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Download Ascent to Love fb2, epub

Download Ascent to Love fb2, epub

ISBN: 072201211X
Language: English
Publisher: Continuum
Subcategory: No category
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 487
Size Fb2: 1918 kb
Size ePub: 1530 kb
Size Djvu: 1500 kb
Other formats: mbr lrf docx txt


Comments:

Olma
She is a Carmelite nun who is amazing! She has this wonderful dry sense of humor--she does not suffer fools lightly, and her book on Theresa and this one on John of the Cross helped me wade through some of the emotional intensity of these great and passionate Spaniards:>) Hr distinction between lights on mystics-the ones who are aware of something happening--and lights-off mystics- the great majority who are being transformed deeply and without our knowledge, has helped many folks who are intimidated by the mystics and who can't see how these folks related to their own walk with God. I buy every thing of hers I can find.
Yggdi
Profound, well written and inspiring.
Dilmal
All OK
Onnell
Ruth Burrows, a Carmelite nun and spiritual writer, delves deeply into the teachings of the father of her contemplative order in this wonderful little work about the spirituality of St John.

This work is not really a critical commentary on the teaching of John of the Cross, or a scholarly work. It is more a series of personal meditations on his teachings and how they have applied to her own spiritual living. Because she is a Carmelite herself, Ruth Burrows clearly has a deep, contemplative understanding and sharing of spirit with this great saint.

Ruth Burrows demolishes a number of myths about John out of the way quite quickly - that mystical union with God is only for the elite few, that the Christian spiritual journey has to be a miserable, joyless one of self-denial and self-inflicted torture; that God glories in the person who hates others, himself and creation, or that John was a bitter, joyless man who demanded a dark cloud be thrown over everything good in the world.

Burrows quite rightly points out in her work that the target of John's ascetic program is not the world or the human person as such, but disordered desires arising from human egoism. The nights St John describes of active and passive negation are aimed at emptying, not destroying or killing. Burrows also highlights the need to take the saint's language in context - he was writing mainly for nuns under his spiritual direction, in an age obsessed with spiritual 'circuses' of miracles, wonder-working and extraordinary phenomena. St John's teachings were designed to lead these contemplative women (in a time when women counted for just about nothing) on a safe path to union with God. John's spiritual path is far more about detachment and freedom for, not freedom crushed - a point that could even be made usefully today.

Burrows is most helpful in pointing out God's absolute and unconditional love for each and every human person, made manifest in Christ - the invitation for union with God is open for all. It is not some exclusive prerogative for just Catholics, and a small subset of those (as some authors argue even today). John is also not about marvels, miracles, bizarre private revelations or alleged messages from the Virgin Mary or some saint - in fact his path sounds far more like Eckhart's constant refrain to get rid of self. Indeed, there are remarkable comparisons between the centrality of detachment for St John and St Teresa and the saintly Dominican mystic, who ridiculed those who tried to 'bargain' or 'purchase' God and his grace with religious works and trinkets (compare some of Eckhart's sermons on detachment and John's ridicule of those who pray to elaborately decorated shrines, statues or rosary beads and it seems as if they came from the same writer).

The ultimate end is union and transformation in God, where the 'beloved and the lover become one' (Canticle, St 39). This grand and lofty goal - offered to all with no price besides to open up to God's grace - is the end of all humans, something Burrows illustrates beautifully using the example of that wonderful 'little saint' and spiritual 'daughter' of St John, St Therese. Indeed St Therese stands out as perhaps the most beautiful and radiant example of the gentle, yet courageous holiness John speaks about in the deified person (though she also stands along with Edith Stein/Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who arguably is just as great as St Therese).

The 'ascent to love' has been well made by Burrows herself, though in a broken and roundabout way (see her autobiography 'Before the Living God'). Clearly one can only understand John fully if you have walked the path up to the summit of Mt Carmel - something Burrows in my view has done (or rather been brought there by a tenderly loving and compassionate God). The spirituality of Mt Carmel stands as a bright light in a post-scandal church whose moral standing and reputation have largely been destroyed by corrupt and incompetent leaders. I think a return to the Carmelite charism offers one way the church might be able to rise like a phoenix from those ashes.
Granijurus
Ruth Burrows overview of the theology of St. John of the Cross is an excellent introduction to St. John's thought and values. The author anicipates many of the questions and contradictions that readers might encounter in exploring St. John's world and his response to it.
Burrows writing style is direct and readable. This book was a departure from my usual pile of Buddhist books and I enjoyed it thoroughly. A must have for the spiritual student, regardless of background or spiritual path.

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