St John of the Cross: Book Recommendations

Was looking to buy some of the writings of St John of the Cross. Came across **The Essential St. John of the Cross: Ascent of Mount Carmel, Dark Night of the Soul, A Spiritual Canticle of the Soul, and Twenty Poems **Sounds good, but one of the reviews was very critical, especially about the translation.
Was just wondering if anyone could recommend a bona fide, reliable english translation of the works of this saint. I would appreciate, the name of the book, editor/translator, ISBN etc.
Or, if you thought the one above was good, let me know please. Thanks.

Visit the Institute of Carmelite Studies website:

They specialize in translating and publishing Carmelite works. And they have a one-volume edition of the works of St. John of the Cross.

Thank you Agnes, that is exactly what I was looking for.:thumbsup:
God Bless.

Have you already read some of his works? I ask because some find him intimidating. To those who've never read him before, I recommend starting with the Precautions and/or the Counsels. They're in that volume.


Haven’t yet. Reading a book on St Therese of Liseux, and becoming very interest in the Carmelite tradition of contemplative prayer, their great saints and doctors of the Church.
Ordered the compilation of works by St John of the Cross, and a volume of the works of St Teresa of Avila. :thumbsup:

Pilgrim1701: I heartily recommend the book "Fire Within: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and the Gospel-On Prayer" by Thomas Dubay. This is considered a de-facto standard text in Spiritual Theology courses and is a very good book dealing with the practical aspects of contemplative prayer. You can check out reviews and peruse the book on Amazon. It is not a beginner book by any means, but if you are already reading the works of St. John of the Cross and have not given up, do read this book.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit