Friday, October 23, 2015

A Poem by St. Teresa de Avila

Teresa de Avila by Brother Juan de la Miseria, 1576 AD
Teresa, after seeing this portrait said, "May God forgive you, Brother Juan, for having painted me ugly and bleary-eyed."

You have to love her wit and sense of humor.

I am surprised he didn't paint her with a pen or quill -- her writings on prayer and the interior life are so amazing, she was proclaimed the first woman Doctor of the Church.

On her feast day (Oct. 15th) I delivered ten boxes of books for the Knights of Columbus book sale and for $20 brought home a box myself. That's progress, right? Among the books I bought was the first volume of St. Teresa's Collected Works. What a gift!!! I will be sharing some good books with you later, but first, a poem by St. Teresa. 

The Poem
"For the Profession of Isabel De Los Angeles"
In weeping be my joy,
My rest in fright,
In sorrowing my serenity,
My wealth in losing all.
Amid storms be my love,
In the wound my delight,
My life in death,
In rejection my favor.
In poverty be my riches,
My triumph in struggling,
Rest in laboring,
In sadness my contentment.
In darkness be my light,
My greatness in the lowly place,
My way on the short road,
In the cross my glory.
In humiliation be my honor,
My palm in suffering,
Increase in my wanting,
In losing my gain.
My fullness be in hunger,
In fearing my hope,
My rejoicing in fear,
In grieving my delight.
In forgetting be my memory,
Humiliation my exalting,
In lowliness my repute,
Affronts my victory.
My laurels be in contempt,
In afflictions my fondness,
My dignity a lowly nook,
In solitude my esteem.
In Christ be my trust,
My affection in Him alone,
In His weariness my vigor,
My repose in His imitation.
My strength is founded here,
In Him alone my surety,
My integrity's proof,
In His likeness my purity.
ETA: The poem was published in the Magnificat. This magazine has been publishing excerpts of her works this entire month in honor of her 500th birthday.

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