beauty, God alone suffices, let nothing disturb you., psalm 24, St. Teresa of Avila, The Sophia Center for Spirituality
I have been awake for almost two hours now, much of the time just sitting with the cat looking out the window at the birds eating seed on the deck. She is so focused, she puts me to shame. I—on the other hand— have been watching my thoughts wander through many streams: an internet article on snowflakes—more information than I thought possible but quite interesting, (especially because it appeared spontaneously—I clicked nothing to receive it!), how much snow has fallen and how much more is expected, tasks to be completed today including my 2:00 zoom call, the Scripture readings for today—the Baptism of the Lord—and sometimes…no thought at all.
The most engaging of this conglomeration was a brief part of the today’s Psalm, a question that asked (quite appropriately) “Who is this God whose beauty streams to us in majesty so strong?” (PS 24:8*)
Just looking out my window causes me to pause and bow—at least internally—in wonder at the beauty of what I witness. I did not ask for or cause the snow to fall. I can do nothing about it except to watch it. I need to surrender to the beauty, the interruption it causes in the day, the plans of everyone in this area of the country, the disappointments and frustrations of those who can do absolutely nothing about it. And always, for me, the beauty.
I think of Teresa of Avila and her wisdom. She understood the flow of life and the reality—the necessity—of surrender to what is. Her prayer has been with me for 55 years and the truth of it becomes clearer all the time and gives me peace. She says: Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. All things are passing, God never changes. Patient endurance attains all things, s/he who possesses God lacks nothing. God alone suffices.
(*Ancient Songs Sung Anew: The Psalms as Poetry, p. 56)