Feast of Saint John of the Cross 

Extract from The Spiritual Canticle by St John of the Cross

St JohnGod created all things with remarkable ease and brevity, and in them he left some trace of who he is, not only in giving all things being from nothing, but even by endowing them with innumerable graces and qualities, making them beautiful in a wonderful order and unfailing dependence on one another. All of this he did through his own Wisdom, the Word, his only begotten Son by whom he created them.

Saint Paul says, ‘The Son of God is the splendour of his glory and the countenance of his substance’. It should be known that only with this countenance, his Son, did God look at all things, that is, he communicated to them their natural being and many natural graces and gifts, and made them complete and perfect, as is said in Genesis: ‘God looked at all things that he made, and they were very good’. To look and behold that they were very good was to make them very good in the Word, his Son.

Not only by looking at them did he communicate natural being and graces, as we said, but also with this countenance of his Son alone, he clothed them in beauty by imparting to them supernatural being. This he did when he became man and elevated human nature into the beauty of God and consequently all creatures, since in human nature he was united with them all.