Contrary to popular opinion, religious "experiences" are not the essence of the spiritual journey at all, nor is asceticism for its own sake, What is? According to St. John of the Cross, it's a life of union with God through the practice of the virtues, especially the theological virtues. John's emphasis on the nada is to lead to that liberating emptiness which equips us to be filled with the divine life. As a skilled moral theologian, Fr. Mark O'Keefe leads God-seekers to focus attention on this liberation we need to truly love God and be conformed to God in divine union--a liberation that comes through authentic Christian living. This book is an insightful companion to The Ascent of Mount Carmel, guiding readers to appreciate the key role of virtuous living in striving for authentic human freedom and ultimately, at the journey's summit, finding the God who is Love. Published April 2014 by ICS Publications; ISBN#978-1-939272-15-7; paperback.