St. Teresa’s Bookmark

old monastic manuscript from early medieval times

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing.
God never changes.
obtains all things.
Whoever has God
lacks nothing.
God is enough.

In Spanish (original):
Nada te turbe;
nada te espante;
todo se pasa;
Dios no se muda,
la pacïencia
todo lo alcanza.
Quien a Dios tiene,
nada le falta.
Solo Dios basta.

This prayer, known as St. Teresa’s Bookmark, was found in Teresa of Avila’s prayer book after she died in 1582. St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) a Spanish monastic, lived at the same time as Martin Luther. She became a Carmelite nun as a young adult. She was a spiritual and personal friend of St. John of the Cross. She wrote several books about the contemplative spiritual life, including The Interior Castle, The Way of Perfection, and Spiritual Autobiography. She was instrumental in reforming monastic life in Spain.  The line from her famous prayer, “All things are passing,” or “todo se pasa,” is likely inspired from Jesus’ teaching, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matt 24:35).