Thursday, 14 October 2010

Don't Panic! It's up to you.

I tried to look for a proper translation of the poem, which I published here at the beginning of the year, and first found written in St. Teresa's Breviary after her death in 1582. I failed and couldn't find one. Rather than plague you with my own poor effort at translating the beautiful words, I thought I would leave you with a translation of the first and most famous part. So, today, 15th October, the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila:

Let nothing upset you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things pass;
God does not change.
Patience wins
all it seeks.
Whoever has God
lacks nothing:
God alone is enough.

In addition to this, there is another poem of St. Teresa that is special to me, also famous. On the day I went to Avila, by bus from Salamanca where I was living, I was very tired and fed up of struggling on with my studies in a language I could not understand. I was in one of those temperaments when you find everything hard. You know what I mean. This poem, written, predictably, in the Spanish I was struggling to learn, set a challenge for me. I hadn't heard it before. Since I have found that it is very well known, but to me it is special because when I first read it, it rocked my world.

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Teresa of Avila, Carmelite - 1515 - 1582.
PS. If you haven't read it - The Interior Castle is ace.

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