July 24, 2013: LET NOTHING TROUBLE YOU

~by Louis Templeman

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing trouble you
~St. Theresa of Avila~

By a quick count I have at least eight things disturbing me right now. I have family trouble. I have housing trouble. I have legal trouble. I have car trouble. I have money trouble. And, I and my wife are just getting over pink eye. Troubles plenty.

So what was St. Theresa saying? Let nothing disturb or trouble you? Seems impossible. Yet, this is her most famous prayer and probably quoted hundreds of times daily all around the world.

She is telling us to live a life of detachment and carefree acceptance of God’s will. If we could do this we would probably shine like the sun. This may sound startling. Even, a little nutty. But, only if we consider the hectic pace of 21st Century life and its inherent greed and selfishness and incessant noise to be normal.

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing trouble you
Everything passes.
God alone remains.
~St. Theresa of Avila

Our trouble increases as our attachment to the temporary things increases. A friend of mine is an easy touch for panhandlers. Recently, he reached into his wallet to give away a five dollar bill. The panhandler saw a twenty in his wallet and cried, “Oh, man! That’s exactly what I need. With that I could catch a taxi and go see my dying father.” He fell for it.

I questioned my friend over the foolishness of giving $20.00 to a manipulator, probably a drug addict. He admits he was played for a fool but, also states that many times he has regretted being stingy but, rarely has he been sorry for an act of generosity. His easy detachment from the money kept him from being disturbed and allowed a measure of peace in his life. In fact, he thinks, maybe he did God’s work by giving to a wayward stranger. He is always watchful for God-moments.

I was impressed. I felt that episode in his life was good role modeling for me. I wanted to praise him for his attitude but, I knew a compliment would make him uncomfortable. Besides, how do you tell someone that he is walking around shining like the sun?

~Louis Templeman


Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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