What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
The shepherd says: I pity the oneStanzas applied spiritually to Christ and the soul
who draws herself back from my love,
and does not seek the joy of my presence,
though my heart is an open wound with love for her.
Poetry 7, Stanza 4
O seraphic St. John of the Cross,
the ardent love which burned always in your heart
led you to see all things only in God
and to seek only His glory.
It was to increase this love
and thus unite yourself more closely to God
that you led such a penitential life.
I beg you, inflame my heart with a love like yours,
so that I may have the courage to mortify myself
and give myself generously to the practice of virtue.
Thus may I truly love God
with all the fervor of which I am capable.
John of the Cross, St. 1991, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Revised Edition, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K and Rodriguez, O with revisions and introductions by Kavanaugh, K, ICS Publications, Washington DC.