It’s Holy Week, and today is Good Friday. For Catholics, this season is synonymous to fasting, mortification and repentance, as well as forgiveness. I was asked today by Myra and Fats to share a poem that would capture this season. Only one poet/Saint came to mind and that’s St. John of the Cross. Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Mary Lee from A Year of Reading.
St. John of the Cross is a Spanish Carmelite Friar whose greatest theological contribution to the Catholic Faith was poetry. His writing is both beautiful and symbolic and the one I am going to share with you, captures his spirituality in very few words, while at the same time is reminiscent of some Buddhist teachings.
Todo y Nada: All or Nothing
In order to have pleasure in everything
Desire to have pleasure in nothing.
In order to arrive at possessing everything
Desire to possess nothing.
In order to arrive at being everything
Desire to be nothing.
In order to arrive at knowing everything
Desire to know nothing.
In order to arrive at that wherein thou hast no pleasure
Thou must go by a way in which thou hast no pleasure.
In order to arrive at that which thou knowest not
Thou must go by a way that thou knowest not.
In order to arrive at that which thou possessest not
Thou must go by a way that thou possessest not.
In order to arrive at that which thou art not
Thou must go through that which thou art not.
I felt this appropriate for Holy Week because in the end I think the art of letting go is an art that teaches us to forgive, to be compassionate and to be humble. We become more when we let go of the titles and achievements we hold so dear…something that I think makes life a little bit richer and a little bit kinder.