by Apostoli_Viae


There Is No Spiritual Progress Without the Imitation of the Suffering of Christ

"Would that I could persuade spiritual persons that the way of God consists not in the multiplicity of meditations, ways of devotion or sweetness, though these may be necessary for beginners, but in one necessary thing only, in knowing how to deny themselves in earnest, inwardly and outwardly, giving themselves up to suffer for Christ’s sake, and annihilating themselves utterly. He who shall exercise himself herein, will then find all this and much more. And if he be deficient at all in this exercise, which is the sum and root of all virtue, all he may do will be but beating the air—utterly profitless, notwithstanding great meditations and communications.

There is no progress but in the imitation of Christ, Who is the way, the truth, and the life. ‘I am the way,’ saith He, ‘and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by Me.’* And again, ‘I am the door. By Me if any man enter in he shall be saved. That spirituality, therefore, which would travel in sweetness at its ease, shunning the imitation of Christ, is, in my opinion, worth nothing."


John of the Cross. (1864). The Complete Works of Saint John of the Cross, of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. (D. Lewis, Trans.) (Vol. 1, p. 78). London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green.


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  • Diana von Glahn (AV1-M)

    Diana von Glahn (AV1-M)

    I need to find someone to tattoo this on my face... so I never forget it. LOL. Awesome.
  • Diane Roe (AV1)

    Diane Roe (AV1)

    Begging for grace to be recollected in mind, heart and soul: “I die daily”
  • Karen Hynds (AV2)

    Karen Hynds (AV2)

  • Lori Sautter

    Lori Sautter

    God, please give me the grace to die to myself, the grace to want to die to myself, the grace to not fear suffering, the grace to know when and how and in what manner to die to myself. Lord, pour out your Holy Spirit in my heart that I may be converted daily.
  • Susie Melkus

    Susie Melkus

    I just read this quote by St. Paul of the Cross this morning and then read your blog post above. Hmm. Pondering. 'When we go into the garden, it is not to gather the leaves, but the fruits; so in the sacred garden of prayer we ought not to amuse ourselves with the leaves of sentiment and sensible consolation, but rather reap the fruits of the virtues of Jesus.' St. Paul of the Cross
  • Carla Rowland

    Carla Rowland

    To further the garden analogy. I hate weeds. I have a garden that I have planted over the years and in the spring it looks pretty nice. As summer comes and the heat takes it's toll, the weeds crop up. I hate weeds and really need to pull them daily but let them go because tending the garden takes patience and consistency. Without tending, the weeds take over and it is overwhelming. Well, the weeds of my soul need to be pulled daily or they take over. I can go along thinking things are pretty good but then the heat comes and I suffer for it. Pulling the weeds of my soul requires daily mental prayer, frequent reception of the sacraments (Eucharist and Confesssion), daily examination of conscience. The garden of my soul needs tending. God wants the flowers to bloom, not choked out by the weeds and bugs.
  • Diana von Glahn (AV1-M)

    Diana von Glahn (AV1-M)

    @Carla and Susie, did you see John's post about gardens over on Holy Conversations? It's at the top, check it out! I think you'll smile when you see how the Holy Spirit is working!
  • Carla Rowland

    Carla Rowland

    Diana, yes.
  • Leasa Yoshida

    Leasa Yoshida

    Denying myself is not my strongest area. I pray to remember and apply this when need be.
  • Margaret Honoré

    Margaret Honoré

    Yes. I am learning to embrace suffering; not just the “ordinary” suffering that always accompanies life, but also recognizing the power that is available to break attachments and strongholds through mortifications like intense fasting and extended intermittent fasting.




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