This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Monday, 24 November 2014

24th November, St John of the Cross, Confessor and Doctor of the Church

St John of the Cross, Confessor and Doctor of the Church

Born in Old Castile in 1542, he took the name of John of the Cross, on entering the Order of Mount Carmel. He always had a great devotion to the Passion of our Lord and his predominant virtue was abnegation. He obtained from God not to pass a day without suffering and to die where he would be unknown to all.

He helped St Teresa in reforming the Order, and introduced the primitive observance among the friars. He was also equal to St Teresa in explaining divine mysteries.

Struck down at Ubeda, by a cruel disease, he died embracing the crucifix and exclaiming: "Glory To God" in 1591. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI in 1926.

In medio Ecclesiae aperuit os ejus: et implevit eum Dominus spiritu sapientiae et intellectus: stolam gloriae induit eum. * Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and He filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. * It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy name, O most High.
(Ecclesiasticus 15:5 and Psalm 91:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui sanctum Joánnem Confessórem tuum atque Doctorem perféctae sui abnegatiónis
et Crucis amatórem exímium effecísti: concéde; ut, ejus imitatióni júgiter inhaeréntes, glóriam assequámur aetérnam.

O God, who didst endow holy John,Thy confessor and doctor, with a wonderful love of self-denial and with a surpassing love of the cross; grant that by following ever in his footsteps, we may obtain everlasting glory.

The Dark Night
a poem by St John of the Cross

On a darkened night,
Anxious, by love inflamed,
-- O happy chance! --
Unnoticed, I took flight,
My house at last at peace and quiet.

Safe, disguised by the night,
By the secret ladder I took flight,
-- O happy chance! --
Cloaked by darkness, I scaled the height,
My house at last at peace and quiet.

On that blessed night,
In secret, and seen by none,
None in sight,
I saw with no other guide or light,
But the one burning in my heart bright.

This guide, this light,
Brighter than the midday sun,
Led me to the waiting One
I knew so well -- my delight!
To a place with none in sight.

O night! O guide!
O night more loving than the dawn!
O night that joined
The lover with the Beloved;
Transformed, the lover into the Beloved drawn!

Upon my flowered breast,
For him alone kept fair,
There he slept
There I caressed,
There the cedars gave us air.

I drank the turret's cool air
Spreading playfully his hair.
And his hand, so serene,
Cut my throat. Drained
Of senses, I dropped unaware.

Lost to myself and yet remaining,
Inclined so only the Beloved I spy.
All has ceased, all rests,
Even my cares, even I;
Lost among the lilies, there I die.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

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