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Dark Night of the Soul: Songs of Yearning for God [Hardcover]

Saint John , Mirabai Starr
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Jun 2002
St John of the Cross was a 16th century Spanish mystic who wanted to reform Catholicism and encourage the integration of meditative practices by its followers. Because of this, he was locked up by other monks and during his imprisonment he wrote one of the world's most famous spiritual poems Dark Night of the Soul. After his escape, he then wrote a commentary to the poem to explain how to deal with any period when one feels completely cut off from God, and totally uninspired by anything. This is the first time the poem and its commentary have been translated by anyone outside the Catholic Church, and the language is exceptionally contemporary and relevant to our everyday concerns, no matter whether the reader is a Catholic, Buddhist or Muslim - or just having a hard time.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Rider & Co; New edition edition (6 Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712657029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712657020
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,159,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘A fluid, inviting translation of this important text’ -- Thomas Moore

‘Mirabai Starr’s admirably modernized translation restores to us a classic in all its unflinching candour’ -- Andrew Harvey

‘What a beautiful translation!’ -- Natalie Goldberg

Book Description

A new edition of the classic that has helped people in times of spiritual darkness --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
IN this first song the soul relates the mode and manner she pursued as regards her emotions and sensations, when she set forth from herself and all things, dying with unfeigned mortification to herself and them, so as to attain at last a sweet and pleasant life of love in God; and she says that this going forth from herself and all things, was "In a dark night," whereby she means purgative contemplation, as shall afterwards be said; the which causes in the soul the negation of herself and of everything. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a book you'll want to read twice. 3 Feb 1999
By A Customer
The first time I attempted this book it was beyond me. After I had experienced a great tragedy in my life, however, I was more in tune with what St. John was talking about. Sometimes God must remove all of our props to get us to love Him, rather than the goodies He can give us. This may even include having to undergo a purging of the senses, and long periods of depression. My prayer to God for a long time has been, "Lord, whatever it takes, make me a man of God". Sometimes I have a hard time dealing with the "whatever it takes" part, but it's well worth it. Find a quiet place alone and read this book.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking in the deepest sense possible 9 April 1999
By A Customer
this book will take you on an exploration deep into the source of yourself to the not so joyfull aspect of the soul that we know all too well. its effects bring us beyond words to an understnding and sincere fondness for the neccesity of knowing the other aspects of the soul, as we begin to embrace daily sadnesses and griefs as an enriching part of our life. if you are willing your soul will have the experience of a lifetime and your knowledge of self will climb to a new height. .
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it when the Spirit leads you to 9 Nov 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a classic book - richly descriptive of spiritual realities, and providing sound guidance by a Doctor of the Church. It is probably best to have had an introduction to the spiritual life first, try 'The Introduction to the devout life' by St Francis de Sales; for a contremporary and helpful introduction try Fr Thomas Dubay ' Prayer Primer' and his introduction to St John of the Cross ' The Fire within'.

Just a note - St John would have laughed at the idea that the devil is only your own ego! Or that God is a deeper region of yourself! This book takes seriously the idea of growing closer to a real god who is passionately in love with you, expect to be challenged to change and grow.
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