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The Impact of God: Soundings from St. John of The Cross (Hodder Christian Paperbacks) Paperback – September 1, 1995


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The Impact of God: Soundings from St. John of The Cross (Hodder Christian Paperbacks) + Fully Human, Fully Divine: An Interactive Christology + The Human Condition: Contemplation and Transformation (Wit Lectures-Harvard Divinity School)
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Product Details

  • Series: Hodder Christian Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; Hodder Christian Paperbacks edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340612576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340612576
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This impressive book introduces us to the beautiful, painful world of John of the Cross, who is still our surest guide into the mystery of God's love. Abbott Christopher Jamieson

About the Author

Iain Matthew joined the Discalced Carmelites in Oxford in 1978. He has worked in parish and youth ministry, and has given retreats and courses in Europe and Australia.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 35 customer reviews
Lots of doctrine and good thoughts in this book.
Peter Menkin
This is one of the only books I've ever read that clears the way for deep communion with God literally every time I pick it up.
Rami Baalbaki
The author's own writing is exquisite as he ponders John of the Cross.
Mmcg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Rami Baalbaki on February 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I've ever read. The author includes verses from John of the Cross, then analyzes and synthesizes, extracting the heart of what John is saying. The book is not at all "heady", it is extremely useful for the spiritual life of anyone in high school-on-up. This is one of the only books I've ever read that clears the way for deep communion with God literally every time I pick it up. I've read chapters 5-8 over and over again... the author talks about blockages to our relationship with God, and how to overcome them in a practical yet powerful way. The author shows how far and how deep a relationship with God can go. Anyone who desires to make serious advances in their spiritual life needs to read this book.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Peter Menkin on May 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
Seeking the beloved makes sense to John of The Cross, the mystic. He considers such desire and action Christian progress: "Christian progress means: searching for the one who is giving joy to my life, who seems to believe in me, who makes me alive. When I am with him, every moment is a discovery; and being without him is like dying."

So the poet is quoted in the wonderful and inspiring book, "The Impact of God, Soundings from St John of The Cross" by Iain Matthew, published by Hodder and Stoughton, London, England. This work discusses the Saint, his poetry, and his doctrine. The great John of the Cross is a writer of wonderful love poetry, poetry directed at Christ, and his doctrine includes the idea that one cannot know God, for to ascend in contemplative prayer is to reach nothingness. He writes in a poem:

To come to savour all
Seek to find savour in nothing;
To come to possess all,
Seek possession in nothing,
To come to be all,
Seek in all to be nothing....
To come to what you know not
You must go by way where you know not
To come to what you are not
You must go by a way where you are not.

The author of this book explains this love poem, and many others, and the doctrine of the Spanish Saint. A Discalced Carmelite himself, the author is prior of a Carmelite Monastery in Dublin. As the jacket blurb aptly puts it, "John of the Cross testifies to a God who longs to meet us and to love us in our deepest need." I, as reviewer, think the writer is successful in meeting this description, and the book is very worthwhile reading before reading any of St. John's works (afterward, too, as did I).

John of the Cross writes love poems out of encounter with Christ. Here is an example regarding Easter morning.
Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Patrick J. Dooling on July 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
It is not for nothing that Jesus often said 'Take heed how you hear.' Hearing or reading St John of the Cross and his doctrine for the first time can be daunting and depressing: the emphasis on detachment, nothingness, etc., seems such a forbidding way to God. And yet, and yet...innumerable people have had their lives joyfully transformed by this Carmelite and have treasured his poetry. Fr Iain Matthew explains why, translating his teaching in a way that is psychologically healthy and spiritually challenging: one comes away from this book--and returns again and again--thinking 'I could do this, by the grace of God, but I could do this.' Matthew speaks with authority, having lived the Carmelite life for years. It may not be easy to follow St John of the Cross but THE IMPACT OF GOD assures us it is not impossible.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jill on November 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved reading this book, it really brought John of the Cross and his writings into focus for me. I have long been a fan of Fr. Thomas Dubay and have read his book on contemplation "Fire Within" at least 5 times. These books go together nicely. They have both enhanced my own walk with the Lord and I am expecting they will continue to do so for years to come.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mary C. Gately on March 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
i bought this book at a carmelite monastery's bookshop. it was recommended by one of the discalced friars. for anyone who wants to understand the message of st. john of the cross this is the book for you. it is beautifully written in a simple and logical way. you can refer to it daily as you incorporate st. john of the cross' message in your daily life
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a very readable book that places John of the Cross historically and as a mystic. I've read it three times and am now starting into his original works with some confidence. We'll see how it goes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Deanna R. Von Bargen on February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a kind of "John of the Cross for Dummies". Finally John makes sense to me!The Impact of God: Soundings from St. John of The Cross (Hodder Christian Paperbacks)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Wallace on August 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Iain Matthews has done exhaustive study. If you are interested in Christian mysticism and moving closer into connection with God, then this is your book. Matthews has some tremendous insight, although the book could have been condensed a little bit more. He gets a little redundant and tries to read a little bit too much in St.John OTC, that is only my opinion. If you have been struggling with Dark Night over the last several, several years, this book will help you on your journey, but it is not one of those ahaaaaa, books so you can categorize and then shelve St. John OTC and park him into one of those slots that thinks, well I got that. You will continue to seek, and ask, and meditate. Good for you, and good for me.
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