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The Ascent to Joy: Selected Writings of John of the Cross

Product Description

The Ascent to Joy:
Selected Writings of John of the Cross

Marc Foley, OCD

For more than a decade this book, now with ICS Publications, has been a valuable resource for those wanting to explore the works and teachings of St. John of the Cross in a convenient format. In this concise introduction to and anthology of the works of the great Carmelite mystic, Father Marc Foley leads the reader step-by-step into the very heart of John’s spiritual way.

  • ICS code: AJ
  • Format: paperback
  • Pages:160
  • ISBN: 978-1-939272-42-3

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Father Foley provides substantial introductions and notes to carefully selected excerpts from John’s own writings, presented in a systematic order. This allows the book to function as both a primer of John’s teaching and a profound introduction to the contemplative way. The introduction offers a helpful biographical summary of John’s life as well as a chronology of key events in his life to situate his texts in a clear historical context.

The Ascent to Joy
is ideal for readers just discovering John of the Cross and those wishing to revisit his works and teachings, for Carmelite formation programs, and for courses in religious studies and the classical literature of mysticism. A select bibliography is included.

About the Author

Fr Marc Foley

Marc Foley, OCD, is a Discalced Carmelite priest and member of the Washington Province (U.S.A.) of Discalced Carmelite friars. He is a longtime member and former chair of the Institute of Carmelite Studies. Currently he serves as publisher of ICS Publications and as director of formation at the Carmelite House of Studies located in Washington, D.C. A spiritual director and popular retreat master, Father Marc is the author of nine books, five of them with ICS Publications, on St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

“Let Marc Foley, a seasoned, skillful and insightful reader of John of the Cross, be your guide to a deeper understanding of the journey to union with God as this journey is depicted by the Carmelite poet, mystic and master of the spiritual life.”

—Dr. Keith J. Egan, T.O.Carm.
Adjunct Professor of Theology
University of Notre Dame


“… This volume fills a much-needed niche in the array of spiritual books available today.”

Dr. Mary Frohlich
Catholic Theological Union
Chicago, Ill.


“This is a very informative introduction to the message of St. John of the Cross, first Carmelite Doctor of the Church. The passages from St. John’s writings are chosen with much insight.”

—Rev. Dr. John Sullivan, OCD
Chair, Institute of Carmelite Studies
Washington, D.C.