Friday, 13 June 2008

you are the hands of the Divine

Today's Poetry Chaikhana has a poem with an excellent message of responsibility for everyday practical compassion and working for justice:
You are Christ's Hands

By Teresa of Avila
(1515 - 1582)

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ's compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about
doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.

-- from The Essential Mystics: Selections from the World's Great Wisdom Traditions, Edited by Andrew Harvey

I've liked the message of this poem for a while now. Never mind about what or who you think the Christos is; just think about the message that only we, who have hands to heal and bless and mend, can actually do the practical work of compassion.

As Ivan (the editor of Poetry Chaikhana) remarks:
It is a prayer of supreme spiritual maturity. It is not someone imploring Christ to come and fix everything in the external way imagined by so many fundamentalist sects; rather, it recognizes the presence of the Divine within each of us and our sacred responsibility to embody that compassion and service to the world. Each one of us is the vehicle through which Christ (or Ishwara, or however you name the personal form of the Divine) sends blessings. Our job is to get out of the way and let that sacred current flow through us unhindered.


Regina said...

I agree- this is a wonderful prayer that acknowledges the Christ within all of us (no matter how you use that term as you said)- and what courage it took for St. Teresa to say this at that time i history.
I haven't read it in a while so it's nice to see it.
You really have a wonderful blog, Yvonne- I am opening up to so much!
May I add you to my blogroll?

Yvonne said...

Feel free :)