My suggested book for November is described as '30 Days with a great spiritual teacher,' 'Fear Not The Night' based on the classic spirituality of St. John Of The Cross by John Kirvan.
The Author, in his introduction, says (of John Of The Cross) that 'even for those who have never read a word he has written, his name conjures up mysterious dark nights of the soul that can seem to the easily dissuaded beginner more terrifying than inviting'. It has been said that John was writing mainly for those more advanced along the spiritual path. However he is well worth considering and this book provides a really excellent introduction.
'St. John will make sure that we know that our spiritual baggage, however comfortable, however familiar and reassuring, everything that is not God, will have to be left behind'.
Each day has three sections, 'My Day Begins' is a passage of approximately two hundred words in length. It is so presented to be easily prayed and meditated upon. 'All Through The Day' is a single sentence to write down and remember all day. An example of this is from Day Eight, 'Come To Me'. It's purpose is to remind the meditator of the presence of God. The third and final section is 'My Day Is Ending'. This gives a finishing prayer commencing always with:
'As this night descends remind me again that the soul that walks in love neither rests nor grows tired' and ending with 'Descend on my soul now like a river of peace to take away my uncertainties, my fear of the dark'.
This is not so much a book to be read but experienced, to take part in - and in very good hands. It was of great reassurance to me to learn that John spent much of his monastic life travelling across Spain assisting St. Teresa of Avila reform the Carmelite Order. He was also a Spiritual Director so he knew a busy pace of life, just like us. St. John also wrote the majority of his most profound poetry in jail.
Fear Not The Night Ave Maria Press
ISBN O-87793-637-4 £5.95.
Return to the November 1999 Features page
return to Home page and main index
page last updated 1 NOVEMBER 1999