Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Great Advent Saint

Recently I was asked to pray the "Traditional Grace Prayer" at my cousin's wedding reception. I considered it a great honor. Before I led the praying of "Grace," I thanked God for the gift of love that the couple shared and for all the blessings in our family. I then recited a quote from the writings of one of my favorite Carmelite saints-St. John of the Cross. He wrote, "In the evening of life, you will be judged by how well you have loved." And then we prayed together. That beautiful quote from St. John is very telling and gives insight into how important love is to God and to our relationship with each other. It's very clear in the Gospels, Jesus commanded us to love one another. I often think of what a different world this would be if humankind had only listened, really listened to those words and acted upon them. Just that one command, if fulfilled, could have brought peace and justice to our world. 
St. John of the Cross, a great Spanish mystical poet and Doctor of the Church suffered much is his life. He suffered rejection, alienation, ridicule, mocking and yet he wound up becoming a great saint and Doctor of the Church. He imitated Jesus and he loved Jesus as only a mystic can, without any conditions. 
St. John of the Cross is an Advent saint. His feast day is December 14th. He is one of the many saints, I look forward to meeting in Heaven. Can you imagine meeting the great saints in Heaven?

The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. The soul has to proceed rather by unknowing rather than knowing.

Desire to imitate Christ and study his life.   
St. John of the Cross