Clarity, freedom and love–how are they related? Is clarity the key to love and freedom? Or is it the other way around? I'm thinking about these things more than usual (which is a lot) because I just discovered this poem by St.Teresa of Avila:
CLARITY IS FREEDOM
had tea yesterday with a great theologian,
he asked me,
is your experience of God’s will?”
liked that question –
the distillation of thought hones thought in others.
I know, is freedom.
is my experience of God’s will?
is a traveler. Most all need lodging, food,
let enter my mouth what will enrich me. I wear what
make my eye content,
sleep where I will
my mind can
is God’s will for a wing?
We are all travelers, and we are all winged birds, opening to divine direction, carried by the flow of the breeze, by instinct, need and history.
Carmelite nun and holy sister St. Teresa illustrates this so beautifully, not only with her writing, but with the very story of her life. Her grandfather was a converso, a Jew forced to convert during the Spanish Inquisition. "Teresa was as Jewish by ancestry as she was Christian," said Carol Lee Flinders in her book Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics.
"All of this imagining is necessary that we may truly understand that within us lies something incomparably more precious than what we see outside ourselves."
(from Way of Perfection)
What lies within you that is precious, even more precious than what you can see outside yourself? What clarity (and freedom) is within reach right now? What might it feel like to wake with the strength to love deeply?