St. John of the Cross was ordained a Carmelite priest at age 25, in 1567. With St. Teresa of Avila, he undertook to reform the Carmelite order. His personal pursuit of holiness by embracing the cross of Christ, living up to his name. He had the opportunity to embrace that cross, because his efforts to reform the order met with quite a bit of opposition. During his months of imprisonment, he experienced what he called a “dark night of the soul” or a feeling of abandonment in his spiritual life. The agony of this situation led ultimately to light, or as he called it, an ascent to Mount Carmel.
In those moments when we too feel abandoned, may St. John’s journey give us hope that we will come through our dark nights into the light of Christ.