Quote of the day, 7 January: St. John of the Cross

You considered
that one hair fluttering at my neck;
you gazed at it upon my neck
and it captivated you;
and one of my eyes wounded you.

The Spiritual Canticle: Stanza 31

For God, to gaze at is to love. If in his infinite mercy he had not gazed at us and loved us first — as St. John declares (1 Jn. 4:10, 19) — and descended, the hair of our lowly love would not have taken him prisoner, for this love was not so lofty in its flight as to be able to capture this divine bird of heights. But because he came down to gaze at us and arouse the flight of our love by strengthening and giving it the courage for this (Dt. 32:11), he himself as a result was captivated by the flight of the hair, that is, he was satisfied and pleased.

Saint John of the Cross

The Spiritual Canticle: Stanza 31,8

Maria mit Kind
Garofalo (Benvenuto Tisi) (Italian, 1481–1559)
Oil on poplar panel
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen – Alte Pinakothek, München

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.

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