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Saint John of the Cross is the Christopher Columbus of the mystical world for he discovered regions in it which had hitherto remained unknown. He struck out on paths in those regions hitherto untrodden by anyone else and so he may be called a true discoverer and a true explorer, but adiscoverer and explorer in a region of being with which few on earth will ever become deeply familiar. Most people will even be afraid of this world and do all they can to avoid entering into its sublime depths.In the writings of St. John of the Cross, there is described the most sublime and intimate union man will in the life ever be able to have with God, and though there have been many in the past, especially the great philosophers of Greece and Rome, who laid claim to know and love God by means oftheir systems of thought, yet they failed miserably in their efforts to know and love Him as we now are able to know and love Him, for there was no room in their philosophy for sufffering of any kind. Christ came to teach men how to love God by means of the trials and tribulations that, as long asthey live, it will always be their lot to have. And that is why the teachings of St. John of the Cross are so valuable, for no one before him has enabled man to find his way to the sublime joys of the world to come by means of the particular crosses it was his lot to bear. St. John of the Crossmore than anyone else before him has succeeded in making a science of the Cross and a means of finding God and of attaining to sublime union with Him.Like St. Thomas, he places his hand into the wound of Christ and feels it with the powers of his soul. No one before him has spoken so concretely about God and succeedecd in making Him so perceptible to us.There is a very special need to study the writings of St. John of the Cross in this day and age, for there was never a time when the souls of men have had need for the food of the strong that these writings are.