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John of the Cross: I live yet do not live in me

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John of the Cross: I live yet do not live in me
 
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Photo: Old Believers in prayer in 1897. When the Bolsheviks swept into power, many Old Believer communities fled to Siberia to escape religious persecution.
 

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I live yet do not live in me,
am waiting as my life goes by,
and die because I do not die.

No longer do I live in me,
and without God I cannot live;
to him or me I cannot give
my self, so what can living be?
A thousand deaths my agony
waiting as my life goes by,
dying because I do not die.

This life I live alone I view
as robbery of life, and so
it is a constant death -- with no
way out until I live with you.
God, hear me, what I say is true:
I do not want this life of mine,
and die because I do not die.

Being so removed from you I say
what kind of life can I have here
but death so ugly and severe
and worse than any form of pain?

I pity me -- and yet my fate
is that I must keep up this lie,
and die because I do not die.

The fish taken out of the sea
is not without a consolation:
his dying is of brief duration
and ultimately brings relief.
Yet what convulsive death can be
as bad as my pathetic life?
The more I live the more I die.

When I begin to feel relief
on seeing you in the sacrament,
I sink in deeper discontent,
deprived of your sweet company.
Now everything compels my grief:
I want -- yet can't -- see you nearby,
and die because I do not die.


Although I find my pleasure, Sir,
in hope of someday seeing you,
I see that I can lose you too,
which makes my pain doubly severe,
and so I live in darkest fear,
and hope, wait as life goes by,
dying because I do not die.


Deliver me from death, my God,
and give me life; now you have wound
a rope about me; harshly bound
I ask you to release the cord.
See how I die to see you, Lord,
and I am shattered where I lie,
dying because I do not die.

My death will trigger tears in me,
and I shall mourn my life: a day
annihilated by the way
I fail and sin relentlessly.
O Father God, when will it be
that I can say without a lie:
I live because I do not die?

(John of the Cross)
 

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Recommended Reading:

'St.John of the Cross: Alchemist of the Soul'
by Antonia T De Nicholas (Author)

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Description:

St. John (San Juan de la Cruz) is one of the greatest mystics and poets in any language. This is a new introduction and translation of St. John's poetry (presented in both Spanish and English) and prose commentaries that includes his biography, providing an integrated vision that resurrects the power of his poetic voice.
 
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Samadiyya from the Holy Ka'aba (Surat al-Ikhlas) sold at www.RumisGarden.co.uk
 
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