By Fr Joseph Tham, LC
On the Feast of St. John of the Cross, this talk will look at the mystical poetic theology of the Spiritual Canticle. The goal of this talk is for us to have a taste of the high levels of union and prayer that some saints can attain, so that their examples can aspire us to look for higher and more sublime things above. The talk gives a brief history of the life of St. John of the Cross, and the difficult circumstances in which he wrote the Spiritual Canticle while in prison. Paradoxically, in the darkest moment of his life, he produced the most elevated artistic poetry describing the spiritual encounter and marriage of the soul with God. Some of most impressive verses are explained to allow us to access the deep theology and the experience of love with the Beloved. The journey is both human and divine, with wounds and darkness but also with great clarity and surprise. St. John of the Cross is not only an accomplished poet, but his poetry describes an ineffable reality of the soul inflamed with love for God.