In The Hands Of God

 

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Santa Teresa crowned by Christ, art by Gerrit Van Honthorst (1614-1615)

 

 

Yours I am, born yours to be,
what’s your will to make of me?

Sovereign Majesty, decreeing
wisdom timeless, ever whole;
kindness pleasing to my soul;
God, most high, all good, one being,
this vile creature you are seeing,
who sings to you lovingly:
what’s your will to make of me?

Yours, for me you did create,
Yours, since me you did succor,
Yours, since me you did endure,
Yours, you called me to my fate,
Yours, for me you did long wait,
Yours, I chose not lost to be.
What’s your will to make of me?

What, then, is your will, good Lord,
that this servant vile should do?
What work can you give unto
this poor slave in sin abhorred?
Look at me, sweet Love adored,
sweet Love, here for you to see,
What’s your will to make of me?

See my heart here for inspection,
I place it within your hand,
with my body, life, soul and
my deep feelings and affection,
sweetest Bridegroom and redemption,
myself offering yours to be,
What’s your will to make of me?

Give me death, or let me live,
give health or infirmity,
shame or honor give to me,
war or peace to me now give,
weakness, strength superlative,
to all these I will agree,
What’s your will to make of me?

Give me wealth or poverty,
give relief or troubled spell,
give me sorrow or give glee,
give me heaven or give me hell,
sweet life or sun without veil,
I surrender totally.
What’s your will to make of me?

If you wish to, give me prayer,
if not, give me dryness too,
if abundant worship fair,
if not barrenness will do,
Sovereign Majesty, in you
I find all my peace to be.
What’s your will to make of me?

Give me wisdom’s deep insight,
or for love, just ignorance,
give me years of abundance,
or of hunger, famine’s blight,
give me dark or clear daylight,
move me here or there freely.
What’s your will to make of me?

If you wish that I should rest,
I, for love, want to rest to savor;
if your will is that I labor,
death from work is my request.
Say where, how, when, manifest;
say, sweet Love, now say clearly.
What’s your will to make of me?

Give me Tabor or Calvary,
desert or land fruitfully fine,
be as Job in misery,
of John, on your breast recline;
let me be a fruitful vine
or bare, as your will may be.
What’s your will to make of me?

Be I Joseph placed in chains,
Egypt’s governor of renown,
or as David suffering pains,
or now David bearing crown,
be I Jonah nearly drowned,
or from waters now set free,
what’s your will to make of me?

Being silent, moved to speak,
bearing fruit or barren woe,
my wound to me law does show,
Gospel mild does joy bespeak;
mournful or enjoyment’s peak,
in me now lives You only,
what’s your will to make of me?

Yours I am, born yours to be,
what’s your will to make of me?

 

~ A poem by Saint Teresa of Ávila

 

 

Today is Saint Teresa’s Birthday! I’m sharing a few photos I took of my visit to Ávila, Spain in July 2017 

 

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Church and Convent of St. Teresa of Jesus in Avila, Spain is the place where St. Teresa was born.  
July 2017 (My photo)

 

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Main Altar of the Church and Convent of St. Teresa of Jesus in Avila, Spain (photo taken by me before Mass on July 16th, 2017 Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel)
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Chapel of Saint Teresa ~ Casa Natal de Santa Teresa (photo taken by me)

 

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Room in which St. Teresa of Jesus was born (photo taken by me)

 

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Small garden where St. Teresa prayed (photo taken by me)

 

 

Happy Birthday Holy Mother St. Teresa! ❤ Pray for all your Carmelite family and the whole world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Are Seen

 

jesus and me art by ricardo colon
Art by Ricardo Colon

 

If we look at God without knowing that God always sees us first, and if we don’t encounter a love-filled gaze, then it is not God we meet. “Videntem videre,” says Augustine: We see the one who sees us. His gaze is prior and encompasses all. We are already known by God before we know him. We do not get to know God by looking at him, but by letting him look at us, and by enduring in his sight. One does not get to know the sun by staring right into its light, but rather by covering one’s eyes and exposing oneself to its rays. It is God’s gaze that makes us what we are. God is always first.

Every human being has a deep longing to be looked upon with love, to be known by another. Is it not part of love to hide nothing  from the beloved? Everyone desires to be lovingly affirmed for being just what one is.

It is a singular joy to let oneself be beheld by God, to consciously give up all resistance against his merciful light, and thus become completely transparent. One could say that holiness is nothing but living every moment in the presence of God’s loving glance. Nothing impure can resist it. If you dare to give yourself over to it, and let God see into your innermost recesses, then you are purified without even knowing how. But it all depends on whether you truly let him see everything.

~ A meditation by Father Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.

Before The Beauty Of God

Oh, what Beauty, you exceed
every other beauty’s features!
Wounding not, you pained indeed,
without pain destroyed and freed
my love from all worldly creatures.

Oh, knot that so joins forever
two things as unlike as we,
unknown why our bond you sever,
since when tied you strengthen ever
and draw good from injury.

Bind that without being to
Being of eternity;
without finishing, now do,
not having to love, love too,
exalt our nonentity.

~ A poem by Saint Teresa of Ávila, O.C.D.

 

 

 

Love’s Arrow, Love’s Surrender

surrender by Janice Van Cronkhite
Surrender, art by Janice Van Cronkhite

Love, I think, is an arrow shot by the will, and, freed from every pull of earth, flying straight at God with full force, it infallibly strikes His Majesty. Once it has pierced the Heart of God, absolute Love, it rebounds with immense graces…

O secrets of God! We must silence our understanding admitting that, never of itself can it fathom the greatness of God. Let us remember here Our Lady the Virgin, how she, in her great wisdom, surrendered in this way, and to her question to the angel, ‘How shall this be done?’ , received the answer: ‘The Holy Ghost will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.’

~ Saint Teresa of Avila, ‘Conceptions of the Love of God’

Seeking God

 

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Uniting with Spirit, art by Liane Collot D’ Herbois

 

 

Soul, you must seek yourself in Me,
and in yourself you must seek Me.

Love was so able to portray,
dear soul, inside Me your likeness,
that no skilled painter could display
in such a lovely, artful way
your image formed with such finesse.

It was for love that you were made
with beauty, oh so perfectly,
within Me deep your form portrayed,
my love, if you are lost, dismayed,
soul, you must seek yourself in Me.

How well I know that you will find
yourself within my heart portrayed
so very lifelike there displayed
that seeing it will please your mind
to see a painting so well made.

And if perchance you do not know
where you must go for finding Me,
do not walk here or there to see,
but, if you wish to find Me, go
deep in yourself to seek for Me.

 

~ A poem by Saint Teresa of Avila

 

 

 

My Beloved Is For Me

 

The Transverbaration of Saint Teresa
Transverbaration of the heart of Saint Teresa of Avila, by unkown artist

I gave myself so totally,
and the exchange has thus been done
that my Beloved is for me,
and I’m for only my Loved One.

When that sweet Hunter from above had wounded and o’erpowered me,
and left me in the arms of love, my soul abiding languidly;
new life came in recovery, and the exchange has thus been done
that my Beloved is for me,
and I’m for only my Loved One.

The arrow used in wounding me with his love he had deigned to fill,
and so my soul was made to be at one with its Creator’s will.
No other love could e’er fulfill,
since to my God surrender is done,
and my Beloved is for me,
and I’m for only my Loved One.

~ A poem by Saint Teresa of Avila, ‘Flame of Love’
  

 

God Alone Suffices

 

Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing. God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things. If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

 

Saint Teresa in Ecstasy, art by Giovanni Battista Piazetta (1682-1754)
Saint Teresa in Ecstasy, art by Giovanni Battista Piazetta (1682-1754)

 

Let nothing, O Lord, disturb the silence of this night.
Let nothing make me afraid.
Here in the dark remind me that in order to speak to you
my eternal father and to take delight in you,
I have no need to go to heaven or to speak in a loud voice.
However quietly I speak, you are so near that you will hear me.
I need no wings to go in search of you, but have only to understand
that the quiet of this night is a place where I can be alone with you
and look upon your presence with me.
For I have you, God, I want for nothing.
You alone suffice.

 

~ “Let nothing disturb you” 30 Days with Saint Teresa of Avila, Edited by John Kirvan

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wounding of Her Heart

 

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The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa of Avila, Sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Last year I had the blessing to travel to Rome and visited the church of  Santa Maria della Vittoria. This beautiful church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and is known for the masterpiece of Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the Cornaro Chapel, the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa of Avila. Here above is the photo I took up close of this very impressive sculpture that is so worth of viewing and contemplating. Bernini became inspired by the most famous vision of Saint Teresa, the wounding of her heart.  

 

In Saint Teresa’s own words:

“Sometimes love, like an arrow, is thrust into the deepest part of the heart and the soul doesn’t know what has happened or what it wants, except all it wants is God. The soul feels as if the arrow has been dipped in a poisonous herb that makes it despise itself for love of him. This pierced soul would gladly lose itself for him. You can’t explain this. It’s impossible to exaggerate the way of God wounds the soul, or the agony this causes, for the soul forgets itself. Yet this pain is so exquisite…so delightful…that no other pleasure in life gives greater happiness.

“Oh, how many times in this state do I remember the words of David: ‘As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.’ I experience it literally when he wounds me.

“Sometimes in this state I saw a vision: an angel in bodily form, standing very close to me on my left side. The angel was not large, but small and very beautiful. His face was so aflame that I thought he must be a cherub, one of the highest order of angels, who seem to be made of fire.

“I saw that his hands held a great golden dart, and at the end of the iron tip fire plumed. The angel plunged the flaming dart through my heart again and again until it penetrated my innermost core. When he withdrew it, it felt like he was carrying the deepest part of me away with him. He left me on fire, consumed with the immense love of God. The pain was so fierce that it made me moan, and its sweetness so utterly divine it abolished any desire to take it away; nor is the soul content with anything but God.”