“God leads into the dark night those whom He desires to purify from all these imperfections so that He may bring them farther onward.” (St. John of the Cross)
John was good at caring for the sick. He’d been such a gentle nurse’s assistant that the hospital director encouraged him to study to become a chaplain. John chose instead to become a Carmelite priest, but almost as soon as he was ordained, he began thinking that life with the Carthusians would be better for him. Enter Teresa of .vila, who was embarking on her own effort to reform the Carmelites and take them back to their roots. She invited John to join her in the effort. It was not long thereafter that he and four others opened a Discalced Carmelite community for men; a few years later, he became the spiritual director for Teresa’s Convent of the Incarnation.
When John refused to abandon the reformation efforts, he was imprisoned for nine months, during which time he wrote Dark Night of the Soul. For this book and his other writings, John was named a Doctor of the Church in 1926. John healed with his hands, his words, and his faith-filled courage. Dark nights will come to us all; patience and trust, as John articulated so beautifully, will carry us forward.
—from the book Brotherhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration
by Melanie Rigney