In the twilight of life, God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human success, but rather on how much we have loved.

— John of the Cross

The most scandalous John of the Cross quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent.


Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction.


To love is to be transformed into what we love. To love God is therefore to be transformed into God.


In the inner stillness where meditation leads, the Spirit secretly anoints the soul and heals our deepest wounds.


Live in the world as if only God and your soul were in it;

then your heart will never be made captive by any earthly thing.


Silence is God's first language.


Live in faith and hope, though it be in darkness, for in this darkness God protects the soul. Cast your care upon God for you are His and He will not forget you. Do not think that He is leaving you alone, for that would be to wrong Him.


Whoever does not seek the cross of Christ doesn't seek the glory of Christ.


God leads every soul by a separate path.


A Christian should always remember that the value of his good works is not based on their number and excellence, but on the love of God which prompts him to do these things.


Contemplation is nothing else but a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which, if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love.


The soul that walks in love neither tires others nor grows tired.


About John of the Cross

Quotes 80 sayings
Profession Saint
Birthday June 24, 1542

The soul of one who serves God always swims in joy, always keeps holiday, is always in her palace of jubilation, ever singing with fresh ardor and fresh pleasure a new song of joy and love.


Do not let your "eye" be drawn by the false "beacon lamps" -of wealth, or position, or fame, or possessions. Be vigilant over your will and desires, for these are the corrupt forces that dwell within, and keep you from living free.


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.


Love consists not in feeling great things but in having great detachment and in suffering for the Beloved.


Faith is a dark night for man, but in this very way it gives him light.


See that you are not suddenly saddened by the adversities of this world, for you do not know the good they bring, being ordained in the judgments of God for the everlasting joy of the elect.


God desires the smallest degree of purity of conscience in you more than all the works you can perform.


At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.


If it were given to a man to see virtue's reward in the next world, he would occupy his intellect, memory and will in nothing but good works, careless of danger or fatigue.


The soul that journey's to God, but doesn't shake off it's cares and quiet it's appetities, is like someone who drags a cart of dirt uphill.


Obedience is a penance of reason, and, on that account, a sacrifice more acceptable than all corporal penances and mortifications.


All the powers of soul and body,memory, understanding, and will, interior and exterior senses, thedesires of spirit and of sense, all workin and by love.


Though the path is plain and smooth for men of good will, he who walks it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty, if he does not have good feet: that is, courage and a persevering spirit.


In tribulation immediately draw near to God with confidence, and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.


He who loses an opportunity is like the man who lets a bird fly from his hand, for he will never recover it.


Strive always to confess your sins with a deep knowledge of your own wretchedness and with clarity and purity.


The purest suffering bears and carries in its train the purest understanding.


The virtuous soul that is alone and without a master is like a long lone burning coal; it will grow colder rather than hotter.


If you lose an opportunity you will be like one who lets the bird fly away;

you will never get it back.


The eternal spring is hidden in this living bread for our life's sake, although it is night. It is here calling out to creatures; and they satisfy their thirst, although in darkness, because it is night. This living spring that I long for, I see in this bread of life, although it is night.


I have said this to explain the stanza that follows, in which the soul replies to those who call in question its holy tranquillity, who will have it wholly occupied with outward duties, that its light may shine before the world: these persons have no conception of the fibres and the unseen root whence the sap is drawn, and which nourish the fruit.


Not to follow the advice of our confessor is pride and a want of faith.


Who teaches the soul if not God?


When there is no love, pour in love and you shall draw out love.


Desolation is a file, and the endurance of darkness is preparation for great light.


Upon a darkened night the flame of love was burning in my breast And by a lantern bright I fled my house while all in quiet rest. Shrouded by the night and by the secret stair I quickly fled. The veil concealed my eyes while all within lay quiet as the dead.


The window of the soul cleansed perfectly and made completely transparent by the divine light


Beloved, all that is harsh and difficult I want for myself, and all that is gentle and sweet for thee.


In search of my Love I will go over mountains and strands;

I will gather no flowers, I will fear no wild beasts; And pass by the mighty and the frontiers.


God is a dark night to man in this life.


Take God for your spouse and friend and walk with him continually, and you will not sin and will learn to love, and the things you must do will work out prosperously for you.


Seek in reading and thou shalt find in meditation;

knock in prayer and it shall be opened in contemplation.


Never listen to accounts of the frailty of others;

and if anyone should complain to you of another, humbly ask him not to speak about him at all.


Live as though only God and yourself were in this world, so that your heart may not be detained by anything human.


Let my soul live as if separated from my body.


The centre of the soul is God; and, when the soul has attained to Him according to the whole capacity of its being, which is the strength and virtue of the soul, it will have reached the last and the deep centre of the soul, which will be when with all its powers it loves and understands and enjoys God.


He who loves is not ashamed before men of what he does for God, neither does he hide it through shame though the whole world should condemn it.