Walking with St. John of the Cross – Meditations from the Muhraqa

God, you love me even in the night, because in the night you speak to me.

You, O God, are the center of my soul, you are there, in a very mysterious and very incomprehensible way, but you are there!

Something good must happen, in the life of each of us, to discover your loving presence in us, which sets us on the path…



I know the source that emanates and flows,

Even if it is night.

1 – That eternal source is hidden, but I know very well where it is placed,

Even if it is night.

2 – I don’t know its origin, because it has none, but every origin I know that comes from it,

Even if it is night.

3 – I know that such a beautiful thing cannot exist, and heaven and earth drink of that,

Even if it is night.

4 – I know that there is no soil in it, and that no one looking at it proves,

Even if it is night.

5 – Her clarity is never dimmed, and every light I know has come from her,

Even if it is night.

6 – So abundant are its currents, that hell, heaven water and the nations,

Even if it is night.

7 – The stream that springs from the source, I know I am capable and omnipotent,

Even if it is night.

8 – The vein that proceeds from these two I know that neither of them is preceded,

Even if it is night.

9 – This eternal source is hidden in this living bread to give us life,

Even if it is night.

10 – Here he stands, calling the creatures, who are satisfied with the water even if in the dark

Even it is night.

11 – This living fountain that I yearn for, I see in this bread of life,

Even if it is night.

(St. John of the Cross)


God wants to draw us to Himself, to make us aware of His dwelling in us, for this reason He never tires of sending «signs and wonders» on the path of each of us, to awaken us, renew our gaze, get back on the road.

We, «spectators» of cosmic signs, and often of great cosmic tragedies, which touch every man, indistinctly, passing through our life: physical, moral or spiritual suffering, such as disease, the plague of hunger, war, injustice, loneliness, the lack of the meaning of life, the very fragility of human existence, the painful awareness of sin, the apparent absence of God.

Above all, the time we are living in, a time of pandemic, which undermines all our human security, all this is challenging us, yes, it is challenging each of us, and what does it mean to us?

This is where the message of St. John of the Cross fits, which could be summarized as follows: «Come on, courage, get up … don’t stagnate, but face the adversities of the night decisively, climb the harsh path of nothingness to draw the incandescence of Love».

Resuming the journey, therefore, with a new awareness in us, that is, to leave a possibility of dialogue with God, to open a door to confrontation.

If it is true that God lives in each of us, at the center of our soul, He will not fail to respond to our call!

Meanwhile, let’s think back to the past of our life, to the many events, and we will discover with surprise that there are many of those that, in common jargon, can be called “miracles”, and whose nature we cannot explain … God works , silent, in our life!

Let us leave the door open to the absolute, and experience the certainty of Love, and from that moment let us be guided by the One of whom we increasingly become aware of His existence within us!

All the evil that we encounter on our journey, all the signs, the wonders, the cosmic tragedies of which we are witnesses or which we experience first-hand, will then be transformed into a powerful opportunity for inner purification.

We are human and limited, very afraid, very hesitant, very wounded, but we are called to give a spiritual meaning to all the pain that we live and that the world experiences.

The dark night thus becomes a reason for salvation, for something good, and we must not fear it, but face it with courage! It is possible to refuse «artificially», yes, to plug this dark night with material palliatives, alcohol, drugs, an unregulated, promiscuous, loveless sex life, building a daily life of abuse of power towards the people who are there next door, and which causes a strange euphoria. All this is to escape, momentarily, the loyal confrontation with God, in this purifying work of his!

But let’s not abandon the battlefield, let’s continue the journey…

We must prepare the way for this purification, for this “dark night” that comes only from God.

Therefore, every man has the freedom to accept or reject the purifying confrontation with the God who created us and loves us!

We will fall and we will rise again, wounded, but … You, O God, love us also, and above all, in the night!



O Lord, now that the pain, the sadness and the trepidation

Weigh on my heart, guide me – with the clarity of faith –

To find help and comfort in you.

May the Holy Spirit keep in me the certainty of being your son

Helping me to accept all events from your hand.

Persuade me that You, Father, make them serve my good and,

Respecting human freedom, you always derive good from evil.

Let me find an answer in the certainty of your love

To those questions that surpass human wisdom.

I may feel, on my painful road,

Your sure step that does not abandon me.

I believe in You, O Lord, because you are the truth.

I hope in you because you are faithful.

I love you because you are good.

Written in Muhraqa (Mount Carmel), in the Vigil of the feast of St. John of the Cross,

by Fr. Julio Almansa OCD and Pietro Braccu OCDS.

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