I love it when I find a great book…..I hate it when it ends. I have about five more pages to read but I don’t want to read them because then I will be finished with the book. The book? “Ascent to Love, the Spiritual Teaching of St. John of the Cross” by Ruth Burrows.
It took me a long time to get this book, had to get it used and most places that had it were charging over $100.oo. I finally found someone who was selling it for twenty-something. I was thrilled. I’ve been a fan of Ruth Burrows since I read “The Essence of Prayer,” another wonderful book and much easier to get!
“Ascent to Love” contains such gems of wisdom. Each page is filled. I wanted to pick something to share here but it is so difficult to pick just one, so I just randomly opened to a page (you know, the way that we are not supposed to read the Bible..), and here is what I found.
“Such a willingness to forget the ego, to lose sight of it, calls for firm faith in God’s love. Each of us is utterly important to God; we can afford to relax a bit and let him look after our little selves. We tend to think that unless we take care of ‘number one; nobody will. Faith tells us there is one who never takes his eyes off us, so much so that not a hair of our head is lost.
An obsession with self-importance enslaves us to human respect…..”
I have a feeling that I will post more on this book as I begin to read it again! It’s one that you read with the eyes, understand with the head, and absorb in the heart.
I absolutely love that passage. I was praying this morning and felt Jesus telling me to let go of my grip, as if I’ve been holding onto myself too long out of fear and not really letting God take care of me. Blessings.. 🙂
Oh Jade, we all struggle with this, but, good for you that you recognize it, that’s huge! We’ll pray for each other!
A lovely passage and why not leave the words to the serendipity of God now and again – works for me most times.
It reminds me of the phrase:-
‘The best way to stand up before the world is to kneel down before God.”
Enjoy the book – again:)
I love that phrase, Word. Bought a picture with that inscribed for a very dear friend this past year. Something I need to remember as well.
Andie, thank you so much for sharing this book here. It looks truly beautiful and inspiring. Please do share more of it here 🙂
Faith tells us there is one who never takes his eyes off us… Hmmm
I will Claire, glad you liked it!
It’s so seldom that I find someone else who is a “fan” of Ruth Burrows. I discovered her book Guidelines for Mystical Prayer when I was browsing the stacks of books at a warehouse of Catholic books in Wisconsin. Reading it transformed me when I first read it about two decades ago. Since then I’ve collected every book she has written (to my knowledge), including Ascent to Love. What I paid for it, I don’t recall, but I doubt it was more than $10.
I don’t know if your edition is the same as mine (1992), but if so, I would appreciate what page the quotation is from.
Now you are motivating me to reread it! I am a Lay Carmelite, so I guess I should be thoroughly familiar with the spiritual wisdom of St. John of the Cross, but honestly, I need secondary sources to grasp his works.
Lovely post especially when we are at the end of our tether !
I was struck by this
“so I just randomly opened to a page (you know, the way that we are not supposed to read the Bible..),”
Didn’t St Francis do that a lot ? I seem to remember reading somewhere that he did.
Sounds great to me : The Catholic version of I Ching.
Ruth Ann, I will get that page number for you. I just love Burrows and like you, need lots of help with John of the Cross. And yet, his mysticism intrigues me and haunts me.
Phil, I know, I do it all the time….and if St. Francis did it as well then I really feel comfortable with it. Oh the rules…..
I appreciate the wisdom you have shared here.
Especially this: An obsession with self-importance enslaves us to human respect…..