St. Teresa of Avila

submitted by Jack Zizza, 8th grade student

Saint Teresa of Avila is known for many quotable quotes. This, is perhaps one of her most famous quotes. She wrote, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on Earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, and you are his body. Christ has no body now on Earth but yours.” In this essay I will explain each part of this quote and what it means to me, and how experiences in my life, and support of Tyburn Academy, have prepared me to put this quote into action.

“Christ has no body now but yours.  No hands, no feet on earth but yours.”

             When picking a word to summarize this quote, I think of the term apostolate. The term apostolate applies to people who continue spreading God’s word around the world. We are called to be an apostolate and spread the Good News. This quote is telling us to use our talents to help spread the Good News.

“Yours are the eyes though which he looks compassion on this world.”

Compassion means to have pity or concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.  This does not mean to feel sorry for the person, rather, it is a desire to alleviate the suffering of another person.  Christ encourages all of us to have mercy on each other.  In order to have mercy, one must first have a tender heart.  Jesus also encourages his followers to be moved by compassion.  Again, when our heart is pure and we allow this to be our guiding force, we come from a place of purity.  People will often begin to question their faith in hard times, but this is exactly when faith is strongest, for those who follow Christ’s word will also provide compassion to those in need.

“Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.”

All of Christ’s followers are examples of Him.  It is through our good deeds that he lives on.  Christ’s “good deeds” are all those things that please him.  When we walk for him, doing good, our goal is not only to continue with his good deeds, but also to increase the good deeds through knowledge of God.  Christ should be at the root of our good work, with the good work being the fruit which we bear.  We hear this in the phrase, “There by the grace of God go I”.  Christians are able to be fruitful in their good work, because of our position with God. God blesses us to be able to do chartable work. In Colossians chapter one, it is written: Your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all the saints, [is] because of the hope which you [have] in heaven, of which you [have] heard in the word [and] truth of the gospel, which has come to you, [and the whole world], is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you head and knew the grace of God in truth.

“Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.”

It is through our work and words that we do well for Christ.  In the verse, “Bless the Lord, O my soul”, it means that we must do God’s goodness from the purity of our soul.  Through our work we praise Him. In the Bible, Christ blesses people by laying his hands on them. The same can be seen today at mass when the priest blesses those who are unable to receive communion by laying his hands on them. This also shows us that they are apostolate’s by following in the tradition of Christ and the apostles.  It is by our actions that we revere, fear and respect God, and the sacrifices he made for us. 

“Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.

 Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

Through our work on Earth we serve God.  Work is an investment of our abilities and our way to contribute good in our society.  Our goal is to match our work with the love of our talents, and to let it carry us through challenges or problems.  God calls us to invest in our lives and those around us, so that we may become who He wanted us to be.  This is not to be confused with trying to make a lot of money.  Jobs are about money; work is about life.  Work is internally driven from the spirit, which is directly given to us from God.  It is not what you own, but rather understanding that your work is more important than you.

When I reflect upon this quote I think of my involvement in Perform 4 Purpose. Perform 4 Purpose is a non-profit organization that raises money form various organizations around the Cayuga County. I have been their drummer for the past 6 years. We have raised over $700,000 for the community. The shows are spreading joy, hope and the gift of music. St. Tereasa of Avila wrote about doing good, and I think raising money for charitable events puts doing good into action.

A Catholic school education can help you hone your particular skill set and help you spread God’s word.  Tyburn Academy helps to prepare me to put St. Teresa of Avila’s quote into action.  My belief is that Tyburn focuses on educating the whole person, as opposed to solely teaching us subjects.  We are taught about the importance of giving back and living by Christ’s teachings.

God created humankind to ultimately become His children (Revelation 21:7).  Our greatest gift to God is to fulfill our purpose in life as He created us.  Besides teaching us academics, attending a Catholic school educates us spiritually by teaching us how to be good Christians and educates us on matters of Theology. Attending a Catholic school helps to nurture this purpose and encourages us to reach our full potential.