A perfect introduction to John of the Cross writings, this anthology makes the Spanish saint and mystic accessible to the average reader. Contains ample introductions and annotations, opening up the complete spectrum of Johns spirituality. In this well-crafted introduction and anthology, Marc Foley leads the reader step by step into the very heart of the spiritual way taught by John of the Cross. Nearly every serious spiritual seeker at some point experiences a need to look to the teaching of this sixteenth-century Spanish saint and mystic for guidance, especially when one faces one's personal night of the soul. Here, the student or seeker can gain an intimate acquaintance not only with the rigor for which John is so well-known but also with his tenderness, his passion and his poetic heart. Foley provides substantial introductions and notes but the core of the teaching is developed in carefully-selected excerpts from John's own writings. The special gift of Ascent to Joy is that these excerpts are presented in a systematic order, so that the text can function both as a primer of John's teaching and as a profound introduction to the contemplative way. This volume fills a much-needed niche in the array of spiritual books available today. Mary Frohlich Catholic Theological Union Chicago, IL 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. Keith J. Egan Saint Mary's College and University of Notre Dame--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.