‘Would that men might at last understand that it is impossible to attain to the thicket of manifold riches of the wisdom of God without entering into the thicket of manifold suffering, making that its consolation and desire! And how the soul which really longs for divine wisdom first longs for suffering, that it may enter more deeply into the thicket of the cross!
For this reason Saint Paul encouraged the Ephesians not to lose heart in tribulations, but to be strengthened, and rooted in love, that they might have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth; and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that they might be filled with all the fulness of God. For the gate whereby one may enter into these riches of his wisdom is the narrow gate of the cross. Many long for the delights to which that gate leads: but few they are indeed who are prepared to pass through it’.
from the Spiritual Canticle of St John of the Cross, 1542-1591
O God, who didst inspire thy holy Confessor Saint John with an ardent love of self-denial and of the Cross: grant that by constantly following his example, we may attain to everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal
Fr Lee Kenyon