St Teresa’s desire

Today is the feast of St Teresa of Ávila. Magnificat has the following extract from her poem, In the Hands of God:

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

Calvary or Tabor give me,
Desert or 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?

Reading this brought home to me how much I prefer to say to God not: “What do you want of me?”, but “This is what I plan to do: do you agree?”

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