Oh Exceeding Beauty

by Teresa of Avila

English version by Kieran Kavanaugh OCD and Otilio Rodriguez OCD
Original Language Spanish

Oh Beauty exceeding
All other beauties!
Paining, but You wound not
Free of pain You destroy
The love of creatures.

Oh, knot that binds
Two so different,
Why do You become unbound
For when held fast You strengthen
Making injuries seem good.

Bind the one without being
With being unending;
Finish, without finishing,
Love, without having to love,
Magnify our nothingness.

-- from The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila: Volume Three, Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD / Translated by Otilio Rodriguez, OCD

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Oh Exceeding Beauty