Being Christ In The World

“Serve Others Like Jesus Christ”

Copyright ©04/21/2005 Elizabeth Ellis
~ Inspired by the prayers of St. Teresa of Ávila ~

Christ has no body now on earth but mine,
No eyes except my own,
Through which He looks with compassion,
On this wretched, troubled world.
He has no hands but mine to use,
To bless a needy soul,
He has no feet but my own,
To walk in places others dare not go.
He has no other lips but mine,
To speak His words of hope,
He has no body but mine,
To do His holy work.
Oh, that I would surrender, all that I am to Him,
Oh, that I would be willing, to do what pleases Him;
To see with His eyes of compassion,
To work with His hands of grace,
To walk with His feet of endurance,
Until I complete the race,
He calls me to.

 Although I do not personally accept the practice of canonizing individuals as “saints”, I have read the prayers of St. Teresa of  Ávila and was inspired by her sincere faith and desire to serve Jesus Christ.  The Bible is clear that all sincere followers of Christ are saints.  The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious.” In Scripture there are 67 uses of the plural “saints” compared to only one use of the singular word “saint.” Even in that one instance, a plurality of saints is in view: “…every saint…” (Philippians 4:21).
The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.” Christians are saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ. This is the biblical description and calling of the saints.
How does the Roman Catholic understanding of “saints” compare with the biblical teaching?  In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or prominent bishop. In the Bible, everyone who has received Jesus Christ by faith is a saint. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone.
(Source for this information: website gotquestion.org).
Image from www.gotquestion.org
St. Teresa of Avila (Image from Wikipedia)

Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada (28 March 1515 – 4 October 1582), was a Spanish Carmelite nun and author of the Counter Reformation as well as her autobiography, “The Life of Teresa of Jesus” and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be a founder of the Discalced Carmelites along with John of the Cross. She was canonized forty years after her death by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.   Here is a prayer she wrote that moved my heart to write the poem, “Being Christ In The World”.

A LOVE SONG by Saint Teresa of Avila
Majestic sovereign, timeless wisdom,
your kindness melts my hard, cold soul.
Handsome lover, selfless giver,
your beauty fills my dull, sad eyes.
I am yours, you made me.
I am yours, you called me.
I am yours, you saved me.
I am yours, you loved me.
I will never leave your presence.
Give me death, give me life.
Give me sickness, give me health.
Give me honor, give me shame.
Give me weakness, give me strength.
I will have whatever you give. Amen.

3 thoughts on “Being Christ In The World”

  1. This is beautiful, thank you. I was searching online for a poem having to do with “being Christ in the World”, to read to our catechumens at their last class. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with them. (I will give your name with it, of course).

    Like

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