Sayings of Light and Love
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)Prologue
O my God and my delight, for your love I have also desired to give my soul to composing these saying of light and love concerning you. Since, although I can express them in words, I do not have the works and virtues they imply (which is what pleases you, O my Lord, more than the words and wisdom they contain), may others, perhaps stirred by them, go forward in your service and love – in which in I am wanting. I will thereby find consolation, that these saying be an occasion for your finding in others the things that I lack.
Lord, you love discretion, you love light, you love love; these three you love above the other operations of the soul. Hence these will be saying of discretion for the wayfarer, of light for the way, and of love in the wayfaring. May there be nothing of worldly rhetoric in them or the long-winded and dry eloquence of weak and artificial human wisdom, which never pleases you. Let us speak to the heart words bathed in sweetness and love that do indeed please you, removing obstacles and stumbling blocks from the paths of many souls who unknowingly trip and unconsciously walk in the path of error – poor souls who think they are right in what concerns the following of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in becoming like him, imitation his life, actions, and virtues, and the form of his nakedness and purity of spirit. Father of mercies, come to our aid, for without you, Lord, we can do nothing.