St. John of the Cross Feast Day

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He arguably wrote the most Zen-like passage in the Christian tradition

To reach satisfaction in all

desire its possession in nothing.

To come to possess all

desire the possession of nothing.

To come to the knowledge of all

desire the knowledge of nothing.

To come to the pleasure you have not

you must go by a way in which you enjoy not.

To come to the knowledge you have not

you must go by a way in which you know not.

To come to the possession you have not

you must go by a way in which you possess not.

To come to be what you are not

you must go by a way in which you are not.

When you turn toward something

you cease to cast yourself upon the all.

For to go from all to the all

you must deny yourself of all in all.

And when you come to the possession of the all

you must possess it without wanting anything.

Because if you desire to have something in all

your treasure in God is not purely your all.

In this nakedness the spirit finds

its quietude and rest.

For in coveting nothing,

nothing raises it up

and nothing weighs it down,

because it is in the center of its humility.

When it covets something

in this very desire it is wearied (Kavanaugh & Rodriguez 1979a:103 )