An Exercise in Calm
This image - a sledge, hammering against "FEAR" - seems the opposite of the calm Teresa promotes in this little poem-saying. But you know, as Gandhi and Martin King argued and proved in practice, sometimes you can bring great energy appropriately and effectively to bear by learning to practice the deep roots of calm, of faith, of hope, of love. So I think Teresa is worth thinking about a bit here.
Let nothing upset you; Let nothing frighten you. Everything is changing; God alone is changeless. Patience attains the goal. Who has God lacks nothing: God alone fills all our needs. - Teresa of Avila
Three Elements Here – Life is Built of These!
Calm (stanza 1)
Live in calm, live unafraid. These 2 lines are the human application. The rest are just a scientific (observational) description of reality.
Context (stanza 2)
Two hugely significant facts: a. We ARE undeniably in a world of constant instability, no certainty, always shifting and disappearing, reappearing, being radically unpredictable, old things disappearing, new things appearing, and questions unanswered. b. Except - the OTHER fact - God, Who is constant beyond our ability to explain and almost to imagine. And that Great Constancy can come to undergird us in this wildly inconstant world.
Conquering (stanza 3)
So settle down on God. Be there in that true place for it's own sake. Attend there, hope there; choose to go there often; be there for now and all the future. BECAUSE By this patience you will save your soul and much around you. In this calm and fearlessness you will find all. So says Teresa.
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- Jesus Rejected Hatred (Howard Thurman)
- Are You One of Those Whom Jesus Favors? Who IS He Willing to Teach and Help? (Matthew 11)
- Freedom From Fear – Comes From Your Faith, Not Your Government
- Hope, and Mourning in America under President Trump