Browsing Fr. James Marshall Weekly Blog

The Doctor We Need

Dec 14, 2017

The Mystical Doctor

Our world is desperate need of healing. People and nations are morally and spiritually sick to the point of death. The kind of healing that we need can only be acquired through a genuine renewal of mind and body that is the result of conversion and repentance. There is no drug and therapy that can take the place of the Lord in our lives. The problem for most people is that they don’t know where to start. We can start by turning to people who have made the journey of faith and won the crown of victory. Mary and the saints teach us how to get to a better place in our lives through prayer and sacrifice. Today, December 14, is the feast day of one of the greatest mystics in the 2000 year history of our Church, and who can give us an alternative to the world view that is so predominate today and is destroying this great nation and the world.

Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor, was born at Fontiveros in Spain around 1542. After a number of years as a Carmelite, he was persuaded by Saint Teresa of Avila in 1568 to lead a reform movement among the brothers which brought a new energy to the Carmelite Order. Renowned for his wisdom and sanctity, he died at Ubeda in 1591. His spiritual writings remain a fitting testimony to his life. The Accent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night of the Soul are just two examples of his contemplative writing. John’s writing are thoroughly Catholic and should be read with that in mind. He is a great teacher who can lead us to Christ.

From a spiritual Canticle by Saint John of the Cross, Priest

Though holy doctors have uncovered many mysteries and wonders, and devout souls have understood them in this earthly condition of ours, yet the greater part still remains to be unfolded by them, and eve3n to be understood by them.

We must then dig deeply in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides.

For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ: “In Him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior labors, and unless it first receives from God very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses, and has undergone long spiritual training.

All these are lesser things, disposing the soul for the lofty sanctuary of the knowledge of the mysteries of Christ: this is the highest wisdom attainable in this life.

Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire. The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross.

Saint Paul therefore urges the Ephesians not to grow weary in the midst of tribulations, but to be rooted and grounded in love, so that they may know with all the saints the breadth, the length, the height and the depth—to know what is beyond knowledge, the love of Christ, so as to be filled with all the fullness of God.

The gate that gives entry into these riches of his wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it.

These are powerful words from a great leads by example. Saint John: Pray for us