John of the Cross had so many wonderful insights about the spiritual life. The perceived absence of God, the "dark night of the soul" which can suddenly envelope believers, is actually a time when God draws nearest to us. It is precisely in times of feeling abandoned by God that we can experience the presence of God more intimately than ever before. We need to see and listen in the dark.
In his imagery of the spiritual journey as an ascent to Mount Carmel, we gain the insight that the journey to God can best be made with guidance from expert climbers - experienced spiritual guides who help us along the way. The modern use of spiritual directors has much to do with John's writings and reflections.