• Title: The Ascent of Mount Carmel
  • Author: San Juan de la Cruz (St. John of the Cross)
  • ISBN: 9781428614000
  • Page: 320
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Ascent of Mount Carmel Written between and in Granada Spain after John s escape from prison the Ascent is illustrated by a diagram of the process outlined in the text of the Soul s progress to the summit of the
    Written between 1578 and 1579 in Granada, Spain, after John s escape from prison, the Ascent is illustrated by a diagram of the process outlined in the text of the Soul s progress to the summit of the metaphorical Mount Carmel where God is encountered The work is divided into three sections and is set out as a commentary on four poetic stanzas by John on the subject of thWritten between 1578 and 1579 in Granada, Spain, after John s escape from prison, the Ascent is illustrated by a diagram of the process outlined in the text of the Soul s progress to the summit of the metaphorical Mount Carmel where God is encountered The work is divided into three sections and is set out as a commentary on four poetic stanzas by John on the subject of the Dark Night John shows how the Soul sets out to leave all worldly ties and appetites behind to achieve nothing less than transformation in God.

    One Reply to “The Ascent of Mount Carmel”

    1. After years of wanting to read this, many starts and restarts, I finally finished it! It turned out not to be so insurmountable as I'd made it out to be. Was this because of a mental block or because it was too soon? Loved how he tied Faith to the Intellect, Hope to the Memory and Charity to the Will. Those sections were the best and require careful rereading/outlining. Much to be gained there. Dripping with Scripture, John brought out example after example many which I'd never heard or consider [...]

    2. As I was drinking my morning cup of coffee, I reached the end of St. John of the Cross's "The Ascent of Mount Carmel." I cannot say that I am finished with they work because I plan on coming back to its tremendous insights many more time. As my first foray into his poetic approach to theology, I found St. John dense but very accessible. I was also quite saddened that St. John did not finish "The Ascent" but left the work 98% complete: he was missing two chapters related to the virtue of charity [...]

    3. This is one of the classics in Spanish. The book dates back to the 1500s and is toted as A Masterpied in the Literature of Mysticisim. In fact St. John of the Cross is called the greatest mystical writer of all times. This work is one all that easy to read. He talks about spiritual things no other writers had ever written about, at least in such detail. He explains how to become more closley united with God and the pitfalls to avoid. He talks about when it is time to change the way you pray. In [...]

    4. Thomas Merton called John of the Cross "the greatest of all mystical theologians”. That could have been praise enough to draw me to the writings of this mystic, but what compelled me most was listening to the recording of a retreat (Intimacy: The Divine Ambush) with Richard Rohr and James Finley given in Santa Fe, New Mexico in April, 2013. During this retreat, James Finley made frequent references to the Works of St. John of the Cross, particularly the Ascent of Mount Carmel.This book follows [...]

    5. Has a mystic feel to it. Great at points, but you have to chew the meat of what is good, and spit out the bones of what is bad.

    6. It has been sometime since I read John of the Cross and I think that biblical studies and Barth have ruined me for mysticism. Oh well. John of the Cross is a poetic soul and well I think there may be too much Neoplatonism in places, there is a lot of wisdom here. John of the Cross uses one of his poems to frame this discussion of progress in the spiritual life (like in Dark Night of the Soul) Ascent of Mt Carmel is built on a poem about a Dark Night of the Soul where we have the three 'dark nigh [...]

    7. The theme of this mystical treatise is how the spiritual man will properly use the powers of the soul in order to reach the divine union with God, which process St. John of the Cross calls "The Active Spiritual Night." What does this look like in a Christian's life? Well, after much mystical treatment and a very long, repetitive section on visions, a very clear and rational teaching comes to light: The natural man is ruled by his 1) Intellect, 2) Memory, and 3) Will. After the spiritual man goes [...]

    8. A great work discussing the discernment and approach towards union with God. He is incredible at describing the spiritual journey through purgation of senses and spiritual pleasure attaching ourselves to God alone, and invaluable classic. Criticisms: only that he didn't allow enough for the fact that God created this world good and it is through the things of this world that we come to know Him, where he seems to say that we should get no enjoyment out of anything in this world. Also he spends c [...]

    9. I remain enamored of John of the Cross. It's well worth the slog through his books just to inhabit his cosmology--one where we already are united with the Ultimate, where reason is a God-given faculty we're admonished to use, and where faith permeates and transcends reason. Faith is a path of unknowing because mystery (or God) cannot be known. John in great detail delineates the path of unknowing, which is an admirable and of course impossible undertaking. I'm so glad for his companionship!

    10. I read two translations simultaneously. There were many times when I had to switch back and forth to try to understand what St. John was trying to get across.It took me about an hour to read and reflect on most of the average 91 chapters here to approach anywhere near understanding of St. John’s message over a time of three months. After finishing this deep spiritual guide I realize that it may be a difficult life prescription to anyone but a solitary, perhaps a religious person as Thomas Mert [...]

    11. The advice given by St John of the Cross is by no means easy advice to take. The Ascent Mount Carmel is essential the most timeless guide there is for separating oneself from worldly pleasures and pursuing things that are holy. My only problem with it is that I'm not sure that this is really right approach to take. This dichotomy between what we enjoy, and what we're supposed to do, is sometimes artificial, and I think its best that people delight in what's merely good on any level. The Lord is [...]

    12. I really have a different edition but it's part of the Complete Works so I can't review it separately.This is first-class technical writing about a difficult subject. As a former technical writer (about high-tech) I appreciate the style. It is one of the few most important works of world mysticism and of course Christian mysticism. As a modern person, I can't agree with his attitude toward suffering (he thinks the more, the better) or his deprecating of joy. I think he must mean something differ [...]

    13. Maybe the most countercultural book I've read. "Those blinded by desire will not see what is good for them even if they are placed in the midst of the truth."We keep chasing what makes us feel good. And we keep finding depression and anxiety. This book tells us that the desires keep us from the ultimate good. I've read it twice and taken notes. I'll be coming back.

    14. It took me about an hour to read and reflect on most of the average 91 chapters here to approach anywhere near understanding of St. John’s message over a time of three months. After finishing this deep spiritual guide I realize that it may be a difficult life prescription to anyone but a solitary, perhaps a religious person as Thomas Merton was, for example. An ordinary individual living in a common society must find time and space for contemplation. I do not see how a limited attempt can lead [...]

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