Teresa of Avila, “Christ Has No Body” [Poetry for Easter]

Each week during Eastertide I am posting a poem that helps me engage more meaningfully with Jesus’ resurrection. Here is Teresa of Avila’s poem “Christ Has No Body.” Teresa was a 16th century Carmelite nun in Spain best known as a mystic, reformer, and writer who experienced divine visions. Her most important works include her Autobiography, The Way of Perfection, and The Interior Castle.


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.


Previous poems in this series:

George Herbert, “Easter Wings”

Denise Levertov, “On Belief in the Physical Resurrection of Jesus

Christian Wiman, “Every Riven Thing

T. S. Eliot, “East Coker,” Stanza IV

Emily Dickinson, “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers”

R. S. Thomas, “Resurrection”

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