Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross” as Want to Read:
The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross

4.49  ·  Rating Details ·  925 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
The fourth centenary of the death of St. John of the Cross inspired this revised edition of the English translation of his writings. The result is an edition that preserves the true meaning of the great mystic's writings, presents them as clearly as possible, and at the same time gives the reader the doctrinal and historical information that will lead to a deeper ...more
Paperback, 814 pages
Published January 1st 1991 by I C S Publications (first published 1591)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross

Romeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareA Midsummer Night's Dream by William ShakespeareThe Prince by Niccolò MachiavelliMuch Ado About Nothing by William ShakespeareUtopia by Thomas More
Best Books of the 16th Century
64th out of 97 books — 385 voters
The Pursuit Of God by A.W. TozerKnowing God by J.I. PackerJesus Calling by Sarah  YoungDon't Waste Your Life by John PiperThe Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Best Discipleship Books
63rd out of 71 books — 85 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
February 4, 2012: Restarted The Ascent Of Mount Carmel today.

I haven't been reading this as quickly as I would like. A trip, school starting and a very busy time at work is causing me to pick this up, put it down and leave it for long stretches. Fortunately, this is the type of book I can do this with.

Just ran across this in Book 2, Chapter 15.5...

'When the spiritual person cannot meditate, let him learn to be still in God, fixing his loving attention upon Him, in the calm of his understanding,
Les Walters
Jan 27, 2012 Les Walters rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-frequent-use
St John of the Cross is no doubt difficult to read and understand. In fact, I believe most people, including me, need some guidance with him, especially in terms of what to read first, second etc. It can be very daunting. However, John de Yepes is absolutely foundational to anyone seriously seeking union with God. There is no surer guide.

I was blessed to attend a month long School of Prayer with the Carmelite Friars in Varroville, Sydney, Australia in November/December 1991...the 400th anniversa
Aug 30, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
This is the master of Christian Spirituality and Spiritual direction. There are too many nuggets of wisdom to list. Some folks might get lost in his poetic depth. Don't let it didscrourage you because it's the kind of lost you can rest in and know that more is happening in that space than you'll ever be able to describe.
I read only The Dark Night of the Soul (pp. 351-457). I presented on Book 1, Chs. 12-14.

A typical response could easily be to dismiss John as a neo-Gnostic who wants to get rid of the body. A more charitable view could be to view John's perspective as one of a martyr, who is reminding himself that no matter what people do to the body, he's still secure.

- Dr. Donnelly mentioned Hegel's Owl of Athena ( and wondered if there was a connection to the Dark Nigh
Sep 03, 2013 Zvezdana rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of books by famous Christian spiritual teacher John of the Cross. These books are one of the best interpretations of the human spiritual path to holiness. They represent the peak of mystical theology. The books contain a detailed description and explanation of each of the mystical and contemplative stages on the path to God.
For beginners on the spiritual path I would recommend especially Ascent of Mount Carmel.
For all those who find themselves in life's trials and difficult
Feb 28, 2013 Ariadna73 rated it it was amazing
Este libro hay que leerlo muy despacio y con mucho amor. Fue escrito con arduo trabajo por parte de una persona que quería explicar algo supremamente importante: cómo liberar nuestras almas de la infelicidad y conectarnos con Dios. San Juan de la cruz escribió relativamente pocos poemas; pero cuando los quiso explicar, gastó páginas y páginas tratando de dejar clara hasta la última palabra posible. San Juan de La Cruz era una especie de místico (tal vez como Krishnamurti, tal vez sufía de ...more
Alex Kartelias
Jun 02, 2016 Alex Kartelias rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
No Christian has with so much detail, outlined the spiritual journey as St. John of The Cross. Indirectly commentating on the work of St. Dionysius the Areopagite, each introduces a poem and then for most of the rest of the book, expands on each word and line, universalizing the meaning in such a way that it makes the words translucent and effaced to the Hidden Truth underneath. What's also important is how he asserts that the heart is not merely a symbol for emotion, but a noetic faculty of ...more
May 21, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
Not for merely the curious. "The Living Flame of Love" could be considered erotic by those not knowing what he was writing about, and in deed this Spanish man's love of God, is most intense. His treatise in "Dark Night of the Soul", is quite, well, pertinet. Reading 16th century literature aside, I found his writing passionate and resonating. His experiences and that of St. Teresa of Avila are
parallel with the Eastern Mystics, just expressed according to their culture. I wish the rest of the wor
Not a book that I could read from front to back but a treasury to which I will often return. I have always felt drawn to the Saint's 'Dark Night of the Soul' poem but to read it in light of his two commentaries is to see it for the spiritual masterpiece that it is. 'Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies' - how wonderful to be drawn joyfully from something as beautiful as lilies. A wonderful study with which to begin this year's season of Lent.
J. Alfred
Apr 16, 2009 J. Alfred rated it liked it
Very cool. Probably enjoyable even for people who don't like poetry. Confusing (the guy was a mystic, after all) but interesting. Some of his stuff, like this stanza:

"This life I live in vital strength
Is loss of life unless I win You,
And thus to die I shall continue
Until I in You I live at length.
Listen (my God!) my life is in You!
This life I do not want for, for I
Am dying that I do not die."

just blows my mind. Once more: very cool.
May 31, 2007 C. rated it really liked it
John of the Cross had such a precise and systematic way of describing the movements of the soul in different lights ~ consolation & desolation. I love his poetry and his commentary. So many times I felt that the words were crafted just for me ~ the resonance was so strong in my own heart, especially around the soul's deepest desire and longing: complete and utter union with God.
Sep 23, 2012 Trina rated it it was amazing
O woods and thickets
planted by the hand of my Beloved!
O green meadow,
coated, bright, with flowers,
tell me, has he passed by you?

Pouring out a thousand graces,
he passed these groves in haste;
and having looked at them,
with his image alone,
clothed them in beauty.

You can feel the breathless quality of the prose...just beautiful!
Jul 11, 2007 Colyn rated it it was amazing
this one will take a while. i can't decide if "The Ascent of Mount Carmel" or "The Spiritual Canticle" will be the next Fray John of the Cross that i tackle but it is all here, along with poetry, to be read at will.
Read only selections from it. The use of both poetic form and prose explanation of the poetry allows for a heightened understanding on the reader's part, though he often beats the dead horse. Well written. He leans a bit too far away from works for my taste.
Jacob Stubbs
So, I only read the "Dark Night of the Soul"... and I want to reread it. San Juan de la Cruz holds a great psychological diagnosis of many of current Christianity's problems.
Jan 02, 2011 Margaretflynn rated it it was amazing
A classic work that has become a companion to my journey.
David Mullens
Wonderful work!
Peter N Roth
Jan 07, 2014 Peter N Roth rated it did not like it
Taking this one a bit at a time.
Adam DeVille, Ph.D.
Apr 02, 2013 Adam DeVille, Ph.D. rated it liked it
Turgid and difficult in places, but a classic of Western spirituality.
Scott Kleinpeter
The only real heroes we have are the Saints.
Oscar Gonzalez
Libro difícil, leído palmo a palmo. No por culpa del autor, claro está.
El libro se basa en los poemas de San Juan de la Cruz, específicamente en tres de ellos, que, según reza la historia, primero fueron concebidos y tiempo después fueron escritos, ya que el autor se hallaba preso. Los creo y memorizó, y luego de fugarse de prisión, los escribió.
Son poemas breves, bellos por sencillos, que son objeto de una detallada explicación en su sentido y simbolismo, uno en Noche oscura, otro en Cántico es
Harry Robinson
Feb 10, 2015 Harry Robinson rated it really liked it
One of the more famous of the Christian mystics, St. John of the Cross was a contemporary of St. Teresa of Avila, and was awarded the title of Doctor of the Church. According to Wikipedia there are only 33 persons who have received this honor. The work is not an easy one to read; I find "The Ascent of Mount Carmel" extraordinarily detailed and surprisingly beautiful.

I decided to list this as "read", although in truth my reading was largely skimming, and overly superficial. I'll come back to this
Jul 17, 2015 Cris marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
El lenguaje es demasiado antiguo para entenderse fácilmente. No solo por la forma distinta de deletrear muchas palabras pero también porque algunas palabras tienen un significado distinto al moderno. No dudo que sea muy bueno este libro, sin embargo por el momento lo abandono por alguna traducción.
Jul 19, 2016 Ariadna73 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must, definitely a must. This is an eye-opener book. I shall never forget this man's biography and how he lived and died according to what he believed. I loved this book!
Steve Gambino
Nov 16, 2014 Steve Gambino rated it liked it
Excellent first sources and critical scholarship.
Kathleen Gear
Oct 09, 2014 Kathleen Gear rated it it was amazing
The translation here is just elegant and brings out the sublime quality of St John's teachings.

Este libro hay que leerlo muy despacio y con mucho amor. Fue escrito con arduo trabajo por parte de una persona que quería explicar algo supremamente importante: cómo liberar nuestras almas de la infelicidad y conectarnos con Dios. San Juan de la cruz escribió relativamente pocos poemas; pero cuando los quiso explicar, gastó páginas y páginas tratando de dejar clara hasta la última palabra posible. San Juan de La Cruz era una especie de místico (tal vez como Krishnamurti, tal vez sufía de ataqu
Rolando Hernández Torres
Rolando Hernández Torres rated it it was amazing
Mar 30, 2016
Cindy Bornander
Cindy Bornander rated it liked it
Oct 26, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Ávila, Vol. 1
  • The Cloud of Unknowing and The Book of Privy Counseling
  • The Philokalia, Volume 1: The Complete Text
  • Encounters With Silence
  • The Fathers
  • When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings
  • The Spiritual Exercises
  • Markings
  • Uniformity with God's Will
  • Abandonment to Divine Providence
  • The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection (Cistercian studies 59)
  • The Secret Of The Rosary
  • Fire Within: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and the Gospel - On Prayer
  • Prayer
  • Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence: The Secret of Peace and Happiness
  • 7 Secrets of the Eucharist
  • In the School of the Holy Spirit
  • Poustinia: Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer (Madonna House Classics Vol.1)
San Juan de la Cruz (English: St. John of the Cross), born Juan de Yepes Álvarez, was a major Counter-Reformation figure, a Spanish mystic, Catholic saint, Carmelite friar & priest. He was a reformer of the Carmelite Order & is considered, along with St Teresa of Ávila, as a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. He's also known for his writings. Both his poetry & his studies on the grow ...more
More about San Juan de la Cruz...

Share This Book

“9. 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.” 6 likes
“Letter 33 [To a discalced Carmelite nun in Segovia[63] Ubeda, October-November 1591]   ... Have a great love for those who contradict and fail to love you, for in this way love is begotten in a heart that has no love. God so acts with us, for he loves us that we might love by means of the very love he bears toward us. [63] This person's identify is unknown.” 4 likes
More quotes…