Thursday, October 30, 2008

St John of the Cross

Love your enemies

He was also concerned about what was happening to the Order under Doria's authority, and the unhappiness it was causing to the nuns. He wrote to Sr Leonor advising her not to dwell on things, 'because what should be occupied in God be occupied in this....Let the garden be closed, then, without pain or worry, for he who entered bodily for his disciples, when the doors were closed, and gave them peace, without them knowing or imagining that this could be, nor how, will enter in spirit into the soul....and he will fill her with peace.'
He had need of that peace for himself, because a new definitor, Fr Diego Evangelista, elected at the Madrid Chapter, was given the task of investigating Fr Gracian, with a view to carrying out his expulsion from the Order that Doria had proposed. The nuns at Granada were so worried at the interrogation to which they had been subjected and the way what they said was being twisted and misinterpreted, that they burned a whole sack of John's letters and other writings. Hearing of this activity, John was deeply hurt, but refused to say anything against Fr Diego. This campaign continued for the rest of John's life, and hearing of his death, Diego expressed regret that he had not managed to expel him from the Order before he died. The hapless Gracian was not so 'fortunate'. He was expelled, captured and tortured by Barbary pirates, escaped, and, not able to re-enter the Discalced, died as a Calced friar.