14 December. Saint John of the Cross, our Father

Priest and Doctor of the Church, Solemnity

Hence, also, the thicket, which the soul desires to enter, may be fittingly understood as signifying the great and many trials and tribulations which the soul longs for, because suffering is most sweet and most profitable to it, inasmuch as it is the way by which it enters more and more into the thicket of the delicious wisdom of God.

The most pure suffering leads to the most pure and the deepest knowledge, and consequently to the purest and highest joy, for that is the issue of the deepest knowledge. Thus, the soul, not satisfied with ordinary suffering, says, "Let us enter into the heart of the thicket," even the anguish of death, that I may see God. STANZA XXXVI

A SPIRITUAL CANTICLE OF THE SOUL AND THE BRIDEGROOM CHRIST BY ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS