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I have no hands but yours

Community of the Sacred Name statue of Jesus

Much of the convent of the Community of the Sacred Name was destroyed in the Canterbury earthquakes. The large brick building is gone.

Some of the sisters returned to the convent recently. They have moved into the newer retreat house. I visited them recently. All around the convent grounds are empty building sites where the destroyed buildings have been removed. A desert; where once there was a thriving city. An oasis of prayer in desert.

Lawn extends their magnificent garden where once the sisters’ brick building stood.

In their garden I saw the statue of Jesus (photograph above). His hands are gone because of the quakes.

I have seen a crucifix in Germany – the hands gone in the bombings of war. They were not replaced, but a sign nearby reads, “I have no hands but yours.”

I am reminded of the words attributed to St Teresa of Avila:

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

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6 Responses to I have no hands but yours

  1. Thanks for a poignant reminder of what was and what must be Bosco. Hard on the heels of my retreat with Mother Keleni and Ordination. Arohanui.

  2. Beautifully put Bosco.

    Teresa of Avila also wrote:

    ‘Let nothing disturb you.
    Let nothing make you afraid.
    All things are passing.
    God alone never changes.
    Patience gains all things.
    If you have God you will want for nothing.
    God alone suffices.’

    • Yes, Thomas. That’s why you will have noticed my use of “attributed to”. Next you will be telling me Matthew didn’t write Matthew but that it was written by someone with the same name :-) Blessings.

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Rev. Bosco Peters Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.