Bahai Forums

Go Back   Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > General Discussion

General Discussion Open Baha'i discussion

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-09-2010, 09:33 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Sayings of Light and Love

Sayings of Light and Love
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)

For some reason these sayings of John of the Cross (one of my favourite Roman Catholic saints) remind me of the 'Hidden Words' of Baha'u'llah. I know this is a Baha'i forum but I really have found these sayings to be of great use on my spiritual journey and I hope and pray that they might benefit some of you on this forum as well. The Hidden Words are sublime. For me they are Baha'u'llah's greatest writings, perhaps because of my love of these short sayings of St John. Enjoy!

You can read it on this website: http://thirdordercarmelite.wordpress...-of-the-cross/

Prologue

O my God and my delight, for your love I have also desired to give my soul to composing these sayings 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 sayings 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, imitating 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.



1.The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more.
2.O Lord, my God, who will seek you with simple and pure love, and not find that you are all one can desire, for you show yourself first and go out to meet those who seek you?
3.Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit.
4.It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience.
5.Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens.
6.A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time.
7.The virtuous soul that is alone and without a master is line a lone burning coal; it will grow colder rather than hotter.
8.Those who fall alone remain alone in their fall, and they value their soul little since they entrust it to themselves alone.
9.If you do not fear falling alone, do you presume that you will rise up alone? Consider how much more can be accomplished by two together than by one alone.
10.Whoever falls while heavily laden will find it difficult to rise under the burden.
11.The blind person who falls will not be able to get up alone; the blind person who does not get up alone will go off on the wrong road.
12.God desires the smallest degree of purity of conscience in you more than all the works you can perform.
13.God desires the least degree of obedience and submissiveness more than all those services you think of rendering him.
14.God values in you the inclination to dryness and suffering for love of him more than all the consolations, spiritual visions, and meditations you could possibly have.
15.Deny your desires and you will find what your heart longs for. For how do you know if any desire of yours is according to God?
16.O sweetest love of God, so little known, whoever had found the rich mine is at rest!
17.Since a double measure of bitterness must follow the doing of your own will, do not do it even though you remain in single bitterness.
18.The soul that carries within itself the least appetite for worldly things bears more unseemliness and impurity in its journey to God than if it were troubled by all the hideous and annoying temptations and darknesses describable; for, so long as it does not consent to these temptations, a soul thus tried can approach God confidently, by doing the will of His Majesty, who proclaims: Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh you [Mt. 11:28]
19.The soul that in aridity and trial submits to the dictates of reason is more leasing to God than one that does everything with consolation, yet fails in this submission.
20.God is more pleased by one work, however small, done secretly, without desire that it be known, than a thousand done with the desire that people know of them. Those who work for God with purest love not only care nothing about whether others see their works, but do not even seek that God himself know of them. Such persons would not cease to render God the same services, with the same joy and purity of love, even if God were never to know of these.
21.The pure and whole work done for God in a pure heart merits a whole kingdom for its owner.
22.A bird caught in birdlime has a twofold task: It must free itself and cleanse itself. And by satisfying their appetites, people suffer in a twofold way: They must detach themselves and, after being detached, clean themselves of what has clung to them.
23.Those who do not allow their appetites to carry them away will soar in their spirit as swiftly as the bird that lacks no feathers.
24.The fly that clings to honey hinders its flight, and the soul that allows itself attachment to spiritual sweetness hinders its own liberty and contemplation.
25.Withdraw from creatures if you desire to preserve, clear and simple in your soul, the image of God. Empty your spirit and withdraw far from them and you will walk in divine lights, for God is not like creatures.
26.Lord God, my Beloved, if you will still remember my sins in such a way that you do not do what I beg of you, do your will concerning them, my God, which is what I most desire, and exercise your goodness and mercy, and you will be known through them. And if you are waiting for my good works so as to hear my prayer through their means, grant them to me, and work them for me, and the sufferings you desire to accept, and let it be done. But if you are not waiting for my works, what is it that makes you wait, my most clement Lord? Why do you delay? For if, after all, I am to receive the grace and mercy that I entreat of you in your Son, take my mite, since you desire it, and grant me this blessing, since you also desire that.
27.Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me. What do you ask, then, and seek, my soul? Yours is all of this, and all is for you. Do not engage yourself in something less or pay heed to the crumbs that fall from your Father’s table. Go forth and exult in your Glory! Hide yourself in it and rejoice, and you will obtain the supplications of your heart.
28.The very pure spirit does not bother about the regard of others or human respect, but communes inwardly with God, alone and in solitude as to all forms, and with delightful tranquility, for the knowledge of God is received in divine silence.
29.A soul enkindled with love is a gentle, meek, humble, and patient soul.
30.A soul that is hard because of self-love grows harder.
31.O good Jesus, if you do not soften it, it will ever continue in its natural hardness.
32.If you lose an opportunity you will be like one who lets the bird fly away; you will never get it back.
33.I didn’t know you, my Lord because I still desired to know and relish things.
34.Well and good if all things change, Lord God, provided we are rooted in you.
35.One human thought alone is worth more than the entire world, hence God alone is worthy of it.
36.For the insensible, what you do not feel; for the sensible, the senses; and for the spirit of God, thought.
37.Reflect that your guardian angel does not always move your desire for an action, but he does always enlighten your reason. Hence, in order to practice virtue do not wait until you feel like it, for your reason and intellect are insufficient.
38.When fixed on something else, one’s appetite leaves no room for the angel to move it.
39.My spirit has become dry because it forgets to feed on you.
40.What you most seek and desire you will not find by this way of yours, nor through high contemplation, but in much humility and submission of heart.
41.Do not tire yourself, for you will not enter into the savor and sweetness of spirit if you do not apply yourself to the mortification of all this that you desire.
42.Reflect that the most delicate flower loses its fragrance and withers fastest; therefore guard yourself against seeking to walk in a spirit of delight, for you will not be constant. Choose rather for yourself a robust spirit, detached from everything, and you will discover abundant peace and sweetness, for delicious and durable fruit is gathered in a cold and dry climate.
43.Bear in mind that your flesh is weak that that no worldly thing can comfort or strengthen your spirit, for what is born of the world is world and what is born of the flesh is flesh. The good spirit is born only of the Spirit of God, who communicates himself neither through the world no through the flesh.
44.Be attentive to your reason in order to do what it tells you concerning the way to God. It will be more valuable before your God than all the works you perform without this attentiveness and all the spiritual delights you seek.
45.Blessed are they who, setting aside their own pleasure and inclination, consider things according to reason and justice before doing them.
46.If you make use of your reason, you are like one who eats substantial food; but if you are moved by the satisfaction of your will, you are like one who eats insipid fruit.
47.Lord, you return gladly and lovingly to lift up the one who offends you, but I do not turn to raise and honor the one who annoys me.
48.O mighty Lord, if a spark from the empire of your justice effects so much in the mortal ruler who governs the nations what will your all-powerful justice do with the righteous and the sinner?
49.If you purify your soul of attachments and desires, you will understand things spiritually. If you deny your appetite for them, you will enjoy their truth, understanding what is certain in them.
50.O Lord, my God, you are no stranger to those who do not estrange themselves from you. How do they say that it is you who absent yourself?
51.That person has truly mastered all things who is not moved to joy by the satisfaction they afford or saddened by their insipidness.
52.If you wish to attain holy recollection, you will do so not by receiving but by denying.
53.Going everywhere, my God, with you, everywhere things will happen as I desire for you.
54.Souls will be unable to reach perfection who do not strive to be content with having nothing, in such fashion that their natural and spiritual desire is satisfied with emptiness; for this is necessary in order to reach the highest tranquility and peace of spirit. Hence the love of God in the pure and simple soul is almost continually in act.
55.Since God is inaccessible, be careful not to concern yourself with all that your faculties can comprehend and your senses feel, so that you do not become satisfied with less and lose the lightness of soul suitable for going to him.
56.The soul that journeys to God, but does not shake off its cares and quite its appetites, is like one who drags a cart uphill.
57.It is not God’s will that a soul be disturbed by anything or suffer trials, for if one suffers trials in the adversities of the world it is because of a weakness in virtue. The perfect soul rejoices in what afflicts the imperfect one.
58.This way of life contains very little business and bustling, and demands mortification of the will more than knowledge. The less one takes of things and pleasures the farther one advances along this way.
59.Think not that pleasing God lies so much in doing a great deal as in doing it with good will, without possessiveness and human respect.
60.When evening comes, you will be examined in love. Learn to love as God desires to be loved and abandon your own ways of acting.
61.See that you do not interfere in the affairs of others, nor even allow then to pass through your memory; for perhaps you will be unable to accomplish your own task.
62.Because the virtues you have in mind do not shine in your neighbor, do not think that your neighbor will not be precious in God’s sight for reasons that you have not in mind.
63.Human beings know neither how to rejoice properly nor how to grieve properly, for they do not understand the distance between good and evil.
64.See that you are not suddenly saddened by the adversities of this world, for you do not know the good they bring, being ordained in the judgments of God for the everlasting joy of the elect.
65.Do not rejoice in temporal prosperity, since you do not know if it gives you assurance of eternal life.
66.In tribulation, immediately draw near to God with trust, and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.
67.In joys and pleasures, immediately draw near to God in fear and truth, and you will be neither deceived nor involved in vanity.
68.Take God for your bridegroom and friend, and walk with him continually; and you will not sin and will learn to love, and the things you must do will work out prosperously for you.
69.You will without labor subject the nations and bring things to serve you if you forget them and yourself as well.
70.Abide in peace, banish cares, take no account of all that happens, and you will serve God according to his good pleasure, and rest in him.
71.Consider that God reigns only in the peaceful and disinterested soul.
72.Although you perform many works, if you do not deny your will and submit yourself, losing all solicitude about yourself and your affairs, you will not make progress.
73.What does it profit you to give God one thing if he asks of you another? Consider what it is God wants, and then do it. You will as a result satisfy your heart better than with something toward which you yourself are inclined.
74.How is it you dare to relax so fearlessly, since you must appear before God to render an account of the least word and thought?
75.Reflect that “many are called but few are chosen” [Mt. 22:14} and that, if you are not careful, your perdition is more certain than your salvation, especially since the patch to eternal life is constricted [Mt. 7:14].
76.Do not rejoice vainly, for you know how many sins you have committed and you do not know how you stand before God; but have fear together with confidence.
77.Since, when the hour of reckoning comes, you will be sorry for not having used this time in the service of God, why do you not arrange and use it now as you would wish to have done were you dying?
78.If you desire that devotion be born in your spirit and that the love of God and the desire for divine things increase, cleanse your soul of every desire, attachment, and ambition in such a way that you have no concern about anything. Just as a sick person is immediately aware of good health once the bad humor has been thrown off and a desire to eat is felt, so will you recover your health, in God, if you cure yourself as was said. Without doing this, you will not advance no matter how much you do.
79.If you desire to discover peace and consolation for your soul and to serve God truly, do not find your satisfaction in what you have left behind, because in that which now concerns you, you may be as impeded as you were before, or even more. But leave as well all these other things and attend to one thing alone that brings all these with it (namely, holy solitude, together with prayer and spiritual and divine reading), and persevere there in forgetfulness of all things. For if these things are not incumbent on you, you will be more pleasing to God in knowing how to guard and perfect yourself than by gaining all other things together; “what profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of one’s soul?” [Mt. 16:26}
80.Bridle your tongue and your thoughts very much, direct your affection habitually toward God, and your spirit will be divinely enkindled.
81.Feed not your spirit on anything but God. Cast off concern about things, and bear peace and recollection in your heart.
82.Keep spiritually tranquil in a loving attentiveness to God, and when it is necessary to speak, let it be with the same calm and peace.
83.Preserve a habitual remembrance of eternal life, recalling that those who hold themselves the lowest and poorest and least of all will enjoy the highest dominion and glory in God.
84.Rejoice habitually in God, who is your salvation [Lk. 1:47], and reflect that it is good to suffer in any way for him who is good.
85.Reflect how necessary it is to be enemies of self and to walk to perfection by the path of holy rigor; and understand that every word spoken without the order of obedience is laid to your account by God.
86.Have an intimate desire that His Majesty grant you what he knows you lack for his honor.
87.Crucified inwardly and outwardly with Christ, you will live in this life with fullness and satisfaction of soul, and possess your soul in patience [Lk. 21:19].
88.Preserve a living attentiveness to God with no desire to feel or understand any particular thing concerning him.
89.Keep habitual confidence in God, esteeming in yourself and in your Sisters those things that God most values, which are spiritual goods.
90.Enter within yourself and work in the presence of your Bridegroom, who is ever present loving you.
91.Be hostile to admitting into your soul things that of themselves have no spiritual substance, lest they make you lose your liking for devotion and recollection.
92.Let Christ crucified be enough for you, and with him suffer and take your rest, and hence annihilate yourself in all inward and outward things.
93.Endeavor always that things be not for you, nor you for them, but forgetful of all, abide in recollection with your Bridegroom.
94.Have great love for trials and think of them as but a small way of pleasing your Bridegroom, who did not hesitate to die for you.
95.Bear fortitude in your heart against all things that move you to that which is not God, and be a friend of the Passion of Christ.
96.Be interiorly detached from all things and do not seek pleasure in any temporal thing, and your soul will concentrate on goods you do not know.
97.The soul that walks in love neither tires others nor grows tired.
98.The poor one who is naked will be clothed; and the soul that is naked of desires and whims, God will clothe with his purity, pleasure, and will.
99.There are souls that wallow in the mire like animals, and there are others that soar like birds, which purify and cleanse themselves in the air.
100.The Father spoke one Word, which was his Son, and this Word he speaks always in eternal silence, and in silence must it be heard by the soul.
101.We must adjust our trials to ourselves, and not ourselves to our trials.
102.He who seeks not the cross of Christ seeks not the glory of Christ.
103.To be taken with love for a soul, God does not look on its greatness, but on the greatness of its humility.
104.”Whoever is ashamed to confess me before others, I shall be ashamed to confess before My Father.” says the Lord [Mt. 10:33].
105.Frequent combing gives the hair more luster and makes it easier to comb; a soul that frequently examines its thoughts, words and deeds, which are its heir, doing all things for the love of God, will have lustrous hair. Then the Bridegroom will look on the neck of the bride and thereby be captivated; and will be wounded by one of her eyes, that is, by the purity of intention she has in all she does. If in combing hair one wants it to have luster, one begins from the crown. All our works must begin from the crown (the love of God) if we wish them to be pure and lustrous.
106.Heaven is stable and is not subject to generation; and souls of a heavenly nature are stable and not subject to the engendering of desires or of anything else, for in their way they resemble God who does not move forever.
107.Eat not in forbidden pastures (those of this live), because ”blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied” [Mt. 5:6]. What God seeks, he being himself God by nature, is to make us gods through participation, just as fire converts all things into fire.
108.All the goodness we possess is lent to us, and God considers it his own work. God and his work is God.
109.Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.
110.All for me and nothing for you.
111.All for you and nothing for me.
112.Allow yourself to be taught, allow yourself to receive orders, allow yourself to be subjected and despised, and you will be perfect.
113.Any appetite causes five kinds of harm in the soul: first, disquiet; second, turbidity; third, defilement; fourth, weakness; fifth, obscurity.
114.Perfection does not lie in the virtues that the soul knows it has, but in the virtues that our Lord sees in it. This is a closed book; hence one has no reason for presumption, but must remain prostrate on the ground with respect to self.
115.Love consists not in feeling great things but in having great detachment and in suffering for the Beloved.
116.The entire world is not worth of a human being’s thought, for this belongs to God alone; any thought, therefore, not centered on God is stolen from him.
117.Not all the faculties and senses have to be employed in things, but only those that are required; as for the others, leave them unoccupied for God.
118.Ignoring the imperfections of others, preserving silence and a continual communion with God will eradicate great imperfections from the soul and make it the possessor of great virtues.
119.There are three signs of inner recollection: first, a lack of satisfaction in passing things; second, a liking for solitude and silence, and an attentiveness to all that is more perfect; third, the considerations, meditations and acts that formerly helped the soul now hinder it, and it brings to prayer no other support than faith, hope, and love.
120.If a soul has more patience in suffering and more forbearance in going without satisfaction, the sign is there of its being more proficient in virtue.
121.The traits of the solitary bird are five: first, it seeks the highest place; second, it withstands no company; third, it holds its beak in the air; fourth, it has no definite color; fifth, it sings sweetly. These traits must be possessed by the contemplative soul. It must rise above passing things, paying no more heed to them than if they did not exist. It must likewise be so fond of silence and solitude that it does not tolerate the company of another creature. It must hold its beak in the air of the Holy Spirit responding to his inspirations, that by so doing it may become worthy of his company. It must have no definite color, desiring to do nothing definite other than the will of God. It must sing sweetly in the contemplation and love of its Bridegroom.
122.Habitual voluntary imperfections that are never completely overcome not only hinder the divine union, but also the attainment of perfection. Such imperfections are: the habit of being very talkative; a small unconquered attachment, such as to a person, to clothing, to a cell, a book, or to the way food is prepared, and to other conversations and little satisfactions in tasting things, in knowing, and hearing, and the like.
123.If you wish to glory in yourself, but do not wish to appear ignorant and foolish, discard the things that are not yours and you will have glory in what remains. But certainly if you discard al that is not yours, nothing will be left, since you must not glory in anything if you do not want to fall into vanity. But let us descent now especially to those graces, the gifts that make people pleasing in God’s sight. It is certain that you must not glory in these gifts, for you do not even know if you possess them.
124.Oh, how sweet your presence will be to me, you who are the supreme good! I must draw near to you in silence and uncover your feet that you may be pleased to unite me to you in marriage [Ru. 3:7], and I will not rest until I rejoice in your arms. Now I ask you, Lord, not to abandon me at any time in my recollection, for I am a squanderer of my soul.
125.Detached from exterior things, dispossessed of interior things, disappropriated of the things of God – neither will prosperity detain you nor adversity hinder you.
126.The devil fears a soul united to God as he does God himself.
127.The purest suffering produces the purest understanding.
128.The soul that desires God to surrender himself to it entirely must surrender itself entirely to him without keeping anything for itself.
129.The soul that has reached the union of love does not even experience the first motions of sin.
130.Old friends of God scarcely ever fail him, for they stand above all that can make them fail.
131.My Beloved, all that is rugged and toilsome I desire for myself, and all that is sweet and delightful I desire for you.
132.What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.
133.The submission of a servant is necessary in seeking God. In outward things light helps to prevent one from falling; but in the things of God just the opposite is true: It is better for the soul to not see if it is to be more secure.
134.More is gained in one hour from God’s good things than in a whole lifetime from your own.
135.Love to be unknown both by yourself and by others. Never look at the good or evil of others.
136.Walk in solitude with God; act according to the just measure; hide the blessings of God.
137.To lose always and let everyone else win is a trait of valiant souls, generous spirits, and unselfish hearts; it is their manner to give rather than to receive even to the extent of giving themselves. They consider it a heavy burden to possess themselves, and it pleases them more to be possessed by others and withdrawn from themselves, since we belong more to that infinite Good than we do to ourselves.
138.It is seriously wrong to have more regard for God’s blessings than for God himself: prayer and detachment.
139.Look at that infinite knowledge and that hidden secret. What peace, what love, what silence is in that divine bosom! How lofty the science God teaches there, which is what we call the anagogical acts that so enkindle the heart.
140.The secret of one’s conscience is considerably harmed and damaged as often as its fruits are manifested to others, for then one receives as reward the fruit of fleeting fame.
141.Speak little and do not meddle in matters about which you are not asked.
142.Strive always to keep God present and to preserve within yourself the purity he teaches you.
143.Do not excuse yourself or refuse to be corrected by all; listen to every reproof with a serene countenance; think that God utters it.
144.Live as though only God and yourself were in this world, so that your heart may not be detained by anything human.
145.Consider it the mercy of God that someone occasionally speaks a good word to you, for you deserve none.
146.Never allow yourself to pour out your heart, even though it be but for the space of a Creed.
147.Never listen to talk about the weaknesses of others, and if someone complains of another, you can tell her humbly to say nothing of it to you.
148.Do not complain about anyone, or ask for anything; and if it is necessary for you to ask, let it be with few words.
149.Do not refuse work even though it seems that you cannot do it. Let all find compassion in you.
150.Do not contradict; by no means speak words that are not pure.
151.Let your speech be such that no one may be offended, and let it concern things that would not cause you regret were all to know of them.
152.Do not refuse anything you possess, even though you may need it.
153.Be silent concerning what God may have given you and recall that saying of the bride: ”My secret for myself” [Is. 24:16].
154.Strive to preserve your heart in peace; let no event of this world disturb it; reflect that all must come to an end.
155.Take neither great nor little notice of who is with you or against you, and try always to lease God. Ask him that his will be done in you. Love him intensely, as he deserves to be loved.
156.Twelve stars for reaching the highest perfection: love of God, love of Neighbor, obedience, chastity, poverty, attendance at choir, penance, humility, mortification, prayer, silence, peace.
157.Never take others for your example in the tasks you have to perform, however holy they may be, for the devil will set their imperfections before you. But imitate Christ, who is supremely perfect and supremely holy, and you will never err.
158.Seek in reading and you will find in meditation; knock in prayer and it will be opened to you in contemplation.
159.The further you withdraw from earthly things the closer you approach heavenly things and the more you find in God!
160.Whoever knows how to die in all will have life in all.
161.Abandon evil, do good, and seek peace [Ps. 34:14].
162.Anyone who complains or grumbles is not perfect, nor even a good Christian.
163.The humble are those who hide in their own nothingness and know how to abandon themselves to God.
164.The meek are those who know how to suffer their neighbor and themselves.
165.If you desire to be perfect, sell your will, give it to the poor in spirit, come to Christ in meekness and humility, and follow him to Calvary and the sepulcher.
166.Those who trust in themselves are worse than the devil.
167.Those who do not love their neighbor abhor God.
168.Anyone who does things lukewarmly is close to falling.
169.Whoever flees prayer flees all that is good.
170.Conquering the tongue is better than fasting on bread and water.
171.Suffering for God is better than working miracles.
172.Oh, what blessings we will enjoy in the vision of the Most Blessed Trinity!
173.Do not be suspicious of your brother, for you will lose purity of heart.
174.As for trials, the more the better.
175.What does anyone know who doesn’t know how to suffer for Christ?

Last edited by Yeshua; 10-09-2010 at 09:44 AM.
 
Join Baha'i Forums


Welcome to Baha'i Forums, an open Baha'i Faith community! We welcome everyone and the community is free to join so register today and become part of the Baha'i Forums family!


Old 10-09-2010, 12:36 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
I think this is so beautiful:

"Christian progress means: searching for the one who is giving joy to my life, who seems to believe in me, who makes me alive. When I am with him, every moment is a discovery" - Saint John of the Cross (in Spanish he is called San Juan de la Cruez)
 
Old 10-09-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
I read something very interesting about John of the Cross, read this:

"Our Carmelite lover of prayer (John of the Cross) took many of the positive and divine elements of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainist, Muslim, Baha'i, Sikh, Shinto, Native Africanism, Zoroastrianism, Native Americans, Jewish, Christian, Taoism, and Confucianism and distilled them into the Judaic Christian science of love that Jesus spoke and lived". By this the author means that John's spirituality has many similarities with these belief systems (the Baha'i Faith of course coming after John)

He continues:

"John lived a life of the most personal, intimate life of unity of God through his imitation of Jesus Christ. As previously mentioned, St John of the Cross' life was, in part, a composite of all of the below beliefs (in that he was directly influenced by these beliefs):

Catholicism
Christianity
Judaism
Islam
Buddhist
Hindu
Earth-Based

Our union with John's union with God could include religions from the below for perfect love embraces all believers and lovers who embrace the adorable Creator who created all (although not directly influenced, his spirituality is compatible with):

Shinto
Sikh
Jainist
Zoroastrain
Baha'i
Native African
Native American"

He is a man (and a Catholic) after my own heart :wub
 
Old 10-09-2010, 02:19 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,287
So Yeshua how do you relate these posts to the Baha'i Forum? How are they relevant here?
 
Old 10-09-2010, 02:34 PM   #5
bwb
Senior Member
 
bwb's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: earth
Posts: 700
I think that it should be possible for Yeshua to post something like this, and feel comfortable and ok and loved and accepted about doing it. But the system administrator ought to create a sub-forum where it can clearly not be considered off topic for that sub-forum. bahaiforums.com after all is primarily a forum for people who are trying to learn about the Baha'i Faith.
 
Old 10-09-2010, 02:52 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Hi BWB :wub

Thank you my friend. I fully understood that it was a 'risque' putting this on the board and if there is any facility whereby I could do this without obscuring the fact that this is a Baha'i forum for Baha'i topics, I would be most grateful. I put it into General because it was the only forum that wasn't 'specific'. Could there not be a sub-division of the forum where one can post writings from other religions? Afterall one of the pillars of the Baha'i Faith is the 'unity of religion' and Christianity, like Islam and Judaism, is considered by Baha'is to be a revealed religion. I think it would be good to have a place where Muslims, Christians and other can give others some info on their religions and beliefs. I think it would be good for inter-faith and it would mean that there would be no obscuring the fact that this is a BAHA'I forum.
 
Old 10-09-2010, 03:44 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
cire perdue's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Louisiana
Posts: 1,758
Due to fatigue I only scanned these briefly, but felt inspired by them, and many resemble Baha'i Writings, but also resemble the practice of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as adapted in Al Anon as well. The parallels are very interesting. 12 step program people say if 2 people tell you something you better think, but if 3 people tell you then that really said it. We are told by multiple spiritual sources to live in our own mind, and leave others to themselves. I think that may be one of the basics for unity, that each person is responsible for himself and his/her feelings and even one's own happiness. This is related to "you make me mad". No one makes me mad, I allow myself to become angry. I'm responsible......

Last edited by cire perdue; 10-09-2010 at 03:46 PM. Reason: to clarify sentence
 
Old 10-09-2010, 04:28 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,287
I'm wondering Yeshua how you see Hidden Words as being similar?... Could you explore that? ..otherwise it seems you're just copying and pasting material from Juan de la Cruz..... So what I'm suggesting is take a Hidden Word that you've read and show how it is similar to you to something you've posted. :unsure

Last edited by arthra; 10-09-2010 at 04:31 PM.
 
Old 10-09-2010, 06:27 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,287
So how about it Yeshua.. ?

It doesn't have to be all that academic.. and I'm sure people here will be interested and supportive...

Select a Hidden Word and relate it to "Sayings of Light and Love"..
 
Old 10-09-2010, 08:09 PM   #10
Dedicated to Orthodoxy
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: New Zealand
Posts: 1,318
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthra View Post
So Yeshua how do you relate these posts to the Baha'i Forum? How are they relevant here?
Does it have to be revelent to bahai? In the terms and conditions to coming to this site I didn't see "and every post will be relvent to bahai"

Regardless, since all beliefs are valid in Bahai view (as i have been lead to believe since bahai refuse to call any belief wrong), these writings must therefore be consistent with the Bahai view point.
 
Old 10-09-2010, 10:38 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,287
If you read the opening post on this thread Yeshua made the statement:

For some reason these sayings of John of the Cross (one of my favourite Roman Catholic saints) remind me of the 'Hidden Words' of Baha'u'llah.

So I've only suggested that he might offer some samples... It's up to him.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 04:27 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Hey Arthra :wub

Here are a few examples (I will give more later):

Selfless Love for God

Hidden Words
7. O SON OF MAN!
If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself; and if thou seekest My pleasure, regard not thine own; that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee.

Sayings of Light and Love
110.All for me and nothing for you.
111.All for you and nothing for me.
128.The soul that desires God to surrender himself to it entirely must surrender itself entirely to him without keeping anything for itself.
131.My Beloved, all that is rugged and toilsome I desire for myself, and all that is sweet and delightful I desire for you.
92.Let Christ crucified be enough for you, and with him suffer and take your rest, and hence annihilate yourself in all inward and outward things.

Overlooking Ones own faults while Judging those of other people

Hidden Words
26. O SON OF BEING!
How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me.

Sayings of Light and Love
118.Ignoring the imperfections of others, preserving silence and a continual communion with God will eradicate great imperfections from the soul and make it the possessor of great virtues.
62.Because the virtues you have in mind do not shine in your neighbor, do not think that your neighbor will not be precious in God’s sight for reasons that you have not in mind.
147.Never listen to talk about the weaknesses of others, and if someone complains of another, you can tell her humbly to say nothing of it to you.

A True Lover must Suffer for the Beloved
Hidden Words
49. O SON OF MAN!
The true lover yearneth for tribulation even as doth the rebel for forgiveness and the sinful for mercy.

Sayings of Light and Love
115.Love consists not in feeling great things but in having great detachment and in suffering for the Beloved.

If Bad Things Happen to you do not Grieve
Hidden Words
53. O SON OF BEING!
If poverty overtake thee, be not sad; for in time the Lord of wealth shall visit thee. Fear not abasement, for glory shall one day rest on thee.

Sayings of Light and Love
64.See that you are not suddenly saddened by the adversities of this world, for you do not know the good they bring, being ordained in the judgments of God for the everlasting joy of the elect.

Do not Rejoice in Prosperity and do not Grieve in Misery

Hidden Words
52. O SON OF MAN!
Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more

Sayings of Light and Love
65.Do not rejoice in temporal prosperity, since you do not know if it gives you assurance of eternal life.
66.In tribulation, immediately draw near to God with trust, and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.
67.In joys and pleasures, immediately draw near to God in fear and truth, and you will be neither deceived nor involved in vanity.

Have Regard for the Poor and Weak

Hidden Words
25. O SON OF SPIRIT!
Vaunt not thyself over the poor, for I lead him on his way and behold thee in thy evil plight and confound thee for evermore.

Sayings of Light and Love
83.Preserve a habitual remembrance of eternal life, recalling that those who hold themselves the lowest and poorest and least of all will enjoy the highest dominion and glory in God.

Life is Impermanent
The Hidden Words
52. O SON OF MAN!
Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more

Sayings of Light and Love
154.Strive to preserve your heart in peace; let no event of this world disturb it; reflect that all must come to an end.

Importance of Bridling the Tongue

Hidden Words
66. O EMIGRANTS!
The tongue I have designed for the mention of Me, defile it not with detraction. If the fire of self overcome you, remember your own faults and not the faults of My creatures, inasmuch as every one of you knoweth his own self better than he knoweth others.

Sayings of Light and Love
80.Bridle your tongue and your thoughts very much, direct your affection habitually toward God, and your spirit will be divinely enkindled.
81.Feed not your spirit on anything but God. Cast off concern about things, and bear peace and recollection in your heart.

Keep your thoughts forever on God

Hidden Words
16. O SON OF LIGHT!
Forget all save Me and commune with My spirit. This is of the essence of My command, therefore turn unto it.

17. O SON OF MAN!
Be thou content with Me and seek no other helper. For none but Me can ever suffice thee.

Sayings of Light and Love
35.One human thought alone is worth more than the entire world, hence God alone is worthy of it.
81.Feed not your spirit on anything but God. Cast off concern about things, and bear peace and recollection in your heart.
82.Keep spiritually tranquil in a loving attentiveness to God, and when it is necessary to speak, let it be with the same calm and peace.

God dwells within all of us (We are his 'Stronghold'/'Temple')

Hidden Words
10. O SON OF UTTERANCE!
Thou art My stronghold; enter therein that thou mayest abide in safety. My love is in thee, know it, that thou mayest find Me near unto thee.
58. O SON OF MAN!
The temple of being is My throne; cleanse it of all things, that there I may be established and there I may abide.
59. O SON OF BEING!
Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation; cleanse it for My manifestation

Sayings of Light and Love
*The very pure spirit does not bother about the regard of others or human respect, but communes inwardly with God, alone and in solitude as to all forms, and with delightful tranquility, for the knowledge of God is received in divine silence.
*Souls will be unable to reach perfection who do not strive to be content with having nothing, in such fashion that their natural and spiritual desire is satisfied with emptiness; for this is necessary in order to reach the highest tranquility and peace of spirit. Hence the love of God in the pure and simple soul is almost continually in act.
*Live as though only God and yourself were in this world, so that your heart may not be detained by anything human
71.Consider that God reigns only in the peaceful and disinterested soul.
90.Enter within yourself and work in the presence of your Bridegroom, who is ever present loving you

Last edited by Yeshua; 10-10-2010 at 06:21 AM.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 05:01 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Also the form and structure of both works begin with a Prologue by the Author, extolling God and the reason behind the sayings, before beginning with the actual sayings themself:

Hidden Words

HE IS THE GLORY OF GLORIES
This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfill in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue.

Sayings of Light and Love

Prologue

O my God and my delight, for your love I have also desired to give my soul to composing these sayings 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 sayings 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, imitating 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.


Both Works claim that their ultimate desire in writing the sayings is to bring people closer to God. If you look closely and read both works prayerfully, you will see that there is a shared purpose, that both were written with similar intent and that their form and structure are akin.

Last edited by Yeshua; 10-10-2010 at 05:05 AM.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 05:11 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2010
From: Rockville, MD, USA
Posts: 1,353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orthodox View Post
[S]ince all beliefs are valid in Bahai view (as i have been lead to believe since bahai refuse to call any belief wrong)....
Simply wrong!

I quote (yet again) the Baha'i scriptures (emphasis added):

"There can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God. The difference between the ordinances under which they abide should be attributed to the varying requirements and exigencies of the age in which they were revealed. All of them, except a few which are the outcome of human perversity, were ordained of God, and are a reflection of His Will and Purpose. Arise and, armed with the power of faith, shatter to pieces the gods of your vain imaginings, the sowers of dissension amongst you. Cleave unto that which draweth you together and uniteth you."

—(The Proclamation of Baha'u'llah, p. 114;
also Gleanings, CXI, pp. 217-8)


So it is clearly incorrect to claim we accept "all" beliefs!

Just the facts.

Bruce
 
Old 10-10-2010, 05:32 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Quote:
Originally Posted by cire perdue View Post
Due to fatigue I only scanned these briefly, but felt inspired by them, and many resemble Baha'i Writings, but also resemble the practice of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as adapted in Al Anon as well. The parallels are very interesting. 12 step program people say if 2 people tell you something you better think, but if 3 people tell you then that really said it. We are told by multiple spiritual sources to live in our own mind, and leave others to themselves. I think that may be one of the basics for unity, that each person is responsible for himself and his/her feelings and even one's own happiness. This is related to "you make me mad". No one makes me mad, I allow myself to become angry. I'm responsible......
Thank you very much Cire, you have raised a most interesting comparison :wub
 
Old 10-10-2010, 05:45 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Saint John of the Cross and Baha'u'llah also employ the use of some (intriguingly) common metaphors:

Metaphor of Birds

The Hidden Words
2. O SON OF SPIRIT!
The bird seeketh its nest; the nightingale the charm of the rose; whilst those birds, the hearts of men, content with transient dust, have strayed far from their eternal nest, and with eyes turned towards the slough of heedlessness are bereft of the glory of the divine presence. Alas! How strange and pitiful; for a mere cupful, they have turned away from the billowing seas of the Most High, and remained far from the most effulgent horizon.
(SO!!! beautiful btw :wub. I really admire a good poet!)
38. O SON OF SPIRIT!
Burst thy cage asunder, and even as the phoenix of love soar into the firmament of holiness. Renounce thyself and, filled with the spirit of mercy, abide in the realm of celestial sanctity.

The Sayings of Light and Love
22.A bird caught in birdlime has a twofold task: It must free itself and cleanse itself. And by satisfying their appetites, people suffer in a twofold way: They must detach themselves and, after being detached, clean themselves of what has clung to them.
23.Those who do not allow their appetites to carry them away will soar in their spirit as swiftly as the bird that lacks no feathers.
32.If you lose an opportunity you will be like one who lets the bird fly away; you will never get it back.

Flower and Garden Imagery

The Hidden Words
34. O DWELLERS OF MY PARADISE!
With the hands of loving-kindness I have planted in the holy garden of paradise the young tree of your love and friendship, and have watered it with the goodly showers of My tender grace; now that the hour of its fruiting is come, strive that it may be protected, and be not consumed with the flame of desire and passion.

Sayings of Light and Love
42.Reflect that the most delicate flower loses its fragrance and withers fastest; therefore guard yourself against seeking to walk in a spirit of delight, for you will not be constant. Choose rather for yourself a robust spirit, detached from everything, and you will discover abundant peace and sweetness, for delicious and durable fruit is gathered in a cold and dry climate.

Last edited by Yeshua; 10-10-2010 at 05:50 AM.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 06:40 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
One could also compare other works by John of the Cross with the Writings of Baha'u'llah, for example:

Ascent of Mount Carmel = The Seven Valleys

One of St. John of the Cross' most important and insightful works, Ascent of Mount Carmel is a brilliant work of Christian mysticism. St. John depicts the soul's ascent to Mount Carmel--allegorically, the place of God--and the "dark night" that the soul must endure to reach it. St. John describes the different mystic experiences the soul encounters on its way to union with God through the dark night, just as Baha'u'llah does with the Metaphoric 'Seven Valleys'.

Many of John's writings were written while held in prison, just as Baha'u'llah wrote in the Prison City of Akka. Here is a list of some of John's other writings if anybody would like to read them and find other points of comparison (I certainly will!). I have listed them in order of various events in John's life (a lot of his works are commentaries on his earlier works, expounding their meanings however these commentaries are considered separate works and have separate meanings and insights):


TOLEDO PRISON (1578)

The Spiritual Canticle (poem, 31 stanzas)

For I Know Well the Spring (poem)

The Romances: On the Gospel text "In principio erat Verbum (poem)

On the psalm "Super flumina Babylonis " (poem)

CALVARIO, BEAS, BAEZA (1578-81)

The Dark Night (poem, 1578 or 1579)

The Sketch of the Mount

The Sayings of Light and Love

The Precautions

Counsels to a Religious

The Ascent of Mount Carmel (treatise, 1581-85)

Additions to The Spiritual Canticle (poem); other poems (1580-84)

GRANADA (1582-88)

The Spiritual Canticle (commentary in a first redaction, 1584)

The Dark Night (commentary, 1584-85)

Last poems in Granada (1585)

The Living Flame of Love (commentary in a first redaction, 1585-86)

The Spiritual Canticle (commentary in a second redaction, 1585-86)

LA PEŃUELA (1591)

The Living Flame of Love (commentary in a second redaction)
 
Old 10-10-2010, 08:04 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,287
Amazing Yeshua...

Now Yeshua.. that's what I call some good material you've come up with ..and it was worth the work wasn't it! Amazing for an eighteen year old too!

Sometime you could add some more narrative thoughts to discuss these comparisons and maybe a publisher would be interested in your work?

The only thing I'd personally ask of you is that we don't have whole sale posts of material from various saints posted here without some kind of relationship made to the Baha'i Writings or the Faith.


As you've noted the prologue of the Arabic Hidden Words:

HE IS THE GLORY OF GLORIES

This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfill in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue.

(Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

So Hidden Words are like a synopsis of divine inspiration "revealed unto the Prophets of old".

They are also the hidden book that Ali revealed for the consolation of Fatima after the passing of her Father Prophet Muhammad:

"A translation of some passages from the contents of the Hidden Book of Fatimih (upon her be the blessings of God) which are apposite to this place will [now] be submitted in the Persian language, in order that some things [now] concealed may be revealed before the [Royal] Presence. Those addressed in these utterances in the above-mentioned book (which is today known as 'Hidden Words') are those people who are outwardly notable for science and piety, but who are inwardly subservient to their passions and lust.
(Abdu'l-Baha, A Traveller's Narrative, p. 68)

On a more personal note, consider the title "Ascent of Mount Carmel"...by Juan de la Cruz... I've made the ascent myself while on pilgrimage in the Holy Land.

Last edited by arthra; 10-10-2010 at 08:18 AM.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 08:26 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 752
and Here is another one:

"The seeker of the Reality...must be like the butterfly who is the lover of the light from whatever lamp it may shine, and like the nightingale who is the lover of the rose in whatever garden it may grow." -- Abdul'baha
 
Old 10-10-2010, 08:30 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Thanks Arthra :wub An interesting thought! And yes it was definetly worth it. I think the excercise actually helped me to understand John of the Cross' theology more, as well as Baha'u'llah's. I wrote some stuff on another thread on John of the Cross and his relationship with Sufism (many scholars feel he was influenced by Sufi Divine Love Poetry). And yes Mount Carmel is of course the centre of the Baha'i Faith and the Roman Catholic Carmelite Order. John of the Cross was a CARMELITE. Actually Mount Carmel is REALLY important for both Catholics and Baha'is. I've always wanted to go on a Holy Land Pilgrimage. My Parish does one annually so I may go on it next year. I will be sure to 'ascend' Mount Carmel and will visit the Shrine of the Prophet Elijah, the Carmelite Monastery devoted to the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) and the Hanging Baha'i Gardens of Haifa! Indeed I think there is much reason to 'Ascend Mount Carmel' not just spiritually but physically. John of the Cross was co-founder (along with Teresa of Avila) of the Discalced Carmelite Order (a Reform Carmelite Movement). So Mount Carmel was of course very significant to him.

"The beautiful Catholic Carmelite Monastery is called, "Stella Maris" (Star of the Sea) one of the titles of the Blessed Virgin. The Stella Maris church is a beautiful structure, with Italian marble so brightly and vividly patterned that visitors sometimes think the walls have been painted.

Colorful paintings on the dome, done by Brother Luigi Poggi (1924-28), depict episodes from the Old Testament, the most dramatic being the scene of Elijah swept up in a chariot of fire. The statue of the Virgin Mary, carved from cedar of Lebanon, is also notable.

The cave situated below the altar, which you can walk down into, is "Elijah's Cave," where the Old Testament prophet is believed to have lived. Many little votive candles burn on the altar above the cave, each representing a Carmelite community in another country (the United States has its candle up on the left).

In the rooms to the right of the entryway, there is a charming nativity scene, a museum with artifacts from the Byzantine church that once stood on this site"

The Baha'i Gardens are especially beautiful. I consider them to be a modern Wonder of the World.


"People are reminded by Carmel, though they are busy with so many concerns, that they must give absolute priority to seeking 'the kingdom of God and His justice' (Mt. 6, 33). Looking to Carmel, where prayer becomes life and life flourishes with prayer, the Christian community can more easily understand, as I wrote in my apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, how they can become 'genuine schools of prayer.'"

Message of Pope John Paul II

And I promise that I will not post anything without a relationship to the Baha'i Faith :wub I may also consider your idea about adding narrative commentary to this comparative study of the Baha'i Faith and Catholicism (St John of the Cross is a 'Doctor' of the Catholic Church so his theology is very authoritative).

Last edited by Yeshua; 10-10-2010 at 08:36 AM.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 08:46 AM   #21
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
and Here is another one:

"The seeker of the Reality...must be like the butterfly who is the lover of the light from whatever lamp it may shine, and like the nightingale who is the lover of the rose in whatever garden it may grow." -- Abdul'baha
Imagery of light and lamp in 'The Dark Night of the Soul':

Upon a darkened night the flame of love was burning in my breast
And by a lantern bright I fled my house while all in quiet rest.
Shrouded by the night and by the secret stair I quickly fled.
The veil concealed my eyes while all within lay quiet as the dead
Oh night thou was my guide
Oh night more loving than the rising sun
Oh night that joined the lover to the beloved one
transforming each of them into the other.

This is very similar to Abdul-Baha above. The soul searching for the Beloved through the 'Dark Night' is guided by the lamp of God's love shinning within, he is I suppose a 'Seeker of Reality' (God).

"It is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that the verse and prose works combined of St. John of the Cross form at once the most grandiose and the most melodious spiritual canticle to which any one man has ever given utterance"
E. Allison Peers

The Ascent Of Mount Carmel is part one of four works by John dealing with the so-called Dark Night of the Soul, when the individual Soul undergoes earthly and spiritual privations in search of union with God. Ascending Mount Carmel, spiritually, is considered to be the beginning and ultimate goal of the Seeker desiring unity with God. Along with the other three, The Dark Night Of The Soul, The Living Flame of God, and the Spiritual Canticle it is regarded as one of the greatest works of mysticism in Christianity and in the Spanish language. John's theology is pivoted around 'unity with God', the lover becoming united with the Beloved. I suppose this is another point of comparison with the Baha'i Faith: Unity.

Last edited by Yeshua; 10-10-2010 at 08:56 AM.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 09:11 AM   #22
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
In the Seven Valleys, Baha'u'llah stated: "There is many an utterance of the mystic seers and doctors of former times which I have not mentioned here"

Juan de la Cruez is a 'Doctor' of the Catholic Church. This is a very special title accorded by the Church to certain saints. This title indicates that the writings and preachings of such a person are useful to Christians "in any age of the Church." Such men and women are also particularly known for the depth of understanding and the orthodoxy of their theological teachings. While the writings of the Doctors are considered inspired by the Holy Spirit this does not mean they are totally infallible, but it does mean that they contributed significantly to the formulation of Christian teaching and are most definetly 'God-breathed' and authoritative.

I have since found a very direct but subtle parallel to John's 'Ascent of Mount Carmel', which deals with the Soul's progress to the summit of the metaphorical Mt Carmel where God is encountered after enduring the 'dark night' of the soul which represents the hardships and difficulties the soul meets in detachment from the world (the painful experience that people endure as they seek to grow in spiritual maturity and union with God), in the Seven Valleys.

"Out of wrath, the guard had led him who was athirst in love's desert to the sea of his loved one, and lit up the dark night of absence with the light of reunion. He had driven one who was afar, into the garden of nearness, had guided an ailing soul to the heart's physician"

Keeping in mind that Saint John is a spiritual 'Doctor' of the Church is it not fascinating that Baha'u'llah uses the imagery of 'the heart's physician' to refer to God. The 'Dark Night of absence' Baha'u'llah describes above IS the Dark Night of the Soul Concept that John of the Cross both coined and experienced personally, as recounted in the beautiful melodic adaption of the 'Dark Night of the Soul' by Loreena McKennit I keep showing on this forum:

I'm getting good! :wink

Last edited by Yeshua; 10-10-2010 at 09:21 AM.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 09:19 AM   #23
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,287
So tell me Yeshua how does an eighteen year old such as yourself have so many literary skills and insight? Can we read a little autobiography without necessarily using any names as such?

"People are reminded by Carmel, though they are busy with so many concerns, that they must give absolute priority to seeking 'the kingdom of God and His justice' (Mt. 6, 33). Looking to Carmel, where prayer becomes life and life flourishes with prayer..."

Message of Pope John Paul II


Yes that one is good!

Last edited by arthra; 10-10-2010 at 09:22 AM.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 09:27 AM   #24
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Hi Arthra :wub

I've just always been very 'spiritual'. I am actually your average teen - I go to parties, I study, I socialize, I do my hobbies - but I do have quite an un-ordinary (at least in the secular West) interest in religion. Love of religion was once the highest science but now it is considered 'weird', so I am sad to say that very few of my friends Know I'm religious. In fact a pal of mine recently filled in a facebook quiz with one question asking, 'Is Sean (me) religious?' His answer was, 'What? Of course NOT!' :rolleyes
 
Old 10-10-2010, 10:26 AM   #25
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
There is also some stunningly common imagery surrounding trees and their fruit:

Hidden Words
80. O MY SERVANTS!
Ye are the trees of My garden; ye must give forth goodly and wondrous fruits, that ye yourselves and others may profit therefrom. Thus it is incumbent on every one to engage in crafts and professions, for therein lies the secret of wealth, O men of understanding! For results depend upon means, and the grace of God shall be all sufficient unto you. Trees that yield no fruit have been and will ever be for the fire.
81. O MY SERVANT!
The basest of men are they that yield no fruit on earth. Such men are verily counted as among the dead, nay better are the dead in the sight of God than those idle and worthless souls. 82. O MY SERVANT!
21. O SON OF MAN!
Upon the tree of effulgent glory I have hung for thee the choicest fruits, wherefore hast thou turned away and contented thyself with that which is less good? Return then unto that which is better for thee in the realm on high.
. 34. O DWELLERS OF MY PARADISE!
With the hands of loving-kindness I have planted in the holy garden of paradise the young tree of your love and friendship, and have watered it with the goodly showers of My tender grace; now that the hour of its fruiting is come, strive that it may be protected, and be not consumed with the flame of desire and passion.

Sayings of Light and Love
5.Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens.
6.A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time.
46.If you make use of your reason, you are like one who eats substantial food; but if you are moved by the satisfaction of your will, you are like one who eats insipid fruit.
140.The secret of one’s conscience is considerably harmed and damaged as often as its fruits are manifested to others, for then one receives as reward the fruit of fleeting fame.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 10:29 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
My favourite saying of John's also happens to be the most simple:

111.All for you and nothing for me.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 01:44 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,287
Lawh-i-Karmil

Somehow Yeshua I doubt it very much when you say you are an average teen...Seems you have a facility with language that is most uncommon..Maybe you are a savant of some kind I think..

Any discussion though about Carmel would be lacking on a Baha'i Forum without referring to the Lawh-i-Karmil:

LAWH-I-KARMIL

(Tablet of Carmel) *3*

ALL glory be to this Day, the Day in which the fragrances of mercy have been wafted over all created things, a Day so blest that past ages and centuries can never hope to rival it, a Day in which the countenance of the Ancient of Days hath turned towards His holy seat. Thereupon the voices of all created things, and beyond them those of the Concourse on High, were heard calling aloud: 'Haste thee, O Carmel, for lo, the light of the countenance of God, the Ruler of the Kingdom of Names and Fashioner of the heavens, hath been lifted upon thee.'

Seized with transports of joy, and raising high her voice, she thus exclaimed: 'May my life be a sacrifice to Thee, inasmuch as Thou hast fixed Thy gaze upon me, hast bestowed upon me Thy bounty, and hast directed towards me Thy steps. Separation from Thee, O Thou Source of everlasting life, hath well nigh consumed me, and my remoteness from Thy presence hath burned away my soul. All praise be to Thee for having enabled me to hearken to Thy call, for having honoured me with Thy footsteps, and for having quickened my soul through the vitalizing fragrance of Thy Day and the shrilling voice of Thy Pen, a voice Thou didst ordain as Thy trumpet-call amidst Thy people. And when the hour at which Thy resistless Faith was to be made manifest did strike, Thou didst breathe a breath of Thy spirit into Thy Pen, and lo, the entire creation shook to its very foundations, unveiling to mankind *4* such mysteries as lay hidden within the treasuries of Him Who is the Possessor of all created things.'

No sooner had her voice reached that most exalted Spot than We made reply: 'Render thanks unto thy Lord, O Carmel. The fire of thy separation from Me was fast consuming thee, when the ocean of My presence surged before thy face, cheering thine eyes and those of all creation, and filling with delight all things visible and invisible. Rejoice, for God hath in this Day established upon thee His throne, hath made thee the dawning-place of His signs and the dayspring of the evidences of His Revelation. Well is it with him that circleth around thee, that proclaimeth the revelation of thy glory, and recounteth that which the bounty of the Lord thy God hath showered upon thee. Seize thou the Chalice of Immortality in the name of thy Lord, the All-Glorious, and give thanks unto Him, inasmuch as He, in token of His mercy unto thee, hath turned thy sorrow into gladness, and transmuted thy grief into blissful joy. He, verily, loveth the spot which hath been made the seat of His throne, which His footsteps have trodden, which hath been honoured by His presence, from which He raised His call, and upon which He shed His tears.

'Call out to Zion, O Carmel, and announce the joyful tidings: He that was hidden from mortal eyes is come! His all-conquering sovereignty is manifest; His all-encompassing splendour is revealed. Beware lest thou hesitate or halt. Hasten forth and circumambulate the City of God that hath descended from heaven, the celestial Kaaba round which have circled in adoration the favoured of God, the pure in heart, and the company of the most exalted angels. Oh, how I long to announce unto every spot on the surface of the earth, and to carry to each one of its cities, the glad-tidings *5* of this Revelation -- a Revelation to which the heart of Sinai hath been attracted, and in whose name the Burning Bush is calling: "Unto God, the Lord of Lords, belong the kingdoms of earth and heaven." Verily this is the Day in which both land and sea rejoice at this announcement, the Day for which have been laid up those things which God, through a bounty beyond the ken of mortal mind or heart, hath destined for revelation. Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, and will manifest the people of Baha who have been mentioned in the Book of Names.'

Sanctified be the Lord of all mankind, at the mention of Whose name all the atoms of the earth have been made to vibrate, and the Tongue of Grandeur hath been moved to disclose that which had been wrapt in His knowledge and lay concealed within the treasury of His might. He, verily, through the potency of His name, the Mighty, the All-Powerful, the Most High, is the ruler of all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. *7*

~ Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 1
 
Old 10-12-2010, 01:00 PM   #28
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 752
And This is My most favorite, (Tablet of Ahmad):


He is the King, the All-Knowing, the Wise!

Lo, the Nightingale of Paradise singeth upon the twigs of the Tree of Eternity, with holy and sweet melodies, proclaiming to the sincere ones the glad tidings of the nearness of God, calling the believers in the Divine Unity to the court of the Presence of the Generous One, informing the severed ones of the message which hath been revealed by God, the King, the Glorious, the Peerless, guiding the lovers to the seat of sanctity and to this resplendent Beauty.

Verily this is that Most Great Beauty, foretold in the Books of the Messengers, through Whom truth shall be distinguished from error and the wisdom of every command shall be tested. Verily He is the Tree of Life that bringeth forth the fruits of God, the Exalted, the Powerful, the Great.

O Ahmad! Bear thou witness that verily He is God and there is no God but Him, the King, the Protector, the Incomparable, the Omnipotent. And that the One Whom He hath sent forth by the name of ‘Alíą was the true One from God, to Whose commands we are all conforming.

Say: O people be obedient to the ordinances of God, which have been enjoined in the Bayán by the Glorious, the Wise One. Verily He is the King of the Messengers and His book is the Mother Book did ye but know.

Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord.

O people, if ye deny these verses, by what proof have ye believed in God? Produce it, O assemblage of false ones.

Nay, by the One in Whose hand is my soul, they are not, and never shall be able to do this, even should they combine to assist one another.

O Ahmad! Forget not My bounties while I am absent. Remember My days during thy days, and My distress and banishment in this remote prison. And be thou so steadfast in My love that thy heart shall not waver, even if the swords of the enemies rain blows upon thee and all the heavens and the earth arise against thee.

Be thou as a flame of fire to My enemies and a river of life eternal to My loved ones, and be not of those who doubt.

And if thou art overtaken by affliction in My path, or degradation for My sake, be not thou troubled thereby.

Rely upon God, thy God and the Lord of thy fathers. For the people are wandering in the paths of delusion, bereft of discernment to see God with their own eyes, or hear His Melody with their own ears. Thus have We found them, as thou also dost witness.

Thus have their superstitions become veils between them and their own hearts and kept them from the path of God, the Exalted, the Great.

Be thou assured in thyself that verily, he who turns away from this Beauty hath also turned away from the Messengers of the past and showeth pride towards God from all eternity to all eternity.

Learn well this Tablet, O Ahmad. Chant it during thy days and withhold not thyself therefrom. For verily, God hath ordained for the one who chants it, the reward of a hundred martyrs and a service in both worlds. These favors have We bestowed upon thee as a bounty on Our part and a mercy from Our presence, that thou mayest be of those who are grateful.

By God! Should one who is in affliction or grief read this Tablet with absolute sincerity, God will dispel his sadness, solve his difficulties and remove his afflictions.

Verily, He is the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to God, the Lord of all the worlds.

Bahá’u’lláh
 
Old 10-12-2010, 02:10 PM   #29
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,287
Well this has been an interesting interlude..

One of the things I found in the past few days was a schematic diagram by Juan de la Cruz of Mount Carmel..

and I'll try to link it here or produce it so you can see it..

Yahoo! Image Detail for - http://www.icspublications.org/images/Ascent.jpg

The diagram by Juan de la Cruz has a central channel with gradations which is called the path of Mount Carmel the perfect spirit..

The path leads to "only the honor and Glory of God dwells on this mount.."

Surrounding it are nine words which we Baha'is will recognize as attributes ..Peace, Joy, Happeness, Delight, Wisdom, Justice , Foritude, Charity and Piety.

You know what I'm going to suggest here ..don't you.. The Terraces.. The Arc on Mount Carmel. A vision from the sixteenth century mystic Juan de la Cruz...

Last edited by arthra; 10-12-2010 at 02:37 PM.
 
Old 10-13-2010, 04:59 AM   #30
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2010
From: Rockville, MD, USA
Posts: 1,353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
"The beautiful Catholic Carmelite Monastery is called, "Stella Maris" (Star of the Sea). . . .
Should you ever visit it, Yeshua, be sure to go just above (uphlll) of it, and you'll find there the obelisk that marks the site where the Mount Carmel Baha'i House of Worship (what's commonly called a "Baha'i temple") will someday be built!

Best! :-)

Bruce
 
Old 10-13-2010, 05:29 AM   #31
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceDLimber View Post
Should you ever visit it, Yeshua, be sure to go just above (uphlll) of it, and you'll find there the obelisk that marks the site where the Mount Carmel Baha'i House of Worship (what's commonly called a "Baha'i temple") will someday be built!

Best! :-)

Bruce
I will indeed Bruce :wub I look forward to it if I ever go on Pilgrimage to Israel
 
Old 10-13-2010, 05:38 AM   #32
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthra View Post
Well this has been an interesting interlude..

One of the things I found in the past few days was a schematic diagram by Juan de la Cruz of Mount Carmel..

and I'll try to link it here or produce it so you can see it..

Yahoo! Image Detail for - http://www.icspublications.org/images/Ascent.jpg

The diagram by Juan de la Cruz has a central channel with gradations which is called the path of Mount Carmel the perfect spirit..

The path leads to "only the honor and Glory of God dwells on this mount.."

Surrounding it are nine words which we Baha'is will recognize as attributes ..Peace, Joy, Happeness, Delight, Wisdom, Justice , Foritude, Charity and Piety.

You know what I'm going to suggest here ..don't you.. The Terraces.. The Arc on Mount Carmel. A vision from the sixteenth century mystic Juan de la Cruz...
Its a fascinating diagram Arthra! Congrats on finding it :wub I had heard through the grapevine that St John of the Cross often tried to draw his visions in great detail. The one above, depicting the stages the soul must go through as it aims for the summit of Mount Carmel where the 'glory of god' resides is striking for its detail. I am convinced, as are all Catholics and indeed Lutherans and Anglicans who also regard John as a saint, that this humble Spanish mystic had some very profound experiences of the Divine. The sheer detail of his visions and their depth testifies that they are not the vain imaginings of a delusional mind but rather those of a soul which has drawn very near to God the Beloved. Its also intriguing to hear a Baha'i spin on it - thank you so much! I have a lot to think over now :wub
 
Old 10-13-2010, 05:58 AM   #33
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
This website: John of the Cross Is worth taking a look at. It is a Non-Catholic, Non-christian, spiritualistic, multi-faith website which means that one gets from it a very rounded view of his life. (The website's offer doesn't adhere to any particular religion). It explains much about Juan de la Cruz' incredible life and more importantly his 'visions', including the diagram shown by Arthra above. Well worth a read, here are a few excerpts:

"San Juan de la Cruz / John of the Cross (1542-91) is one of the towering saints in Christian history and often considered, even by secular poets and scholars, to be the loftiest Spanish-language poet ever. He is also regarded as Catholicism’s “greatest mystical theologian” and an eminent Doctor of the Church as well. His prose works display a remarkably wise understanding of various extremely subtle nuances of psychological and spiritual development. It is said that “no other writer has had greater influence on Catholic spirituality.”

"He would take the thirty friars out under the trees and, instead of giving them Bible passages upon which to meditate, speak to them of God’s wondrous glories manifest as nature and all creatures before sending off into the surrounding area for their solitary periods of long meditation on God. John sometimes took odd moments to weave willow baskets or carve small wooden images, or make religious drawings."

"So every Saturday, John and a companion trudged the six-plus miles to the convent, where John heard private confessions all day into the next, and celebrated mass for them and, in the parlor with the assembled community of nuns, presented Gospel passages along with his lucid mystical commentaries before heading back to Calvario. He gave the nuns his schematic drawings of Mount Carmel, with a “map” of the virtues, and corresponding maxims of spiritual counsel."

"These last 400 years, Juan’s poetry and prose teachings on the way of negation (via negativa), the art of formless contemplation, and the spiritual union or marriage of the soul in the Divine Beloved have been highly influential, for both orthodox Christian contemplatives and for those branded heretics (e.g., Illuminists and Quietists).

The voice of Juan de la Cruz still speaks to us today of the dazzling glory of God, beyond all forms, images and limits, the Living Flame of Love, the only beatitude and fulfillment for each and every soul.… Those with ears to hear, let them hear."

"As for the content of John’s prose and poetry, clearly his spiritual method is to leave all known methods, images and forms, and those occasional, unusual “consolations”—visions, locutions, perfumes, delights, etc.—and to allow that “detachment and poverty or selflessness or spiritual purity (which are all one)” (Ascent of Mt. Carmel, 2.vii.5). This is the “way of unknowing,” going beyond all the known faculties—including unusual psychic ones —into a pure faith and “imageless, pure and void” contemplative understanding or receptivity, a “substantial and loving quiet.” This is the fertile spiritual “darkness” or Dark Night. “No thing, created or imagined, can serve the understanding as a proper means of union with God…. If the soul in this life is to attain to union with God and commune directly with Him, it must unite itself with the darkness whereof Solomon spoke, wherein God promised to dwell…. Learn to abide attentively and wait lovingly upon God in that state of quiet, and to pay no heed either to imagination or to its working. For here, as we say, the faculties are at rest, and are working, not actively, but passively, by receiving that which God works in them.” (Ascent, 2.viii.1; 2.ix.4; 2.xii.8)

Elsewhere Juan states that this “contemplation is also termed mystical theology, meaning the secret or hidden knowledge of God. In contemplation God teaches the soul very quietly and secretly, without its knowing how, without the sound of words, and without the help of any bodily or spiritual faculty, in silence and quietude, in darkness to all sensory and natural things. Some spiritual persons call this contemplation knowing by unknowing. For this knowledge is not produced by the intellect … which works upon the forms, fantasies, and apprehensions of the corporal faculties; rather, it is produced in the possible or passive intellect. This possible intellect, without the reception of these forms, etc., receives passively only substantial knowledge, which is divested of images and given without any work or active function of the intellect. (Spiritual Canticle, xxxix.12)

The culmination of this radical via negativa is “becoming God by participation,” a phrase that recurs in several sections of Juan’s prose works when discussing the soul’s perfect union with God. Having been “simplified, purified, and cleansed,” one is unmade and remade in God, through the supernatural power of God’s Love, the Holy Spirit working in, taking over, and utterly transforming the soul. The soul—which we might call in more modern language, the basic individual consciousness—with its powers of understanding, will and memory, is always already infused by God naturally, but now, in authentic Divine union, the soul is supernaturally infused by Grace.

Hence we see why Juan de la Cruz insists that true spirituality is not “to seek oneself in God,… but to seek God in oneself,” which requires “death to the natural self, a death attained through the detachment and annihilation of that self.” (Ascent, 2.vii.5)

There are, of course, parallels to this ego-death and Divine consummation in the world’s sacred traditions—most notably the Muslim Sűfî fanâ “annihilation” and baqâ “remaining” in God, and the much more ancient Hindu Vedânta “neti, neti” (“not this, not this”) moksha or liberation from all that binds, and the unraveling of all “knots of the heart,” so that one spontaneously, egolessly abides as the true Divine Self/Reality, Âtman/Brahman, and all its splendid virtues. And this is none other than the Buddha’s nirvâna, extinction of the selfish self-sense so that only ego-free peace, bliss, compassion and freedom remain, the unborn, undying Awareness—Pure Spiritual Reality, the Absolute."

Last edited by Yeshua; 10-13-2010 at 06:01 AM.
 
Old 10-13-2010, 06:44 AM   #34
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
And this (I see similiraties below with Baha'u'llah and his vision in prison, as well as the horrid, squalid conditions he and his family endured. What do you think? The Tablet of the Houri, like the Tablet of the Vision, is a description of a vision Baha’u’llah had of the celestial woman who symbolises the spirit of his revelation. See how similar this is to John's Vision of the Virgin Mary below. Thoughts?)

"John was accused before a tribunal of rebellion and disobedience, terrible sins. He replied that he was only following the direction of the apostolic visitor, his immediate superior. He spent the next nine months in hellish conditions—damp frigid cold that winter, stifling heat in the summer, darkness which badly strained his eyes (the only opening was a two-inch horizontal slit near the ceiling), lice infestation, dysentery from the stale scraps of sardines and bread, and vomit-inducing stench due to the fact that his hateful jailer would only change his waste bucket every several days. Not least was the constant humiliation and frequent torture from fellow “Christian” friars, who took him out a few times each week into the rectory at mealtimes, where he was made to kneel like a dog and endure much verbal scorn and bodily flogging and caning for daring to help launch the reform with Teresa. Many of the younger friars revered him as a saint, but their strict vows of obedience rendered them powerless to alleviate his condition. The period was especially hard on Juan because his own great humility made him begin to seriously doubt himself—perhaps he was only a stubborn rebel, sinfully proud in helping Teresa. Such thinking only increased his anguished sense of isolation.

Yet it was during this Dark Night of the Soul (he apparently coined the phrase), this period of being stripped of all material and spiritual consolations, this being “totally undone and re-fashioned in God,” that Juan issued forth the early verses of some of his major poems. A new jailer had come in after six months, and given John a fresh tunic and a pen, ink and small notebook for “composing a few things profitable to devotion.” Juan fell into ecstasy one day contemplating the deeper spiritual significance of a love song he heard a young man singing in the city street: “I am dying of love, dearest. What shall I do? –Die.” The first part of his Spiritual Canticle poem and other verses soon followed, and more flowed out over the next several years. Poetry for Juan was not an art-form but a vehicle to express, using the typical medieval “bridal mysticism” themes, his intense realizations of the transpersonal God, his love for the personal Lord, and the blazing power of Spirit, which had stoked a profound fire in him, overcoming the interior and exterior darkness of his dire situation.

In August of 1578, a disconsolate and disabled Juan enjoyed a vision of Mother Mary, who had twice saved him as a boy from drowning, now “filling the cell with her beauty and brilliance, and [she] announced to him that his trials would soon be over and that he would leave the prison.” In mid-August, Juan was lucky to escape from his hell-hole in the wee hours of a full-moon night, dismantling at last the cell’s padlock with a needle and thread given by the jailer, and making use of a fabric rope he had fashioned with some scissors and carpet-strips also given by the jailer, to slide down over a balcony onto a high wall, narrowly avoiding fatal injury. In his terribly weak state, he found help again from Mother Mary to somehow scale a remaining wall and find himself on the street beyond. After taking cover, first at a tavern and then the front hall of a caballero’s mansion, John found shelter the next day at a Discalced Carmelite convent."
 
Old 10-13-2010, 07:56 AM   #35
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,287
Yeshua,

I would ask humbly if possible Yeshua when posting articles that you please cite your sources.. that's just a way of credited who actually wrote them and where they are from..

Yes and it is interesting that diagram of the vision of Mount Carmel by Juan de la Cruz.. I think you could pretty much look upwards from the terraces and grasp what he saw... The Glory of God is the translation of the Arabic Baha'u'llah pitched His tent on Carmel and designated it for a very special purpose.

Also one of the first areas to have electricity in the area was Mount Carmel around a hundred years ago or so.. and today it looks like this:

http://media.bahai.org/img/7707/460/..._night-460.jpg

In the Baha'i Writings the Maid of Heaven is viewed as the Holy Spirit in this dispensation.. The Tablet you refer is a "provisional translation" which means it is of interest to us but is not accepted as authenticated for English translation as yet..

You may like this article on the subject:

Female Representations of the Holy Spirit

Last edited by arthra; 10-13-2010 at 08:08 AM.
 
Old 10-13-2010, 08:19 AM   #36
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthra View Post
Yeshua,

I would ask humbly if possible Yeshua when posting articles that you please cite your sources.. that's just a way of credited who actually wrote them and where they are from..

Yes and it is interesting that diagram of the vision of Mount Carmel by Juan de la Cruz.. I think you could pretty much look upwards from the terraces and grasp what he saw... The Glory of God is the translation of the Arabic Baha'u'llah pitched His tent on Carmel and designated it for a very special purpose.

Also one of the first areas to have electricity in the area was Mount Carmel around a hundred years ago or so.. and today it looks like this:

http://media.bahai.org/img/7707/460/..._night-460.jpg

In the Baha'i Writings the Maid of Heaven is viewed as the Holy Spirit in this dispensation.. The Tablet you refer is a "provisional translation" which means it is of interest to us but is not accepted as authenticated for English translation as yet..

You may like this article on the subject:

Female Representations of the Holy Spirit
St Joan of Arc called herself, "The Maid of Heaven". The Spirit, in mystical Christian theology, is always personified as 'female' (the Bride with God as Bridegroom) so it is interesting that Baha'is see the Holy Spirit in a feminine context. A beautiful picture of the terraces btw, Baha'is are rightly proud of them. They are a wonder of the world. :wub
 
Old 10-13-2010, 08:26 AM   #37
Senior Member
 
Yeshua's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,922
Is this another version of St Juan de la Cruz' diagram of Mount Carmel? (It is more elaborately illustrated, depicting an actual mountain. The text is in latin btw)

Google Image Result for http://www.ccel.org/ccel/john_cross/ascent/files/mount_carmel-sml.gif
(If that doesn't work just look here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/john_cross/...titlepage.html)
I found it on google images, any thoughts? (I think it is because it comes from the cover of an old copy of, 'The Ascent of Mount Carmel')

Last edited by Yeshua; 10-13-2010 at 08:30 AM.
 
Old 10-14-2010, 05:27 AM   #38
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2010
From: Rockville, MD, USA
Posts: 1,353
Unfortunately, Art, the Carmel picture you posted shows only the top half of the terraces (actually, a bit less since the center <ninth> one is missing)!

You should post another one showing all 19! :-)

Bruce

Last edited by BruceDLimber; 10-15-2010 at 05:17 AM.
 
Old 10-14-2010, 08:33 AM   #39
Senior Member
 
arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,287
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceDLimber View Post
Unfortunately, Art, the Carmel picture you posted shows only the top half of the terraces (actually, a bit les since the center <ninth> one is missing)!

You should post another one showing all 19! :-)

Bruce
I'll pass your suggestion on to Juan de la Cruz....:wink
 
Old 10-14-2010, 01:53 PM   #40
Senior Member
 
whine of astonsihment's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthra View Post
I'll pass your suggestion on to Juan de la Cruz....:wink
lol:lol Thanks for that Art!:wub:wub:wub You brighten my day
 
Reply

  Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > General Discussion

Tags
light, love, sayings

Thread Tools
Display Modes



Facebook @bahaiforums RSS


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2006 - 2014 Bahai Forums. All rights reserved.