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Dark Night of the Soul (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – May 9, 2003


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Dark Night of the Soul (Dover Thrift Editions) + Interior Castle (Dover Thrift Editions) + The Way of Perfection (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (May 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486426939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486426938
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Founder with St. Teresa of Avila of the Discalced Carmelites, doctor of mystic theology, b. at Hontoveros, Old Castille, 24 June, 1542. Died at Ubeda, Andalusia, 14 December 1591. His many spiritual treatises has caused "Fray John" to be known by some as the father of Christian mysticism. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

This book is to be cherished for all time!
Julian Tan
It combines beautiful and moving poetry with deep insights into human spiritual and psychological makeup.
Dr. Bojan Tunguz
This is the most difficult book I have read.
James G. Bruen Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on June 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do not let the size of this little classic make you think it will be a quick read and easy study. It is difficult reading with regard to the somewhat archaic language but more so for the probing nature the author demonstrates in self-examination. It is not a quick study but one that helps you work out your salvation with fear and trembling. The wounds it can inflict may be painful but necessary for true healing of the human heart. Read and meditate on the words a little at a time - the sections are short enough to facilitate that approach. This is no self-help chicken soup for the dark night, it is major surgery for the wounded and sin-stained heart under intense self-examination.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Catholic Church has over the millennia been blessed with countless holy men and women who have enriched her spiritual patrimony with their timeless insights. Saint John of the Cross is one of the giants of this venerable tradition, and "Dark Night of the Soul" is one of his best-known works.

The term "dark night" often refers to spiritual dryness or a crisis in one's religious progress in life. Many saints have experienced such episodes, and for most of them they only lasted for a very short period of time. For some, on the other hand, these experiences lasted for the most of their adult lives. This just goes to show that such experiences are not uncommon, and even some of the most pious and godly individuals may go through them in the course of their lives.

"Dark Night of the Soul" was originally written as a poem while St. John was imprisoned for his efforts to reform the Carmelite order. In subsequent years he elaborated on the verses, and the result is this fascinating little book. It combines beautiful and moving poetry with deep insights into human spiritual and psychological makeup. St. John is considered a mystic, and reading this book can make you see why. The book can be extremely challenging, and it is not to be read casually. However, if you are willing to put the time and an effort into reading it you may find yourself more appreciative of your own spiritual journey and you may acquire necessary tools to help you overcome your own instances of spiritual dryness.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By tmastgrave on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Dark Night of the Soul is a book on spiritual development, and is obviously intended for already mature Christians. Thus, if you do not fit within this demographic, then regardless of this review, this book is probably not for you at this time in your life. That being said, Dark Night of the Soul is not a fiction book, and so it cannot be reviewed in the format that I normally use to review books. Thus I am going to be using a completely different format entirely.

Overall: 10/10

There are a few books that I would recommend that every serious Christian read at some point in his/her life. Cost of Discipleship and Life Together by Bonhoeffer, Celebration of Discipline by Foster, Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer, The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee, and The Church Impotent by Podles among others. Dark Night of the Soul has recently been moved very high up on this list. Wayne, one of my frequent commenters, posted a couple of weeks ago that he views this book as a manual for spiritual growth. I agree with his concept, but I disagree with his wording. Dark Night of the Soul is an extremely organic book, and I believe that manual has taken on too technical of a meaning to accurately reflect it. The book is an expanded commentary of a poem written by the author, and the organic and artistic nature of the poem is deeply reflected in the form and structure of this book. Of the Mortification of Sin by John Owens is a manual to for spiritual growth, but Dark Night of the Soul serves more as a guide book - perhaps comparable to a hypothetical tourist's guide to Everest. The author points out land marks of spiritual growth, explains what they will look like - and also what they will not look like.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Catholic Church has over the millennia been blessed with countless holy men and women who have enriched her spiritual patrimony with their timeless insights. Saint John of the Cross is one of the giants of this venerable tradition, and "Dark Night of the Soul" is one of his best-known works.

The term "dark night" often refers to spiritual dryness or a crisis in one's religious progress in life. Many saints have experienced such episodes, and for most of them they only lasted for a very short period of time. For some, on the other hand, these experiences lasted for the most of their adult lives. This just goes to show that such experiences are not uncommon, and even some of the most pious and godly individuals may go through them in the course of their lives.

"Dark Night of the Soul" was originally written as a poem while St. John was imprisoned for his efforts to reform the Carmelite order. In subsequent years he elaborated on the verses, and the result is this fascinating little book. It combines beautiful and moving poetry with deep insights into human spiritual and psychological makeup. St. John is considered a mystic, and reading this book can make you see why. The book can be extremely challenging, and it is not to be read casually. However, if you are willing to put the time and an effort into reading it you may find yourself more appreciative of your own spiritual journey and you may acquire necessary tools to help you overcome your own instances of spiritual dryness.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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