With respect to the fourth sin, which is spiritual gluttony, . . . such persons expend all their effort in seeking spiritual pleasure and consolation; they never tire, therefore, of reading books; and they begin, now one meditation, now another, in their pursuit of this pleasure which they desire to experience in the things of God. But God, very justly, wisely and lovingly, denies it to them, for otherwise this spiritual gluttony and inordinate appetite would breed innumerable evils. It is, therefore, very fitting that they should enter into the dark night, . . . that they may be purged from this childishness.
Funny how some of the markers of great piety in our era--voracious appetite for spiritual reading, frequent meditation on the Word of God, and so on--are here considered markers of spiritual immaturity. It explains some of the bemused comments about evangelicals I've read in books by monastic Catholics such as Thomas Merton. Begs the question: which spiritual disciplines do you suspect someone like St. John of the Cross might suggest you lay off for a while? How would you respond if a spiritual giant told you to lighten up?