Ascent Of Mount Carmel


1. Treats of how the soul may prepare itself in order to attain in a short time
to Divine union. Gives very profitable counsels and instruction, both to beginners
and to proficients, that they may know how to disencumber themselves of all that
is temporal and not to encumber themselves with the spiritual, and to remain in
complete detachment and liberty of spirit, as is necessary for Divine union.


ALL the doctrine whereof I intend to treat in this Ascent of Mount Carmel is included
in the following stanzas, and in them is also described the manner of ascending
to the summit of the Mount, which is the high estate of perfection which we here
call union of the soul with God. And because I must continually base upon them
that which I shall say, I have desired to set them down here together, to the
end that all the substance of that which is to be written may be seen and comprehended
together; although it will be fitting to set down each stanza separately before
expounding it, and likewise the lines of each stanza, according as the matter
and the exposition require. The poem, then, runs as follows:

St John of the Cross