"Within This Living Bread": Exploring the Eucharistic Spirituality of St. John of the Cross
2022, 217 p.
St. John of the Cross coined the phrase “dark night of the soul.” He stands at the forefront of authors who have plumbed the depths of human feelings of abandonment, bringing the light of the Gospel to hear on the perception of God’s absence in our loneliest hours. In his exquisite poetry, and precise prose explanations, we hear almost nothing about God’s Eucharistic presence. This book mines the biographical evidence available, and systematically studies all of
John’s writings to find his answer. “This eternal spring I long for; I see with this living bread.” (La Fonte, Stz. 13).
The Mystical Doctor comes to life in the stories his contemporaries told of him. Little known stories come to light, particularly his unfailing trust in Christ’s eucharistic presence and power in the face of a fire that threatened to destroy the monastery he lived in. We see his tender words to the Lord in the Eucharist in his final hours on earth.
Review of John’s writings show telling phrases and references that point towards the Eucharistic core of his spiritual life. Texts appear in several of his poems, in each of his treatises, his letters, and his “Saving of Light and Love.” Dr. Love collects this body of evidence from St. John’s life and writings and compares it with several recent papal writings on the Eucharist. Appearing in the midst of Eucharistic revival, this book invited the readers to participate fruitfully by reflecting on the words and example of St. John of the Cross.