Where Have You Hidden?

St. John of the Cross: Commentary on the Spiritual Canticle

(1584)

Sources:

Kavanaugh, Kieran & Otilio Rodrigues, trs., The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross . Washington: ICS Publications, 1979. Pp. 410 & 419.

I sought him but I did not find him. [SoS 3:1]

Where have You hidden,
Beloved, and left me moaning?

Eric Gill: The voice of my beloved
Eric Gill: The voice of my beloved

You inquire: Since Him Whom my soul loves is within me, why donít I find Him or experience Him?

The reason is that He remains concealed and you do not also conceal yourself in order to encounter and experience Him. Anyone who is to find a hidden treasure must enter the hiding place secretly and once he has discovered it, he will also be hidden just as the treasure is hidden. Since, then, your beloved Bridegroom is the treasure hidden in a field, for which the wise merchant sold all his possessions [Matt. 13:44], and that field is your soul, in order to find Him you should forget all your possessions and all creatures and hide in the interior, secret chamber of your spirit. And there, closing the door behind you (your will to all things), you should pray to your Father in secret [Matt. 6:6]. Remaining hidden with Him, you will experience Him in hiding, and love and enjoy Him in hiding, and you will delight with Him in hiding, that is, in a way transcending all language and feeling.


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