Recognizing the mystery hidden within Christ Jesus
A Spiritual Canticle of St John of
Though holy doctors have uncovered many
mysteries and wonders, and devout souls have understood them in
this earthly condition of ours, yet the greater part still
remains to be unfolded by them, and even to be understood by
We must then dig deeply in Christ. He is
like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however
deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed,
in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all
For this reason the apostle Paul said of
Christ: In him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and
knowledge of God. The soul cannot enter into these
treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and
enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior
labours, and unless it first receives from God very many
blessings in the intellect and in the senses, and has undergone
long spiritual training.
All these are lesser things, disposing the
soul for the lofty sanctuary of the knowledge of the mysteries
of Christ: this is the highest wisdom attainable in this life.
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.
Saint Paul therefore urges the Ephesians
not to grow weary in the midst of tribulations, but to be
steadfast and rooted and grounded in love, so that they may
know with all the saints the breadth, the length, the height and
the depth – to know what is beyond knowledge, the love of
Christ, so as to be filled with all the fullness of God.
The gate that gives entry into these
riches of his wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate,
while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is
given to few to desire to pass through it.