Break the cord and fly like a bird.

fly like a bird

When you feel as if you are in a deep darkness because of doubt, fear, illness, or depression, rather than try to desperately climb out perhaps it would be better to “walk in the dark.”  Often when we try too hard we only get more discouraged and if we go with the flow while we try, we slowly feel better.

We can be attached to our pursuit of happiness and health to the point of forgetting we are human.  We can expect ourselves, our doctors, therapists, spiritual directors, and priests to completely heal us, as if they were god.  Pursuing health and happiness are good but need to be kept in balance.  If we pine for them too much, we ignore the fact that only God can fully heal us and bring us lasting happiness.  

When you feel overwhelmed by life’s difficulties St. John of the Cross advises:

“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

“In tribulation immediately draw near to God with confidence, and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.”

“The soul that is attached to anything however much good there may be in it will not arrive at the liberty of divine union.  For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast; for until the cord be broken the bird cannot fly.”

 

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Close your eyes and walk in the dark

St. John

Where have you hidden,
Beloved, and left me moaning?
you fled like the stag
after wounding me;
I went out calling you, but you were gone.

~~ Spiritual Canticle of St. John the Cross ~ Stanza 1

St. John the Cross was born in 1542 as John (Juan de Yepes Alvarez) in a small community near Avila, Spain.  He joined the Carmelite Order in 1563 and took the name Juan de Sato Matia (John of St. Mathias). In 1577, the unreformed Carmelites imprisoned him in Toledo, Spain.

In a dark, cold and desolate six by 10 feet prison cell, he wrote his famous poem: Spiritual Canticle.

In 1578 after nine months of imprisonment, he escaped taking with him his poetry.  He stayed in a convent to get better, read his poetry and shared his experience of God’s love to the sisters.

He is similar to Rumi, a poet and a mystic.  He also wrote the Dark Night of the Soul and Ascent of Mount Carmel.  He is one of the leading poets in Spanish literature.

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