16 September 2014

Virtual choir of Carmelite nuns sings St Teresa of Ávila's 'Nada te turbe', 'Let nothing disturb you'.

St Teresa of Ávila, Filippo della Valle, 1754
St Peter's Basilica, Vatican [Web Gallery of Art]

St Teresa of Ávila, who lived from 1515 to 1582 in Spain, could never have imagined the internet, though if she were around today I'm certain that she'd be involved in this digital continent, as Pope Benedict calls it, and as a woman who travelled considerably, despite being a contemplative nun, she would certain journey along the digital highways - las 'calles' digitales - of Pope Francis.

Eighty-three followers of St Teresa, Discalced Carmelite nuns from 24 countries, recently created a virtual choir to sing and record the saint's poem Nada te turbe - Let nothing disturb you. Sr Claire Sokol of the Carmelites in Reno, Nevada, wrote the music.

Nada te turbe   Let nothing disturb you

Nada te turbe,
nada te espante,  
todo se pasa,
Dios no se muda;
la paciencia
todo lo alcanza;
quien a Dios tiene
nada le falta:
Sólo Dios basta.

Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
everything passes,
but God stays.
Patience reaches it all;
he who has God
nothing lacks:
God alone suffices.

Eleva tu pensamiento,
al cielo sube,
por nada te acongojes,
nada te turbe.

Lift your thinking,
raise up to heaven,
let nothing anguish you,
let nothing disturb you.

A Jesucristo sigue
con pecho grande,
y, venga lo que venga,
nada te espante.

Follow Jesus Christ
with an open heart,
and, no matter what may come,
let nothing frighten you.

¿Ves la gloria del mundo?
Es gloria vana;
nada tiene de estable,
todo se pasa.

See the glory of the world?
It's vainglory;
it is not everlasting,
everything passes.

Aspira a lo celeste,
que siempre dura;
fiel y rico en promesas,
Dios no se muda.

Yearn for the celestial
that lasts forever:
faithful and rich in promises,
God doesn't change.

Ámala cual merece
bondad inmensa;
pero no hay amor fino
sin la paciencia.

Love it the way it deserves
immense kindness;
but there is not fine love
without the patience.

Confianza y fe viva
mantenga el alma,
que quien cree y espera
todo lo alcanza.

Confidence and alive faith
let the soul maintain,
that he who believes and hopes
reaches it all.

Del infierno acosado
aunque se viere,
burlará sus furores
quien a Dios tiene.

Although harassed by hell
one may see himself,
he who has God
will defeat its rage.

Vénganle desamparos,
cruces, desgracias;
siendo Dios tu tesoro
nada te falta.

Come abandonment,
crosses, misfortune;
God being your treasure,
you lack nothing.

Id, pues, bienes del mundo;
id dichas vanas;
aunque todo lo pierda,
sólo Dios basta.

Go, then, wordly goods
go, vain happiness;
even if everything is lost
God alone suffices.

Copy of an original painting by Fray Juan de la Miseria when St Teresa was 61.

My thanks to Sr Mary Carmela OCD of the Carmel of Vilvoorde, Belgium who sent me the link to the video. Sr Carmela belonged to the Carmel of Cebu and has written in MISYONonline.com, the magazine of the Columbans in the Philippines of which I am editor, of how three Filipino nuns left their communities to join that in Vilvoorde, founded in 1469 and the oldest existing community of Carmelite nuns in the world. Another article she wrote for MISYONonline.com, Touches of God, led Sr Marie Paul Thérèse From Iligan to Vilvoorde (via the Carmel in Cebu).

Sr Marie Paul Thérèse kneeling on right with Sr Mary Carmela standing behind her


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