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Posted October 25, 2015

Book: John of the Cross: Man and Mystic
Author: Richard P. Hardy
ICS Publications. Washington, DC. 2015. Pp. 178

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

St. John of the Cross, great mystic of the Christian tradition, knew suffering first-hand: his personal “dark night" included exile, imprisonment, starvation, abuse. Yet sustained by tremendous faith and steeped in an enormous love for God and humanity, he surrendered to the Divine and was drawn through his experiences to a profound compassion for and solidarity with others.

This engaging biography is the perfect introduction --- or an enjoyable re-acquaintance --- to a man whose life, writings, and spirituality have illuminated the Christian world.

Includes a guide to reading the works of John of the Cross, photos and color reproductions of masterpiece artwork, and an extensive bibliography.

An Excerpt from the Book:

He was a man of striking honesty for his time. One day someone came to the colegio with some stipends for Eucharists to be offered on particular dates. Since all the friars already were occupied on those days, Fray Juan [ John of the Cross] ordered that the stipends not be accepted. One of his assistants suggested that one day more or less was not really important, and since they needed the money perhaps they could accept the stipends and offer the Eucharists at a later date. However, Fray Juan firmly maintained that they were to be truthful first and foremost and leave their needs to God. Fray Juan loved authenticity, a key quality of a Christian.

Fray Juan de Santa Eufemia described another striking characteristic of Fray Juan de la Cruz. According to the constitutions of the Order, the superior was to visit the cells of the friars to make surethey wre not disobeying any rules. Fray Juan would do this, but, as he went along, he would rattle his rosary, thereby making enough noise to warn the friars that he was coming. He we never out to catch someone doing something wrong. He saw the Rule and its fulfillment as a way of helping others to live out their religious lives more fully.

Table of Contents:

1. Juan de Yepes: the young man

2. The young Carmelite and the reform

3. Avila and the monastery of Encarnacion

4. The Dark Night of imprisonment in Toledo

5. Fray Juan de la Cruz" leadership in Andalusia

6. The final years: Segovia and Ubeda


Appendix A

How to read the works of Fray de la Cruz

Appendix B

Selected texts from the works of Fray Juan de la Cruz

Appendix C

For further reading