Tuesday, March 10, 2015

what do You want of me?


If You want me to rest,
I desire it for love;
If to labor,
I will die working:
Sweet Love say
Where, how and when.
What do You want of me?

Calvary or Tabor give me,
Desert for fruitful land;
As Job in suffering
Or John at Your breast;
Barren or fruited vine,
Whatever be Your will:
What do You want of me?

Be I Joseph chained
Or as Egypt’s governor,
David pained
Or exalted high,
Jonas drowned,
Or Jonas freed:
What do You want of me?

Silent or speaking,
Fruitbearing or barren,
My wounds shown by the Law,
Rejoicing in the tender Gospel;
Sorrowing or exulting,
You alone live in me:
What do You want of me?

Yours I am, for You I was born:
What do You want of me?

~Teresa of Ávila,       
                                            from the poem “In the Hands of God”



Over the next few months I will publish here some of my favorite poems and writings in celebration of the 5th centenary of the birth of Saint Teresa of Ávila (1515-2015)—a woman whose life, faith and candor has profoundly formed and influenced my faith journey!

[photo of floor mosaic:  St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Austin @SJNAustin]