Who was Saint John of the Cross, and in what ways are his personal experiences the source of those seemingly, deceptively “impersonal” and “dry” prose writings of his? That’s the kind of question pursued by Iain Matthew in The Impact of God.
Iain Matthew looks first into John’s life and then how it bursts into his poetry. Since all the main prose texts focus on explaining the poems, which are more naturally John’s, they are examined in that light.
If you want to get to know Saint John of the Cross – the idea of the dark night rooted in Christ’s redemption, the idea of the poet-theologian, the idea of a dark night in various circumstances of life, the origins in John’s life of particular images and ideas, his description of and hope for transformation in Christ, his love of the Beloved – this book is recommended. Things aren’t explained away by the history of John’s life. But the spiritual realities and John’s own style are rooted in John’s life – something often needed by those of us approaching from so many centuries away.