SJC4 – Pure Faith in Contemplative Prayer – St. John of the Cross with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast


SJC4 – Pure Faith in Contemplative Prayer – St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast

In this series Fr. Donald Haggerty and Kris McGregor discuss the depths of prayer as explored by St. John of the Cross, the Mystical Doctor of the Church.  In this episode, they continue their conversation on that which leads to the experience of the Dark Nights often associated with St. John of the Cross

An excerpt from St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation 

In this case, under the influence of deeper faith, the cooperation involves a mortification by the intellect: an emptying of the desire for spiritual gratifications that can be enjoyed by the intellect in the life of prayer. These can be sought in a way that becomes an impediment to the pure pursuit of God for himself alone. A “complete pacification of the spiritual house” (AMC 2.1.2) is required that will “quiet down” the impulse to pursue experiences of an intellectual or imaginative satisfaction in prayer. This “ascetical” task for the intellect in the interior life of prayer entails, in a telling phrase, “the negation through pure faith of all the spiritual faculties and gratifications and appetites” (AMC 2.1.2). What this “pure faith” will mean as a virtue of the intellect in contemplation needs to be explained with some care. For the intellect must cooperate in its own purification precisely through this exercise of pure faith. Taking us farther along in explanation, and referring to the stanza of his poem, Saint John of the Cross comments: “The soul, consequently, affirms that it departed ‘in darkness, and secure.’ For anyone fortunate enough to possess the ability to journey in the obscurity of faith, as do the blind with their guide, and depart from all natural phantasms [images] and intellectual reasonings, walks securely. . . . For the less a soul works with its own abilities, the more securely it proceeds, because its progress in faith is greater” (AMC 2.1.2, 3).

Haggerty, Donald. Saint John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation (pp. 67-68). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.


You find the book on which this series is based here

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