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563 St. John of the Cross: Dark Night of the Soul

“Dark Night of the Soul” explores the transformative journey of the soul through spiritual purification, leading to union with God.



"Dark Night of the Soul" by St. John of the Cross is a profound spiritual treatise that delves into the transformative process of the soul as it undergoes spiritual purification and seeks union with God. The book describes the dark night as a period of intense purgation, characterized by the soul's detachment from worldly attachments, the stripping away of self-centeredness, and the purification of its desires and passions. St. John of the Cross offers guidance and insight into the challenges faced by those who embark on this spiritual path, explaining the nature of the dark night, its purpose, and the signs of progress along the way. The book emphasizes the need for surrender, trust, and faith in God's transformative work, ultimately leading to a profound spiritual union and a deepening of the soul's relationship with the divine. "Dark Night of the Soul" remains a timeless spiritual classic, offering wisdom and guidance for those seeking a deeper spiritual connection and transformation.


  1. Title: Dark Night of the Soul 
  2. Author: St. John of the Cross 
  3. Publishing Year: 2008
  4. Publisher: christianaudio.com
  5. Length in Hours: 5 hrs and 28 mins


5 main ideas

  1. Spiritual Purification: The book explores the process of spiritual purification known as the dark night, wherein the soul undergoes a profound transformation and purification of its attachments, desires, and self-centeredness.
  2. Detachment from Worldly Attachments: St. John of the Cross discusses the necessity of detachment from worldly pleasures, possessions, and attachments in order to progress on the spiritual journey and achieve union with God.
  3. Surrender and Trust in God: The book emphasizes the importance of surrendering to God's will and trusting in divine providence throughout the dark night, even in the face of challenges and uncertainties.
  4. The Role of Faith: St. John of the Cross highlights the significance of faith as a guiding force in the dark night, as the soul is called to trust in God's transforming work and rely on divine grace.
  5. Union with God: The book culminates in the concept of union with God, wherein the soul experiences a profound and intimate connection with the divine, transcending the limitations of the earthly realm.

5 funny quotes

  1. "In the darkest night, remember to carry a flashlight, for even a small glimmer can guide your way."
  2. "When the soul feels lost, just remember to follow the stars—both the ones in the sky and the ones in your heart."
  3. "A good cup of tea can bring solace to the soul, even in the darkest night."
  4. "Embrace the darkness like a cozy blanket, for it is often in the quiet and stillness that we find our true selves."
  5. "Sometimes the dark night of the soul is just a reminder to get more sleep—rest is essential for the journey!"

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
  2. "In the depth of the soul, there is a secret abyss wherein God alone dwells."
  3. "To reach satisfaction in all, desire satisfaction in nothing."
  4. "What restrains the desire is not the desire itself but the resolution not to yield to it."
  5. "The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light."

5 dilemmas

  1. The tension between the desire for spiritual union with God and the challenges of earthly attachments and distractions.
  2. The struggle to let go of worldly desires and ambitions in order to embrace the transformative process of the dark night.
  3. The paradoxical experience of feeling abandoned or distant from God during the dark night, while seeking closeness and union with the divine.
  4. The challenge of maintaining faith and trust in God's providence when faced with spiritual dryness or the absence of divine consolations.
  5. The dilemma of surrendering personal will and desires to God's will, allowing divine transformation to occur, while still maintaining individual responsibility and agency.

5 examples

  1. Teresa of Ávila - St. John of the Cross had a close spiritual relationship with St. Teresa of Ávila, and their writings on spiritual mysticism complement each other.
  2. Meister Eckhart - St. John of the Cross drew inspiration from the works of Meister Eckhart, a prominent Christian mystic and philosopher.
  3. St. Francis of Assisi - The teachings and life of St. Francis of Assisi influenced St. John of the Cross's understanding of detachment and simplicity on the spiritual path.
  4. Julian of Norwich - St. John of the Cross shares similarities with Julian of Norwich in their exploration of the divine love and the transformative power of spiritual suffering.
  5. Thomas Merton - St. John of the Cross's writings have influenced the works of Thomas Merton, an influential Catholic writer and mystic.

Referenced books

  1. "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas à Kempis
  2. "The Cloud of Unknowing" by an anonymous medieval Christian mystic
  3. "The Interior Castle" by St. Teresa of Ávila
  4. "The Philokalia" (collection of Eastern Orthodox Christian texts on prayer and contemplation)
  5. The Bible - Various biblical passages and teachings are referenced throughout the book, particularly from the Psalms, the Song of Solomon, and the letters of St. Paul.

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"A good cup of tea can bring solace to the soul, even in the darkest night."

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