Friday, January 11


From a poem by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the Phoenix of Mexico:

The more grace prompts me
to move up to the heavenly sphere,
the more the weight of my wretchedness
casts me into the depths.

Virtue and custom
struggle in the heart
and the heart is in agony
while they do combat.

And however strong virtue be,
I fear it may be vanquished
since custom is very great
and virtue very green.

The intellect is clouded
in dark confusion.
Who can light the way
if reason itself is blind?

I am my executioner.
And myself's own prison.
Who saw that sin and suffering
are one and the same?

I am reluctant to do that thing
I most desire to do;
and for this reluctance
suffer the penalty.

I love God and sense myself in God,
but my very will makes
what is comfort, a cross,
what is haven, a storm.

Suffer, then, since God comands,
but let it be such,
that my sins bring suffering
not my suffering sin.

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