Thomas Merton called John of the Cross "the greatest of all mystical theologians." Born in Spain in 1542, John joined the Carmelite Order when he was twenty-one. Living in a time of great religious controversy, John was kidnapped and imprisoned -- an experience of deep suffering that formed the basis for some of his most beautiful poetry.
This volume represents a modernized edition of John's rarely published work, Ascent of Mount Carmel, a commentary on his spiritual poetry. The poem recounts John's passage through a dark night of faith on his journey toward complete union with God. Through his lyric poetry and humble wisdom, he has become an encouraging companion for people throughout the centuries who are passing through their own "dark night of the soul."