Soeur Bénédicte’s Closet
When, on the occasion of her twenty-fifth anniversary of profession, Sister Bénédicte–Marie de la Croix asked to make her retreat with us, we prepared a room for her and, knowing her Carmelite love of silence and solitude, whitewashed a large closet to serve as her hermitage. In it we placed two things: an icon of Saint John of the Cross and a Bible. Sister Bénédicte was deeply moved. She lived that retreat in the company of Saint John of the Cross. Before coming to know our Sister Bénédicte, I used to be afraid of Saint John of the Cross. He seemed so extreme, so forbidding, so unbearably absolute. It was in contemplating Sister Bénédicte’s icon of Saint John of the Cross; then, in reading him, that he became a friend, a brother, a teacher.
John of the Cross: A Saint for Advent
Saint John of the Cross comes to us in the middle of Advent; he comes to us just one week before the longest night of the year. He comes to us today when, by a wonderful coincidence, God speaks to