Saturday, March 28, 2015

On the Fifth Centenary of the Birth of St. Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Jesus, famous for her mystical treatises, is less well-known for her songs of "pious recreation." Like her daughter St. Therese and her father and brother St. John of the Cross, she had the gift of writing in the dense form of poetry. On feast days she would compose extra-liturgical texts that would be sung to familiar tunes, in procession or at recreation times.

The few lines to this song were not written as a "pious recreation" but as a personal reflection in La Madre's breviary, and have inspired many musical treatments. The music here was written by a Carmelite nun, and nuns from around the world join together from their enclosures to sing, "Let nothing trouble you, nothing frighten you. Everything passes; God doesn't change. Patience gains everything. The one who has God lacks nothing. God is plenty."