May You be blessed forever, Lord! May all things praise You forever!
Since while I write this I am not freed from such holy, heavenly madness coming from Your goodness and mercy—for You grant this favor without any merits on my part at all—either desire, my King, I beseech You, that all to whom I speak become mad from Your love, or do not permit that I speak to anyone!
Either ordain, Lord, that I no longer pay attention to anything in the world, or take me out of it! No longer my God, can this servant of Yours suffer the many trials that come from seeing herself without You since if she must live, she desires no rest—nor should You give it to her!
This soul would now want to see itself free—eating kills it; sleeping distresses it. It observes that its lifetime is passing in pleasure and that nothing other than You can give it pleasure any longer; for since it desires to live no longer in itself but in You, it seems that its life is unnatural.
O true Lord and my Glory!
How delicate and extremely heavy a cross You have prepared for those who reach this state! “Delicate” because it is pleasing; “heavy” because there come times when there is no capacity to bear it, and yet the soul would never want to be freed from it unless it were for the sake of being with You.
When it recalls that it hasn’t served You in anything and that by living it can serve You, it would want to carry a much heavier cross and never die until the end of the world. It finds no rest in anything except in doing You some small service. It doesn’t know what it wants, but it well understands that it wants nothing other than You.
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Life, Chap. 16, nos. 4–5
Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Featured image: Photographer Father Lawrence Lew, OP captures this image of Christ the King in a beautiful stained glass window by Charles Eamer Kempe in St. Michael’s Church, Cumnor, England. (Some rights reserved)