the Mount.'
[111] Gen. xxxv, 2.
[112] Exodus xxvii, 8.
[113] Leviticus x, 1-2.
[114] 1 Kings [A.V., I Samuel] v, 3-5.
[115] Deut. xxxi, 26.
[116] Numbers xvii, 10. [More properly, 'the rod of Aaron.']
[117] Jeremias ii, 13.
[118] [Lit., 'the greater the bulk that that desire has in the soul.']
[119] St. Matthew xv, 26.
[120] St. Matthew vii, 6.
[121] [Lit., 'he that goes feeding upon.']
[122] Psalm lviii, 15-16 [A.V., lix, 14-15].
[123] [Lit., 'how much more God does.']
[124] Isaias xxix, 8. The editions supply the translation of the first part of the Latin text, which the Saint and the Codices omitted: 'After being wearied and fatigued, he yet thirsteth,' etc.
[125] Job xx, 22.
[126] Isaias lvii, 20.
[127] Jeremias ii, 24.
[128] Jeremias ii, 25.
[129] Isaias ix, 20.
[130] Thus Alc. [with 'run' for 'eat']. A, B, e.p. read: '. . . when they turn from the way of God (which is the right hand) are justly hungered, for they merit not the fullness of the sweetness of spirit. And justly, too, when they eat on the left hand,' etc. [While agreeing with P. Silverio that Alc. gives the better reading, I prefer 'eat' to 'run': it is nearer the Scriptural passage and the two Spanish words, comen and corren, could easily be confused in MS.]
[131] Psalm cxviii, 61 [A.V., cxix, 61].
[132] Psalm cxvii, 12 [A.V., cxviii, 12].
[133] Judges xvi, 16. [Actually it was Samson, not Dalila, who was 'wearied even until death.']
[134] Apocalypse xviii, 7.
[135] [Lit., 'bound him to grind in a mill.']
[136] Judges xvi, 21.
[137] Isaias lv, 1-2.
[138] St. Matthew xi, 28-9.
[139] Psalm xxxvii, 5 [A.V., xxxviii, 4].
[140] [Lit., 'gives no occasion either for,' etc.]
[141] Psalm xxxix, 13 [A.V., xl, 12.]
[142] Psalm vi, 4 [A.V., vi, 3].
[143] [Lit., 'the present visage.']
[144] St. Matthew xv, 14.
[145] [hoguera. More exactly: 'fire,' 'bonfire,' 'blaze.']
[146] Psalm lvii, 9 [cf. A.V., lviii, 8].
[147] Psalm lvii, 10 [A.V., lviii, 9].
[148] [Lit., 'before it can understand God.']
[149] 3 Kings [A.V., 1 Kings] xi, 4.
[150] Ecclesiastes ii, 10.
[151] [Lit., 'we ... know not what there is between.']
[152] Jonas iv, 11.
[153] [Lit., +is added desire.+]
[154] Isaias lix, 10.
[155] Ecclesiasticus xiii, 1.
[156] [More literally: 'and all the best that is of the creatures.'
'Best' is neuter and refers to qualities, appurtenances, etc.]
[157] [Lit., 'bright diamond.']
[158] Lamentations iv, 7-8.
[159] [Lit., mas resplandecientes, 'more brilliant,' 'more luminous.']
[160] [Lit., plazas (derived from the Latin plateas), which now, however, has the meaning of 'squares,' '(market) places.']
[161] ['Clearer' here is mas claros; the adjective is rendered 'bright' elsewhere.]
[162] [The words translated 'unruly,' 'disordered,' here and elsewhere, and occasionally 'unrestrained,' are the same in the original: desordenado.]
[163] [The Spanish of the text reads literally: 'in a union.']
[164] [The verb is pintar, 'paint': perhaps 'corrupt' is intended. The same verb occurs in the following sentence.]
[165] Ezechiel viii, 10.
[166] [Ezechiel viii, 12.]
[167] Ezechiel viii, 14.
[168] Ezechiel viii, 16.
[169] [Lit., 'revolves'--'turns over in its mind' in our common idiom.]
[170] Genesis xlix, 4.
[171] Psalm lviii, 10 [A.V., lix, 9].
[172] St. Matthew xxix, 19.
[173] St. Luke xii, 25.
[174] Proverbs xxx, 15.
[175] Ecclesiasticus xxiii, 6. [In the original the last two sentences are transposed.]
[176] [Lit., +not pure on (or +in+) God.+]
[177] [The original has no such explanatory phrase.]
[178] [That is, will be enjoying all the union that the prayer of quiet gives.]
[179] Proverbs xxiv, 16.
[180] [The original omits +union.+]
[181] [Or +remora.+]
[182] [cordeles: a stronger word than that used above (hilo), which, if the context would permit, might better be translated 'string' -- its equivalent in modern speech. Below, hilo is translated 'thread.']
[183] [Hilo, rendered 'thread,' as explained in n. 4 above, can also be taken in the stronger sense of 'cord.']
[184] St. Matthew xii, 30.
[185] Ecclesiasticus xix, 1.
[186] [Lit., 'the fire is increased by a single spark.'] Ecclesiasticus xi, 34 [A.V., xi, 32].
[187] Judges ii, 3.
[188] [The original phrase (gente menuda) means 'little folk.' It is used of children and sometimes also of insects and other small creatures. There is a marked antithesis between the 'giants,' or sins, and the 'little folk,' or imperfections.]
[189] Josue vi, 21.
[190] 1 Corinthians vii, 29-31.
[191] [The word here translated 'remissness' is rendered 'remission' in the text, where it seems to have a slightly different meaning.]
[192] [The word translated 'remnants' also means 'after-taste.']
[193] Apocalypse x, 9.
[194] 2 Corinthians xii, 9. ['Virtue' had often, in the author's day, much of the meaning of the modern word 'strength.']
[195] [The word used for desire is apetito, which has been used in the past chapters for desires of sense (cf. chap. I, above).]
[196] [St. John iv, 34.]
[197] Lit., 'Not that which is to desire anything, etc.']
[198] [1 St. John ii, 16.]
[199] The Saint does not, however, allude to these lines again. The order followed below is that of Alc., which differs somewhat from that followed in the diagram.
[200] [This line, like ll. 6, 8 of the paragraph, reads more literally: 'Desire not to possess (be, know) anything in anything.' It is more emphatic than l. 2.]
[201] [There is a repetition here which could only be indicated by translating 'all-ly.' So, too, in the next couplet.]
[202] [Lit. +anything in all.+]
[203] This confirms our point (Bk. I, chap. ii, Sect. 6, above) that the Saint considers the Argument as part of the Prologue.
[204] Lit., 'to conquer the natural yoke.']
[205] [Lit., +after.+]
[206] [Lit., +comprehended.+]
[207] [Lit., 'all the steps and articles that it has.']
[208] [Lit., 'climbs': the verb (escala) is identical with the noun 'ladder' (escala).]
[209] [Lit., 'to the depths.']
[210] [The literal translation is shorter, viz. 'taking faith for a blind man's guide.']
[211] [Lit., 'negation.'] This is the reading of Alc. 'Affirmation' is found in A, B, C, D, e.p. Though the two words are antithetical, they express the same underlying concept. [The affirmation, or establishment, of all the powers and desires of the spirit upon pure faith, so that they may be ruled by pure faith alone, is equivalent to the denial, or negation, of those powers and desires in so far as they are not ruled by pure faith.]
[212] [Lit., 'to true spirit.']
[213] [I, ii, above.]
[214] [Cf. I, ii, above.]
[215] This was another of the propositions which were cited by those who denounced the writings of St. John of the Cross to the Holy Office. It is interpretable, nevertheless, in a sense that is perfectly true and completely in conformity with Catholic doctrine. The Saint does not, in these words, affirm that faith destroys nature or quenches the light of human reason (St. Thomas, Summa, Pt. 1, q. 1, a. 8, et alibi); what he endeavors to show is that the coming of knowledge through faith excludes a simultaneous coming of natural knowledge through reason. It is only in this way that, in the act of faith, the soul is deprived of the light of reason, and left, as it were, in blindness, so that it may be raised to another nobler and sublimer kind of knowledge, which, far from destroying reason, gives it dignity and perfection. Philosophy teaches that the proper and connatural object of the understanding, in this life, is things visible, material and corporeal. By his nature, man inclines to knowledge of this kind, but cannot lay claim to such knowledge as regards the things which belong to faith. For, to quote a famous verse of Scripture: Fides est sperandarum substantia rerum, argumentum non apparientium (Hebrews xi, 1 ). This line of thought is not confined to St. John of the Cross, but is followed by all the mystics and is completely in agreement with theological doctrine. Cf. Respuesta [Reply] of P. Basilio Ponce de Leon and Dilucidatio, Pt. II, Chap. ii, and also the following chapter in this present book.
[216] E .p.: 'an obediential faculty' [potencia obediencial]: this phrase is borrowed from the Schoolmen. Among the various divisions of the faculty are two, natural and obediential. The first is that which is directed towards an act within the sphere of nature, such as the cooling action of water and the heating action of fire; the second is directed towards an act which exceeds these powers, brought about by God, Who is outside the laws of nature and can therefore work outside the natural domain. This obediential faculty (called also 'receptive' or 'passive') frequently figures in mystical theology, since it is this that disposes the faculties of the soul for the supernatural reception of the gifts of grace, all of which exceed natural capacity.
[217] E.p.: 'a natural manner which has its beginning in the senses.' Here the Saint expounds a principle of scholastic philosophy summarized in the axiom: Nihil est in intellectu quin prius non fuerit in sensu. This principle, like many other great philosophical questions, has continually been debated. St. John of the Cross will be found as a rule to follow the philosophy most favored by the Church and is always rigidly orthodox.
[218] [Lit., 'subjecting and blinding our natural light.']
[219] Romans x, 17.
[220} Isaias vii, 9. So Alc. The passage seems to be taken from the Septuagint. [The Vulgate has non permanebitis.]
[221] [Lit., 'If ye believe not, that is, ye shall not have light.']
[222] Exodus xiv, 20.
[223] Psalm xviii, 3 [A.V., xix, 2].
[224] Psalm cxxxviii, 11 [A.V., cxxxix, 11].
[225] Hebrews xi, 6.
[226] Isaias lxiv, 4; 1 Corinthians ii, 9.
[227] [The word translated 'way' is modo, which, in the language of scholastic philosophy, would rather be translated 'mode.']
[228] [2 Corinthians vi, 10.]
[229] [Lit., 'either spiritually or sensually, in its soul.']
[230] St. John ix, 39.
[231] As the Saint has explained above, this is a parenthetical chapter necessary to an understanding of the following chapters on the active purification of the three faculties of the soul; for, in order to make an intelligent use of the means to an end, it is important to know what that end is. St. John of the Cross begins by setting aside the numerous divisions under which the mystics speak of union with God and deals only with that which most usually concerns the soul, namely union which is active, and acquired by our own efforts, together with the habitual aid of grace. This is the kind of union which is most suitably described in this treatise, which deals with the intense activity of the soul as regards the purgation of the senses and faculties as a necessary means for the loving transformation of the soul in God -- the end and goal of all the Saint's writings. In order to forestall any grossly erroneous pantheistic interpretations, we point out, with the author of the Medula Mistica (Trat. V, Chap. i, No. 2), that by union the Saint understands 'a linking and conjoining of two things which, though united, are still different, each, as St. Thomas teaches (Pt. III, q. 2, a. 1), keeping its own nature, for otherwise there would not be union but identity. Union of the soul with God, therefore, will be a linking and conjoining of the soul with God and of God with the soul, for the one cannot be united with the other if the other be not united with the one, so that the soul is still the soul and God is still God. But just as, when two things are united, the one which has the most power, virtue and activity communicates its properties to the other, just so, since God has greater strength, virtue and activity than the soul, He communicates His properties to it and makes it, as it were, deific, and leaves it, as it were, divinized, to a greater or a lesser degree, corresponding to the greater or the lesser degree of union between the two.' This conception, which is a basic one in Christian mysticism, is that of St. John of the Cross. Had all his commentators understood that fact, some of them would have been saved from making ridiculous comparisons of him with Gnostics, Illuminists or even the Eastern seekers after Nirvana. Actually, this Saint and Doctor of the Church applies the tenets of Catholic theology to the union of the soul with God, presenting them in a condensed and vigorous form and keeping also to strict psychological truth, as in general do the other Spanish mystics. This is one of his greatest merits. In this chapter he is speaking, not of essential union, which has nothing to do with his subject, but (presupposing the union worked through sanctifying grace received in the substance of the soul, which is the source of the infused virtues, such as faith, hope and charity, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit) of active actual union, after which we can and should strive, so that we may will what God wills and abhor what He abhors. Though not the only kind of union, it is this which chiefly concerns the soul; and, when once this is attained, God readily grants all other mystical gifts. Cf. St. Teresa's Interior Castle, V, iii [C.W.S.T.J., II, 259-60].
[232] [Lit., 'is clothed with.']
[233] St. John i, 13.
[234] St. John iii, 5.
[235] [Lit., 'wholly perfect and...']
[236] [Lit., 'to lead... into,' as at the beginning of Sect. 6, below.]
[237] Hebrews xi, 1.
[238] Romans viii, 24.
[239] St. Luke xiv, 33.
[240] Luke xi, 5.
[241] Isaias vi, 2.
[242] [Or 'middle.' Cf. Bk. I, chap. ii, above.]
[243] St. Matthew vii, 14.
[244] [The Spanish verb, used also at the end of the preceding paragraph, is derived from the adjective.]
[245] St. Mark viii, 34-5.
[246] [Lit., 'the denial of ourselves to our very selves.']
[247] [enagenacion, a word which to-day means 'alienation,' 'rapture,' 'derangement (of mind),' but in Covarrubias' dictionary (1611) is also defined as 'giving to another what is one's own.']
[248] St. John xii, 25.
[249] St. Matthew xx, 22.
[250] John xiv, 6.
[251] St. John x, 9.
[252] St. Matthew xxvii, 46.
[253] Psalm lxxii, 22 [A.V., lxxiii, 22].
[254] [The reference seems to be to Acts xiii, 46, the point of it being in the second part of that verse. The Spanish will also bear the interpretation: 'for them it behoved first (i.e., before others) to speak this word of God, as (being) those whom God set up as guides, etc.']
[255] [By this vivid phrase the author seems to mean: 'whom God held to be suitable recipients of it.']
[256] [Lit., 'unite.']
[257] Psalm lxxxv, 8 [A.V., lxxxvi, 8].
[258] Psalm lxxvi, 14 [A.V., lxxvii, 13] [lit., 'in that which is holy'].
[259] Psalm cxxxvii, 6 [A.V., cxxxviii, 6].
[260] Exodus xxxiii, 20.
[261] St. John i, 18.
[262] 1 Corinthians ii, 9; Isaias lxiv, 4.
[263] Acts vii, 32.
[264] 3 Kings [A.V. 1 Kings] xix, 13.
[265] [Lit., 'feign Him.']
[266] Isaias xl, 18-19.
[267] [All authorities read 'form' (or 'figure') here. Cf. n. 7, above.]
[268] [This is the word (fingir, 'feign'), translated above as 'imitate.' Cf. n. 7, above.]
[269] Baruch iii, 23.
[270] [Possibly a further reference to 1 Corinthians ii, 9-10, quoted above.]
[271] Hebrews xi, 6.
[272] Psalm xvii, 10-12 [A.V., xviii, 9-11].
[273] 3 Kings [A.V., 1 Kings] viii, 12.
[274] Job xxxviii, 1; xl, 1.
[275] 1 Corinthians xiii, 10.
[276] Judges viii, 16.
[277] [Lit., +by itself.+]
[278] [Lit., 'and blossom.']
[279] [Lit., 'from the affection and devotion of the sensible spirit.']
[280] [P. Silverio remarks here that] we must understand [as frequently elsewhere] 'sensibility' and not sensuality in the grosser sense.
[281] [Lit., 'and sweetnesses in the mouth.']
[282] E.p.: 'for those of the devil stop at the first movements and cannot move the will.' This, no doubt, was the Saint's meaning, for the Church teaches that the devil cannot influence the will directly, though he may do so indirectly, principally through the senses and the imagination.
[283] St. John of the Cross means that the soul should not rely upon its own judgment in such matters but upon some discreet and learned director.
[284] 2 Corinthians xi, 14.
[285] [Lit., 'making it over.'] E.p. has: 'setting it and placing it over.'
[286] [St. Matthew xxv, 21.]
[287] [Lit., 'and retired.']
[288] [The phrase is suggestive of St. Teresa, though the Spanish word is not moradas, but mansiones.]
[289] [Apocalypse xiii, 1.]
[290] [Apocalypse xiii, 7.]
[291] [St. Luke xi, 26.]
[292] [Lit., 'the intimate'; but the superlative idea is clearly present.]
[293] [Lit., 'by fancying.']
[294] [Lit., 'the level' -- i.e., by contrast with the steep stairs.]
[295] Acts xvii, 29.
[296] [The verb, recoger, of which the derived noun is translated 'recollection,' has more accurately the meaning of 'gather,' 'take inwards.']
[297] [Lit., 'to see that there are many who.']
[298] E.p. omits: 'and quietness.' The Saint's description of this first sign at which a soul should pass from meditation to contemplation was denounced as disagreeing with Catholic doctrine, particularly the phrase: 'that he can no longer meditate or reason with his imagination, neither can take pleasure therein as he was wont to do aforetime.' This language, however, is common to mystics and theologians, not excluding St. Thomas (2a 2ae, q. 180, a. 6) and Suarez (De Oratione, Bk. II, Chap. x), as is proved, with eloquence and erudition, by P. Basilio Ponce de Leon and the Elucidatio, in their refutations of the Saint's critics. All agree that, in the act of contemplation of which St. John of the Cross here speaks, the understanding must be stripped of forms and species of the imagination and that the reasonings and reflections of meditation must be set aside. This is to be understood, both of the contemplation that transcends all human methods, and also of that which is practised according to these human methods with the ordinary aid of grace. But there is this important difference, that those who enjoy the first kind of contemplation set aside all intellectual reasoning as well as processes of the fancy and the imagination, whereas, for the second kind, reasoning prior to the act of contemplation is normally necessary, though it ceases at the act of contemplation, and there is then substituted for it simple and loving intuition of eternal truth. It should be clearly understood that this is not of habitual occurrence in the contemplative soul, but occurs only during the act of contemplation, which is commonly of short duration. St. Teresa makes this clear in Chap. xxvii of her Life, and treats this same doctrinal question in many other parts of her works--e.g., Life, Chaps. x, xii; Way of Perfection, Chap. xxvi; Interior Castle, IV, Chap. iii, etc.
[299] [Lit., 'much.']
[300] E.p. omits: 'and sense.' Since sense plays so great a part in meditation, St. John of the Cross places it in contradistinction to contemplation, which, the more nearly it attains perfection, becomes the more sublime and spiritual and the more completely freed from the bonds of nature. Cf. Elucidatio, Pt. II, Chap. iii, p. 180.
[301] [embelesamiento, a word denoting a pleasurable condition somewhere between a reverie and a swoon.]
[302] [Lit., 'appear to be necessary in order to journey to spirit.']
[303] Job vi, 6.
[304] [Cf. the simile of the Waters in St. Teresa, Life, Chap. xi, and Interior Castle, IV, ii, iii.]
[305] [Lit., +booty,' 'prey.']
[306] [Lit., +the soul keeps in act its spiritual facilities.+]
[307] [The verb is tropezar en, which may mean either 'stumble upon' -- i.e., 'come across (and make use of),' or 'stumble over' -- i.e., the forms may be a stumbling-block, or a snare. I think there is at least a suggestion of the latter meaning.]
[308] [Lit., +to the sight of sense.+]
[309] [Or: 'when it was dependent on time.' Lit., 'acted in time.']
[310] [Or: 'and independent of time.' Lit., 'without time.']
[311] E.p. modifies these lines thus: '. . . it has been in pure intelligence, which is the brief prayer that is said to pierce the heavens. Because it is brief and because the soul is not conscious or observant of time.' P. Jose de Jesus Maria comments thus upon this passage: +In contemplation the soul withdraws itself from the seashore, and entirely loses sight of land, in order to whelm itself in that vast sea and impenetrable abyss of the Divine Essence; hiding itself in the region of time, it enters within the most extensive limits of eternity. For the pure and simple intelligence whereinto the soul is brought in this contemplation, as was pointed out by the ancient Dionysius (Myst. Theol., Chap. ii), and by our own Father, is not subject to time. For, as St. Thomas says (Pt. I, q. 118, a. 3, et alibi), the soul is a spiritual substance, which is above time and superior to the movements of the heavens, to which it is subject only because of the body. And therefore it seems that, when the soul withdraws from the body, and from all created things, and by means of pure intelligence whelms itself in eternal things, it recovers its natural dominion and rises above time, if not according to substance, at least according to its most perfect being; for the noblest and most perfect being of the soul resides rather in its acts than in its faculties. Wherefore St. Gregory said (Morals, Bk. VIII): "The Saints enter eternity even in this life, beholding the eternity of God."'
[312] Psalm ci, 8 [A.V. cii, 7].
[313] [The Spanish pajaro, 'bird,' is derived from passer, 'sparrow.']
[314] Canticles vi, 11.
[315] Canticles v, 2.
[316] The words which conclude this paragraph in the edition of 1630 ('The sign by which we may know if the soul is occupied in this secret intelligence is if it is seen to have no pleasure in thinking of aught, whether high or low') are not found either in the Codices or in e.p. When St. John of the Cross uses the words 'cessation,' 'idleness' [ocio, Lat. otium], 'quiet,' 'annihilation,' 'sleep' (of the faculties), etc., he does not mean, as the Illuminists did, that the understanding and will in the act of contemplation are so passive as to have lost all their force and vitality, and that the contemplative is therefore impeccable, although he commit the grossest sins. The soul's vital powers, according to St. John of the Cross, are involved even in the highest contemplation; the understanding is attentive to God and the will is loving Him. They are not working, it is true, in the way which is usual and natural with them -- that is, by reason and imagination -- but supernaturally, through the unction of the Holy Spirit, which they receive passively, without any effort of their own. It is in this sense that such words as those quoted above ('cessation,' 'idleness,' etc.) are both expressively and appropriately used by the Saint, for what is done without labour and effort may better be described by images of passivity than by those of activity. Further, the soul is unaware that its faculties are working in this sublime contemplation, though they undoubtedly do work. St. John of the Cross, philosopher as well as mystic, would not deny the vital and intrinsic activity of the understanding and the will in contemplation. His reasoning is supported by P. Jose de Jesus Maria (Apologia Mistica de la Contemplacion Divina, Chap. ix) [quoted at length by P. Silverio, Obras, etc., Vol. II, p. 130, note].
[317] In spite of this promise, the Saint does not return to this subject at such length as his language here would suggest.
[318] [Lit., 'in this loving or peaceful presence,' the original of 'presence' having also the sense of 'attendance.']
[319] Psalm xlv, 11 [A.V., xlvi, 10].
[320] Isaias vi, 4.
[321] Jeremias i, 11.
[322] Daniel viii, 10.
[323] Kings xxii, 11 [A.V., 1 Kings xxii, 11].
[324] [St. Matthew xxvii, 19.]
[325] E.p. omits: 'now natural, now supernatural.' The Saint employs this last word, in this passage, with the sense of 'preternatural.' Only God can transcend the bounds of nature, but the devil can act in such a way that he appears to be doing so, counterfeiting miracles, and so forth.
[326] [Lit., 'to come within God.'] E.p.: 'to be united with God.'
[327] Deuteronomy iv, 12.
[328] Deuteronomy iv, 15.
[329] Numbers xii, 6-8, [D.V. has 'Mary' for 'Miriam'.]
[330] [The progressive form is used in the Spanish: 'not to go (or 'be') leaning upon.']
[331] [Lit., 'impede the brightness.']
[332] St. Peter i, 19.
[333] Romans xiii, 1.
[334] Wisdom viii, 1.
[335] [The verb is progressive ('goes (on) instructing').]
[336] [This verb also is progressive: 'may go (on) making.']
[337] [Lit., 'mouthfuls of spiritual communication.']
[338] [All the verbs in the last two clauses are in the progressive form.]
[339] 1 Corinthians xiii, 11.
[340] [Lit., 'I emptied.']
[341] In reality, this instruction is given in Chap. xiii.
[342] Psalm cxlvii, 17.
[343] 1 Corinthians iii, 1-2.
[344] St. Matthew xv, 14.
[345] [Lit., 'if it were of God.']
[346] Genesis xv, 7.
[347] Genesis xlvi, 3-4.
[348] Judges xx, 12 ff.
[349] [Lit., 'according to the rind.' Cf. bk. II ch. viii, above.]
[350] 2 Corinthians iii, 6.
[351] Isaias xxviii, 9-11.
[352] [For 'wait,' we may also read 'hope,' the Spanish word (esperar) here used expressing both these ideas.]
[353] Jeremias iv, 10.
[354] Jeremias viii, 15.
[355] Psalm lxxi, 8 [A.V., lxxii, 8].
[356] Psalm lxxi, 12 [A.V., lxxii, 12.]
[357] [Lit., 'seeing Him later to be born.']
[358] [Lit., 'of Christ and of His followers.' The addition is necessary to the sense.]
[359] Acts xiii, 27.
[360] St. Luke xxiv, 21.
[361] St. Luke xxiv, 25.
[362] Acts i, 6.
[363] St. John xi, 50.
[364] 1 Corinthians ii, 14.
[365] [Lit., 'free and victorious.']
[366] Psalm ii, 9.
[367] Psalm ix, 17 [A.V., x, 18].
[368] Proverbs x, 24.
[369] Jonas iii, 4.
[370] [Lit., 'to promise.']
[371] 3 Kings [A.V., 1 Kings] xxi, 21.
[372] 3 Kings [A.V., 1 Kings] xxi, 27-9.
[373] St. John xii, 16.
[374] 1 Kings [A.V., 1 Samuel] ii, 30.
[375] Jonas iii, 4.
[376] 3 Kings [A.V., 1 Kings] xi, 38. [Actually it was to Jeroboam that this was said.]
[377] [Lit., 'on the road of eternity.']
[378] Ecclestiastes v, 1 [A.V. v, 2].
[379] Jeremias xx, 7-9.
[380] Lamentations iii, 47.
[381] Jonas iv, 2.
[382] Isaias vii, 12. [The Spanish has 'Achab' for 'Achaz.']
[383] 1 Kings [A.V., 1 Samuel] viii, 7.
[384] 2 Paralipomenon [A.V., 2 Chronicles] xx, 12.
[385] 1 Kings [A.V., 1 Samuel] xxviii, 15.
[386] Psalm lxxvii, 30-1 [A.V., lxxviii, 30-1].
[387] Numbers xxii, 32.
[388] [Lit., 'that come out true.']
[389] The exact reading in Boetius is: 'Tu quoque si vis lumine claro cernere vernum -- Tramite recto carpere callem -- Gaudia pelle -- Pelle timorem -- Spemque fugato -- Nec dolor adsit' (Migne, Vol. LXXV, p. 122).
[390] Judith xi, 12.
[391] Wisdom xi, 17 [A.V., xi, 16].
[392] Tobias xiv, 13.
[393] [i.e., any individual.]
[394] Isaias xix, 14.
[395] 3 Kings [A.V., 1 Kings] xxii, 22.
[396] Ezechiel xiv, 7-9.
[397] [Ezechiel xiv, 7.]
[398] [Lit., 'they serve nevertheless for the greater doctrine and clearness of our intention.']
[399] Isaias xxx, 2.
[400] Josue ix, 14.
[401] Hebrews i, 1.
[402] St. Matthew xvii, 5.
[403] Colossians ii, 3.
[404] 1 Corinthians ii, 2.
[405] Colossians ii, 9.
[406] St. John xix, 30.
[407] Galatians i, 8.
[408] [It was to Abiathar that this was said.] 1 Kings [A.V., 1 Samuel] xxiii, 9.
[409] Judges vii, 11.
[410] [Lit., 'and so dark.']
[411] Exodus iv, 14-15.
[412] St. Matthew xviii, 20.
[413] [Lit., 'the things which he has to be of God.']
[414] [Lit., '... with them, without the Church or...']
[415] Ecclesiasties iv, 10-12.
[416] [i.e., the penitent and the confessor or director.]
[417] Galatians ii, 2.
[418] Exodus xviii, 21-2.
[419] Galatians ii, 14.
[420] St. Matthew vii, 22.
[421] St. Matthew vii, 23.
[422] [The Spanish phrase equally admits the reading: 'even though the soul make.']
[423] [i.e., into the night of faith: cf. Chap. xxiii, Sect. 4, below.]
[424] It is in Chapter x (and not in viii, as is said in A, B and e.p.) that the author treats of these spiritual apprehensions.
[425] St. Gregory: Dial., Bk. 11, Chap. xxxv. 'Omnis etiam mundus velut sub uno solis radio collectus, ante oculos eius adductus est.'
[426] Exodus xxxiii, 20.
[427] Exodus xx, 19.
[428] Judges xiii, 22.
[429] E.p. abbreviates this paragraph thus: 'The other visions, which are of incorporeal substances, demand another and a higher illumination; and thus these visions of incorporeal substances, such as angels and souls, do not occur habitually, nor are they proper to this life; still less is that of the Divine Essence, which is proper to the Blessed in Heaven, save that it may be communicated to a soul fleetingly and as in passing.' The next two paragraphs are omitted from e.p. P. Jeronimo de San Jose, in the edition of 1630, copies from e.p. the lines given in this note above, and then continues: '[save when] God so allows, in spite of the condition of our natural life, withdrawing the spirit from it occasionally, as happened to the apostle Saint Paul, when he says that he saw unspeakable secrets in the third heaven.' The adjustments made by P. Salablanca and amplified by P. Jeronimo in the rest of the paragraph [cf. notes below] follow the most usual scholastic doctrine. Among the Discalced Carmelite writers who deal most fully and competently with this doctrine of spiritual visions are the authors of the Cursas Theologiae Mysticae, Vol. IV, Disp. xx, xxi; Felipe de la Santisima Trinidad: Summa Theologiae Mysticae, Pt. II, Tract. III, Disc. iv; Medula Mistica, Trat. VI. St. Thomas (I p., q. 88, a. 1) says that we cannot quidditative know separated substances.
[430] 2 Corinthians xii, 2.
[431] Exodus xxxiii, 22.
[432] This description the Saint probably accomplished, or intended to accomplish, in his commentaries on the last five stanzas of the Dark Night, which have not come down to us.
[433] St. Matthew iv, 8.
[434] E.p.: '. . . by intelligible suggestion.' On this passage, cf. Cornelius a Lapide (Commentaria in Matthaeum, Cap. IV) and St. Thomas (III p., q. 41, ad. 3).
[435] [Psalm xxxix, 6: cf. A.V., xl, 5.]
[436] Psalm xviii, 10-11 [A.V., xix, 9-10].
[437] Exodus xxxiv, 6-7.
[438] [Lit., 'Emperor.']
[439] St. John xiv, 21.
[440] 1 Corinthians xii, 10.
[441] Wisdom vii, 17-21.
[442] [Lit., 'of the roundness of the lands.']
[443] [Lit., 'exposition of words'; the reference is clearly to 1 Corinthians xii, 8-10.]
[444] [The original has gratis datas.]
[445] Proverbs xxvii, 19.
[446] 1 Corinthians ii, 15.
[447] 1 Corinthians ii, 10.
[448] [Lit., 'in the interior.']
[449] 4 Kings [A.V., 2 Kings] v, 26.
[450] 4 Kings [A.V., 2 Kings] vi, 12.
[451] Jeremias xlv, 3.
[452] Galatians i, 8.
[453] Romans x, 17.
[454] 2 St. Peter i, 19.
[455] Ecclesiastes vii, 1.
[456] [Lit., 'certain distinct and formal words.']
[457] Genesis xxvii, 22.
[458] [Lit., 'with four maravedis' worth of experience.' The maravedi was a small coin, worth 1/375 of a gold ducat, the unit of coinage at this time in Castile.]
[459] [Lit., 'and thus it.']
[460] This profound and important principle, which has often been developed in mystical theology, is well expounded by P. Jose de Jesus Maria in a treatise called Reply to a question [Respuesta a una duda]. Here, among other things, he says: 'As St. Thomas proves (De Veritate, q. 12, a. 6), Divine illumination, like every other spiritual form, is communicated to the soul after the manner of the receiver of it, whether according to sense or according to spirit, to the particular or to the universal. And thus, he that receives it must prepare himself for it to be communicated to him further, whether in small measure (as we say) or according to sense, or in large measure or intellectually.'
[461] [Canticles vi, 4.]
[462] [Lit., 'and then throwing it down.']
[463] [Lit., 'He grants them wrapped up in this.']
[464] [The verbs used in the Spanish for 'is fitting' and behoves' are the same.]
[465] Romans xii, 3.
[466] Daniel ix, 22.
[467] Exodus iii, iv.
[468] [Lit., 'greater worth.']
[469] This chapter is notable for the hardly surpassable clarity and precisions with which the Saint defines substantial locutions. Some critics, however, have found fault with him for saying that the soul should not fear these locutions, but accept them humbly and passively, since they depend wholly on God. The reply is that, when God favours the soul with these locutions, its own restless effort can only impede His work in it, as has already been said. The soul is truly co-operating with God by preparing itself with resignation and humble affection to receive His favours: it should not, as some critics have asserted, remain completely inactive. As to the fear of being deceived by these locutions, both St. Thomas and all the principal commentators are in conformity with the Saint's teaching. St. Teresa, too, took the same attitude as St. John of the Cross. Cf. her Life, Chap. xxv, and Interior Castle, VI, iii.
[470] Ecclesiastes viii, 4.
[471] Psalm lxvii, 34 [A.V., lxviii, 33].
[472] Genesis xvii, 1.
[473] Jeremias xxiii, 28-9.
[474] 1 Kings [A.V., 1 Samuel] iii, 10.
[475] A, B: 'and how He wills.' Note that the Saint does not deprecate good works, as did the Illuminists [alumbrados], who bade the perfect soul set them aside for contemplation, even though they were works of obligation. On the contrary, he asserts that good works have a definite, though a preparatory, part to play in the life of a contemplative.
[476] Alc. alone has: 'which follows this.' The Saint does not, in fact, return to this matter, either in the third book or elsewhere.
[477] [Lit., 'or apprehend by doing, but by receiving.']
[478] Some editions here add a long paragraph, which, however, is the work of P. Jeronimo de San Jose, who was responsible for the edition of 1630. It appears neither in the MSS. nor in e.p. It runs as follows:

All the instruction which has been given in this book on total abstraction and passive contemplation, wherein, oblivious to all created things and detached from images and figures, we allow ourselves to be guided by God, dwelling with simple regard upon supreme truth, is applicable not only to that act of most perfect contemplation, the lofty and wholly supernatural repose of which is still prevented by the daughters of Jerusalem (namely, good reflections and meditations), if at that time the soul desires them, but also to the whole of the time during which Our Lord communicates the simple, general and loving attentiveness aforementioned, or during which the soul, aided by grace, places itself in that state. For at that time the soul must always strive to keep its understanding in repose, without the interference of other forms, figures or particular kinds of knowledge, save very fleetingly and quite superficially; and it must have a loving sweetness which will enkindle it ever more. But, except at this time, in all its exercises, acts and works, the soul must make use of good meditations and remembrances, so as to experience the greater devotion and profit, most of all with respect to the life, passion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so that its actions, practices and life may be made like to His.
[479] Thus Alc. A, B, e.p. read: 'This suffices to conclude (our treatment of) the supernatural apprehensions of the understanding, so far as concerns the guidance of the understanding, by their means, in faith, to Divine union. And I think that what has been said with regard to this suffices, for, no matter what happens to the soul with respect to the understanding, instructions and cautions concerning it will be found in the sections already mentioned. And, if something should happen, apparently so different that none of them deals with it (although I think there will be nothing relating to the understanding which cannot be referred to one of the four kinds of distinct knowledge), instructions and cautions concerning it can be deduced from what has been said of others similar to it. And with this we will pass to the third book, where, with the Divine favour, we shall treat of the interior spiritual purgation of the will with regard to its interior affections which we here call active night.'

C, D have: 'From what has been said may be deduced instructions and cautions for guidance in whatever may happen to the soul with regard to the understanding, even if it seem so different that it includes none of the four distinct kinds, although I think there will be nothing relating to the understanding which cannot be referred to one of them. And so we will pass to the third book.'

The edition of 1630 follows A, B and e.p., and adds further: 'I therefore beg the discreet reader to read these things in a benevolent and simple spirit; for, when this spirit is not present, however sublime and perfect be the instruction, it will not yield the profit that it contains, nor will it earn the esteem that it merits. How much truer is this in the present case, since my style is in so many ways deficient!'
[480] It will be seen from what follows that in practice the Saint preserves the strictly tripartite division given in the text above, supernatural knowledge being found in each of the sections.
[481] [St. Matthew vi, 24.]
[482] 1 Corinthians vi, 17.
[483] P. Jose de Jesus Maria, in his Vida y excelencias de la Santisima Virgen Maria (I, xl), quotes this and part of the last paragraph from what he claims to be an original MS. of St. John of the Cross, but his text varies considerably from that of any MS. now known. [P. Silverio considers that this and other similar citations are quite untrustworthy.]
[484] The reference is to the drawing of the Mount of Perfection. Cf. The General Introduction, I, above.
[485] Wisdom vii, 21.
[486] [Lit., 'which cannot be' (que no puede ser), but this is a well-known Spanish hyperbole describing what is extremely difficult.]
[487] E.p. omits all the rest of this paragraph, substituting the following passage, which it introduces in order [says P. Silverio] to describe the scope of the Saint's teaching, and which is copied in the edition of 1630:

In [treating of] this purgation of the memory, I speak here only of the necessary means whereby the memory may place itself actively in this night and purgation, as far as lies in its power. And these means are that the spiritual man must habitually exercise caution, after this manner. Of all the things that he sees, hears, smells, tastes or touches he must make no particular store in the memory, or pay heed to them, or dwell upon them, but must allow them to pass and must remain in holy oblivion without reflecting upon them, save when necessary for some good reflection or meditation. And this care to forget and forsake knowledge and images is never applicable to Christ and His Humanity. For, although occasionally, at the height of contemplation and simple regard of the Divinity, the soul may not remember this most sacred Humanity, because God, with His own hand, has raised the soul to this, as it were, confused and most supernatural knowledge, yet it is in no wise seemly to study to forget it, since looking and meditating lovingly upon it will aid the soul to [attain] all that is good, and it is by its means that the soul will most readily rise to the most lofty state of union. And it is clear that, although other bodily and visible things are a hindrance and ought to be forgotten, we must not include among these Him Who became man for our salvation, and Who is the truth, the door, the way and the guide to all good things. This being assumed, let the soul strive after complete abstraction and oblivion, so that, in so far as is possible, there may remain in its memory no more knowledge or image of created things than though they existed not in the world; and let it leave the memory free and disencumbered for God, and, as it were, lost in holy oblivion.
[488] Romans viii, 14.
[489] [Lit., 'good.']
[490] Osee ii, 14.
[491] [Lit., 'whence that may come.']
[492] 1 Kings [A.V., 1 Samuel] iii, 10.
[493] Canticles iv, 12.
[494] [St. John xx, 19].
[495] Isaiah xlviii, 18.
[496] [Lit., 'to leave things.']
[497] [Lit., 'he finds nothing to seize upon, and with nothing he can do nothing.']
[498] Psalm lxxii, 8 [A.V., lxxiii, 8].
[499] Wisdom i, 5.
[500] [Lit., 'for the peace and calm of the same things and happenings.']
[501] Psalm xxxviii, 7 [A.V. xxxix, 6].
[502] Ecclesiastes iii, 12.
[503] Lamentations iii, 20.
[504] Hebrews xi, 1.
[505] St. Luke xiv, 33.
[506] Isaias v, 20.
[507] St. Luke xviii, 11-12.
[508] [Lit., 'in the heart.']
[509] [The two verbs, in the original, have very definite and concrete meanings, 'sweetened with honey' and 'dazzled by a lamp' respectively.]
[510] Psalm cxxxviii, 11 [A.V., cxxxix, 11].
[511] Psalm lxxxv, 8 [A.V., lxxxvi, 8].
[512] St. John i, 18.
[513] Isaias lxiv, 4.
[514] Exodus xxxiii, 20.
[515] 1 Thessalonians v, 19.
[516] Canticles viii, 6.
[517] More correctly, in Chaps. xvi and xvii.
[518] [Lit., 'the supernatural.']
[519] [Lit., 'had given it spirit' (or 'spirituality').]
[520] [Or 'spirituality.']
[521] [Or 'the spirit.']
[522] Habacuc ii, 1. [The original has 'munition' for 'tower' and 'contemplate' for 'watch and see.']
[523] Canticles viii, 6.
[524] [Lit., 'because in the arm is.']
[525] Really the chapter is the twenty-sixth.
[526] [The Spanish word, inclita, is stronger than this, meaning 'distinguished,' 'illustrious.']
[527] [Lit., 'which is painted.']
[528] [Lit., 'the painted image.']
[529] St. James ii, 20.
[530] Deuteronomy vi, 5.
[531] Psalm lviii, 10 [A.V., lix, 9].
[532] [Lit., 'the less strongly will its rejoicing be employed in God.']
[533] [The original is stronger: 'one same thing.']
[534] Ezechiel i, 5-9.
[535] Cf. Bk. III, ch. XVI, above.
[536] [Lit., 'things or blessings.' The word here translated 'blessings' is bienes, often rendered 'goods.' I use 'blessings' or 'good things' in the following chapters, according as best suits the context.]
[537] Ecclesiasticus xi, 10.
[538] St. Matthew xiii, 22; St. Luke viii, 14.
[539] [Lit., 'handles them.']
[540] St. Matthew xix, 23; St. Luke xviii, 24.
[541] Psalm lxi, 11 [A.V., lxii, 10].
[542] Ecclesiastes i, 14.
[543] Ecclesiastes v, 9.
[544] Ecclesiastes v, 12.
[545] St. Luke xii, 20.
[546] Psalm xlviii, 17-18 [A.V., xlix, 16-17].
[547] St. Matthew xvi, 26.
[548] 2 Kings [A.V. 2 Samuel] xiv, 25.
[549] St. Matthew xxiii, 15.
[550] Ecclesiastes ii, 2.
[551] Ecclesiastes vii, 5.
[552] Ecclesiastes vii, 4.
[553] Ecclesiastes vii, 3.
[554] 1 Corinthians vii, 27.
[555] 1 Corinthians vii, 29-30.
[556] [Lit., 'bring it no profit.']
[557] [Lit., 'for this is.']
[558] [Lit., 'that can be told in this case.']
[559] Deuteronomy xxxii, 15.
[560] Wisdom iv, 12.
[561] Exodus xxiii, 8.
[562] Exodus xxiii, 21-2.
[563] 1 Kings [A.V., 1 Samuel] xii, 3.
[564] Deuteronomy xxxii, 15.
[565] Isaiah i, 23.
[566] Deuteronomy xxxii, 15.
[567] St. Luke xvi, 8.
[568] Jeremias ii, 13.
[569] ['They have passed into the affection of the heart.'] Psalm lxxii, 7 [A.V. lxxiii, 7].
[570] Deuteronomy xxxii, 15.
[571] Colossians iii, 5.
[572] Numbers xxii, 7.
[573] Acts viii, 18-19.
[574] Ecclesiastes v, 11-12.
[575] ['He delivered them up to a reprobate sense.'] Romans i, 28.
[576] Psalm xlviii, 17-18 [A.V., xlix, 16-17].
[577] St. Luke xvi, 10.
[578] [The word 'sin' is not in the original of this sentence, which reads 'the small . . . the great . . .' etc.]
[579] Psalm lxi, 11 [A.V., lxii, 10].
[580] 2 Corinthians vi, 10.
[581] St. Matthew xix, 29.
[582] St. Luke xii, 20.
[583] Apocalypse xviii, 7.
[584] Proverbs xxxi, 30.
[585] Psalm ci, 27 [A.V., cii, 26-7].
[586] Ecclesiastes ii, 2.
[587] Isaias iii, 12.
[588] [Lit., 'the great.']
[589] Apocalypse xii, 4.
[590] Lamentations iv, 1-2.
[591] Apocalypse xvii, 3-4.
[592] Daniel ix, 27.
[593] Judges xvi.
[594] [Lit., 'since it was through this they fell into the vile abysses.']
[595] Proverbs xxiii, 31-2.
[596] [Lit., 'free and clear.']
[597] St. Matthew xvi, 24.
[598] Psalm lvii, 5 [A.V., lviii, 4-5].
[599] Wisdom i, 5.
[600] Isaias lxiv, 4; 1 Corinthians ii, 9.
[601] [Lit., 'that is not in renunciation . . .']
[602] St. Luke xvi, 19.
[603] [Lit., 'to the quantity.']
[604] [Lit., 'and gain continually.']
[605] Galatians v, 17.
[606] 1 Corinthians ii, 9, 10, 14.
[607] St. Matthew xix, 29.
[608] St. John iii, 6.
[609] 2 Corinthians iv, 17.
[610] [Lit., politica, the 'political' virtue of Aristotle and St. Thomas -- i.e., the 'social,' as opposed to the 'moral,' 'intellectual' and 'theological' virtues. P. Silverio glosses the word as meaning 'good government in the commonweal, courtesy and other social virtues.']
[611] Wisdom vii, 22.
[612] 3 Kings [A.V. 1 Kings] iii, 11-13.
[613] St. Luke xviii, 11-12.
[614] St. Luke xviii, 11.
[615] St. Matthew xxiii, 5.
[616] St. Matthew vi, 2.
[617] [Lit., 'are adoring.']
[618] [Lit., 'to present their alms or that which they do.']
[619] St. Matthew vi, 2.
[620] St. Matthew vi, 3.
[621] Job xxxi, 27-8.
[622] Ecclesiastes x, 1.
[623] Micheas vii, 3.
[624] Job xl, 16 [A.V., xl, 21].
[625] Jeremias xlix, 16. E.p. adds the translation: 'Thy arrogance hath deceived thee.'
[626] [Lit., 'will not give place to the weight of reason.']
[627] St. Luke viii, 12.
[628] St. Matthew v, 3.
[629] 1 Corinthians xii, 9-10.
[630] 1 Corinthians xii, 7.
[631] [Lit., 'give thanks and gifts to God.']
[632] [traspasar: lit., 'go over,' 'go through.']
[633] 1 Corinthians xiii, 1-2.
[634] St. Matthew vii, 22-3.
[635] St. Luke x, 20.
[636] Numbers xxii, 22-3.
[637] St. Luke ix, 54-5.
[638] Jeremias xxiii, 21.
[639] Jeremias xxiii, 32.
[640] Jeremias xxiii, 26.
[641] [Lit., 'the awful Body.']
[642] Acts iv, 29-30.
[643] 1 Kings [A.V., 1 Samuel] xxviii, 7, ff.
[644] 'Nec fides habet meritum cui humana ratio praebet experimentum.' St. Gregory, Hom. 26 in Evang. (Migne, Vol. LXXVI, p. 1,137).
[645] [St. Luke xxiv, 6; St. John xx, 2.]
[646] [Romans x, 17.]
[647] [St. John xx, 15].
[648] St. Luke xxiv, 15.
[649] [St. Luke xxiv, 25-6.]
[650] St. John xx, 29.
[651] St. John iv, 48.
[652] St. Luke x, 20.
[653] Psalm lxiii, 7 [A.V., lxiv, 6-7].
[654] Psalm xlv, 11 [A.V., xlvi, 10].
[655] Psalm lxii, 3 [A.V., lxii, 1-2].
[656] [Lit., 'thing.']
[657] [In spite of this promise, the Saint does not return to this subject at such length as his language here would suggest.]
[658] Judges xviii, 22-4.
[659] Genesis xxxi, 34-7.
[660] [In this and the next paragraph the Saint is more than usually personal in his approach to the reader. The word tu(you) is repeated many times, and placed in emphatic positions, in a way which cannot be exactly reproduced in English.]
[661] [Lit., 'awakens.' Cf. the use of the same metaphor below.]
[662] St. Luke iv, 24. [Rather St. Matthew xiii, 58 or St. Mark vi, 5.]
[663] [Again the Saint begins, repeatedly and emphatically, to employ the pronoun tu. Cf. Bk. III, chap. xxxvi, Sect. 7, above.]
[664] St. Matthew xxi, 9. [Cf. St. Luke xix, 41.]
[665] Exodus xxxii, 7-28.
[666] Leviticus x, 1-2.
[667] St. Matthew xxii, 12-13.
[668] St. Matthew xv, 8. [Lit., 'they serve Me without cause.']
[669] [Lit., 'that spin more finely' -- a common Spanish metaphor.]
[670] [Lit., 'their palate.']
[671] St. John iv, 23-4.
[672] 1 Corinthians iii, 16.
[673] St. John iv, 24.
[674] E.p. omits: 'namely, Saint Simon.' The allusion is, of course, to Saint Simon Stylites.
[675] Genesis xii, 8; xiii, 4.
[676] Genesis xxviii, 13-19.
[677] Genesis xvi, 13.
[678] Exodus xxiv, 12.
[679] Genesis xxii, 2.
[680] 3 Kings [A.V., 1 Kings] xix, 8.
[681] With the last word of this chapter, which is also the last word of the page in Alc., the copy of P. Juan Evangelista comes to an end. The remainder of Alc. comes from another very early copy which, in the time of P. Andres, existed at Duruelo (cf. Outline of the Life of St.John of the Cross, above).
[682] St. Matthew vi, 33.
[683] Psalm cxliv, 18 [A.V., cxlv, 18].
[684] Psalm cxliv, 19-20 [A.V., cxlv, 19-20].
[685] 2 Paralipomenon [A.V., 2 Chronicles] i, 11-12.
[686] Genesis xxi, 13.
[687] St. Luke xi, 1-4.
[688] St. Luke xviii, 1.
[689] St. Matthew xxvi, 39.
[690] St. Matthew vi, 6.
[691] Judith viii, 11-12.
[692] Psalm lxvii, 34 [A.V., lxviii, 33].
[693] Acts xix, 15.
[694] St. Mark ix, 38-9.
[695] Romans ii, 21.
[696] Psalm xlix, 16-17 [A.V., l, 16-17].
[697] 1 Corinthians ii, 1-4.
[698] E.p. adds: 'End of the Ascent of Mount Carmel.' The treatise thus remains incomplete, the chapter on the preacher being unfinished and no part of any chapter upon the hearer having come down to us. Further, the last two divisions of the four mentioned in Chap. xxxv, Sect. 1 are not treated in any of the MSS. or early editions.

The fragments which P. Gerardo [Obras, etc., I, 402-10] added to the Ascent, forming two chapters, cannot be considered as a continuation of this book. They are in reality a long and admirable letter [Letter XI in The Complete Works of St. John of the Cross: Vol. III, p. 255], written to a religious, who was one of the Saint's spiritual sons, and copied by P. Jeronimo de San Jose in his History of St. John of the Cross (Bk. VI, Chap. vii). There is not the slightest doubt that the letter which was written at Segovia, and is fully dated, is a genuine letter, and not an editor's maltreatment of part of a treatise. Only the similarity of its subject with that of these last chapters is responsible for its having been added to the Ascent. It is hard to see how P. Gerardo could have been misled about a matter which is so clear.

[This question was re-opened, in 1950, by P. Sobrino (see Vol. III, p. 240), who adds TG and a codex belonging to the Discalced Carmelite Fathers of Madrid to the list of the MSS. which give the fragments as part of the Ascent, making six authorities in all, against which can be set only the proved and admitted reliability of P. Jeronimo de San Jose. P. Sobrino, who discusses the matter (Estudios, etc., pp. 166-93) in great detail, hazards a plausible and attractive solution, which he reinforces with substantial evidence -- that of a 'double redaction.' According to this theory, the Saint, in writing to the religious of Letter XI, made use, for the substance of his instruction, of two fragments which were to have gone into the Ascent. Considering how often in his writings he doubled passages, to say nothing of whole works, it is quite understandable that he should have utilized two unincorporated, and indeed unfinished, passages for a private letter.]


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