St. John of the Cross teaches that within spirituality and morality there are no exempt areas. Simply put, you cannot be a saint or a highly moral person if you allow yourself a moral exemption or two. Thus, I may not allow myself to split off one moral flaw or sinful habit and see it as unimportant in light of my positive qualities and the overall good that I do. For John of the Cross, you cannot be a saint and have a moral blind spot, even if it’s a minor one. A bird tethered to a rock, he says, cannot fly whether the cord holding it is a cable or a string.