The Ascent of Mount Carmel

THE ASCENT OF MOUNT CARMEL

This treatise explains how to reach divine union quickly. It presents instruction and doctrine valuable for beginners and proficients alike that they may learn how to unburden themselves of all earthly things, avoid spiritual obstacles, and live in that complete nakedness and freedom of spirit necessary for divine union. It was composed by Padre Fray John of the Cross, Discalced Carmelite. 

THEME

The following stanzas include all the doctrine I intend to discuss in this book, The Ascent of Mount Carmel. They describe the way that leads to the summit of the mount – that high state of perfection we here call union of a soul with God. Since these stanzas will serve as a basis for all I shall say, I want to cite them here in full that the reader may see in them a summary of the doctrine to be expounded.

STANZAS

A song of the soul’s happiness in having passed through the dark night of faith, in nakedness and purgation, to union with its Beloved.

1.

One dark night,

fired with love’s urgent longings

– ah, the sheer grace! –

I went out unseen,

my house being now all stilled.

2.

In darkness and secure,

by the secret ladder, disguised,

– ah, the sheer grace! –

in darkness and concealment,

my house being now all stilled.

3.

On that glad night,

in secret, for no one saw me,

nor did I look at anything,

with no other light or guide

than the one that burned in my heart.

4.

This guided me

more surely than the light of noon

to where he was awaiting me

– him I knew so well –

there in a place where no one appeared.

5.

O guiding night!

O night more lovely that the dawn!

O night that has united

the Lover with his beloved,

transforming the beloved in her Lover.

6.

Upon my flowering breast

which I kept wholly for him alone,

there he lay sleeping,

and I caressing him

there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

7.

When the breeze blew from the turret,

as I parted his hair,

it wounded my neck

with its gentle hand

suspending all my senses.

8.

I abandoned and forgot myself,

laying my face on my Beloved;

all things ceased; I went out from myself,

leaving my cares

forgotten among the lilies.

*

IMG_0949

*

img_0940.jpg

*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: