St. John of the Cross (1542-1591). order that the soul may come to union with God in hope, it must renounce every possession of the memory; for, in order that its hope in God may be perfect, it must have naught in the memory that is not God. And, as we have likewise said, no form or figure or image or other kind of knowledge that may come to the memory can be God, neither can be like Him, whether as David teaches, when he says:  'Lord, among the gods there is none like unto Thee;........."  St. John of the Cross.   Ascent of Mount Carmel. P. 377.

God held

the earth as if it were His lover

and spoke with the most tender of feelings

to all in existence as He spoke

to me, (…)

I now see my Beloved




At last the time came for the bride

to be with Him.

Nothing all other brides had ever known

could have prepared me.

Only the beauty and light you cannot describe

has a place in His house.

I can touch God-yes-but not with anything I own,

not with anything I can identify with,

not with anything that



Purity, have you ever contemplated that word?

I once beheld the root of the Immaculate

and it drew me into itself,

I looked at all through

His eyes.


My soul is a candle that burned away the veil;

only the glorious duties of light I now have.

The suffering I knew initiated me into God.

I am a holy confessor for men.

When I see their tears running across their cheeks

and falling into

His hands,

what can I say to their great sorrow

that I too have


The soul is a candle that will burn away the darkness,

only the glorious duties of love we will have.

(…) P.305.


I did not

have to ask my heart what it wanted,

because of all the desires I have ever known just one did I cling to

for it was the essence of

all desire:

to hold beauty in

my soul’s




I look

at your body, dear;

I am talking about a woman’s,

and I question my vows deeply. For all around me

are making


Beauty is exciting the tree’s limbs; look how sweet

they act and sway, they pretend to by shy, then laugh and yield,

as I want to with


Most yield to love when its power awakes.

My hands could kneel upon you. An altar I see your breasts.

And is not every part of me sacred too, worthy of His mouth,

worthy of the earth’s homage, worthy of giving


An altar is every pore and hair on every body-

confess that, dear God,


why make us suffer your silence any longer

about such a vital


Still, I shall maintain for reasons beyond all morals,

my blessed vow of




You might quiet the whole world for a second

if you pray.

And if you love, if you

really love,

our guns will




How could I love my fellow men who tortured me?

One night I was dragged into a room

and beaten near death with their shoes

striking me hundreds of times

in the face, scarring me


I cried out for God for help, until I fainted.

That night in a dream, in a dream more real than this world.

a strap from the Christ’s sandal

fell from my bleeding


and I looked at Him and He

was weeping, and spoke,

“I cobbled their boots;

how sorry

I am.

What moves all things

is God.”



The weight of arrogance is such

that no bird can fly

carrying it.

And the man who feels superior

to others, that man

cannot dance,

the real dance when the soul takes God

into its arms (…)



“What is grace?” I asked God.

And he said,

“All that happens.”

Then Ha added, when I looked perplexed,

“Could not lovers

say that every moment in their Beloved’s arms

was grace?

Existence is my arms,

though I well understand how one can turn

away from


until the heart has




Once I said to God, “How do you teach us?”

And He replied,


you were

playing chess with someone who

had infinite power and infinite knowledge

and wanted to make you a

master of the


where would all the chess

pieces be at every


Indeed, not only where he wanted them, but where all were best for your


and that is every situation

of one’s




They can be like a sun, words.

They can do for the heart

what light can

for a field.



Tenderly, I now touch all


knowing one day we will





Finding our soul’s beauty does that-gives us

tremendous freedom

from worry.

(…). P.326.


Your body is a divine stream,

as is your spirit.

When your two great rivers merge, one voice is found

and the earth applauds

in excitement.

(…). P.328.


Quiet yourself.

Reach out with your mind’s skillful hand.

Let it go inside of me

and touch



be shy, dear.

Every aspect of Light we are meant

to know.

The calm hand holds more

than baskets of goods

from the market.

(…). P.329.

All the above quotes from:

Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. Penguin Group.

Last updated: 2008/10/27