Apostolic Journey to Spain
CELEBRATION OF THE WORD
in honor of St. John of the Cross
Modern man, in spite of his conquests, also touches in his personal and collective experience the abyss of abandonment, the temptation of nihilism, the absurdity of so many physical, moral and spiritual sufferings. The dark night, the trial that makes one touch the mystery of evil and demands the openness of faith, sometimes acquires epochal dimensions and collective proportions.
The Christian and the Church itself also can identify with the Christ of St. John of the Cross at the height of his pain and abandonment. All these sufferings have been assumed by Christ in his cry of pain and in his confident surrender to the Father. In faith, hope, and love, night becomes day, suffering becomes joy, death becomes life.
John of the Cross, with his own experience, invites us to trust, to let ourselves be purified by God; in the hopeful and loving faith, the night begins to know “the rising of the dawn”; it becomes luminous like an Easter night—“O vere beata nox”, “O night more lovely than the dawn”—and announces the resurrection and the victory, the coming of the Bridegroom who joins with him and transforms the Christian: “transforming the beloved in her Lover”.
May the dark nights that hover over individual consciences and the collectives of our time be lived in pure faith; in hope that “attains as much as it hopes for”; in flaming love of the Spirit’s strength, so that they become luminous days for our suffering humanity, in victory of the Risen One who liberates with the power of his cross!
Saint John Paul II
Homily, 4 November 1982
Convent of the Discalced Carmelite Friars
Our featured image shows the reliquary that holds the head and torso of St. John of the Cross, venerated in a monumental chapel built in the 1930s at the convent of the Discalced Carmelite friars in Segovia (Photo credit: albTotxo / Flickr / Some rights reserved).