Chapter one. A mystical poet.

Chapter one: Ernestina de Champourcin, a mystical poet

This chapter’s living voice is offered by Alexandra Richards Cathey on December 12, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. The life story she shares unfolds in Spain and Mexico within the Roman Catholic tradition.

For this Podcast episode, click HERE.

Alexandra with her grandmother, mother, and daughter.

Y PARA SER, ESTAR…written by Ernestina de Champourcin

Y para ser estar. Lo que huye no existe. Lo que pasa fugaz no será propio nunca, ni nunca se dará a lo eterno absoluto. Para ser de verdad, estate ahí, en tu sitio, en tu raíz. Jamás te disperses en rumbos que no te acogerán. -Marta salió del camino; María aguardó en paz. Hay días de silencio gozosos de esperar y días en que el cielo entero se nos da. Para ser, entregarse. Para entregarse, estar en la cena de Pascua, de pie, sin buscar más.

AND IN ORDER TO BE, BE…translated by Alexandra Richards Cathey

And in order to be, be. What flees does not exist. What happens fleetingly will never be one’s own, nor will it ever be given to the eternal absolute. To be true, be there, in your place, in your root. Never disperse in directions that will not welcome you. -Martha left the way; Mary waited in peace. There are days of joyful silence of waiting and days when the whole of heaven is given to us. To be, surrender. To surrender, be at the Paschal meal, standing, looking no further.

Nota Bene: It is interesting to note that, in Spanish, there are two words that mean to be: “ser” and “estar.” “Ser” is used to refer to permanent states of being, whereas “estar” is used to refer to impermanent state of being. And, so, our dear and wise sister Ernestina is trying to express that in order to be established in the permanence of our being, we must first establish ourselves in the here and now.

A personal note: It was when I entered into my grandmother’s bedroom after her passing into eternal life that I found this poem at her bedside table. It struck me. And it reminds me of just how present she was to the place where she stood and to the person in front of her.

Ernestina de Champourcín - Detalle del autor - Enciclopedia de la  Literatura en México - FLM - CONACULTA
Ernestina de Champourcin, may her breath live on through those who recite aloud her poems

Click HERE for more poems by Ernestina de Chapourcin progressively translated into English by Alexandra.

A poem by Alexandra.


Beloved, the Spirit wants to breathe into your flute of reed. Will you offer yourself to the divine breath and let the Spirit sing the song of your heart? The song is about the meeting of heaven and earth and how their love birthed the emerald kingdom and healed the world. My love, is your heart willing to receive the lance needed to pierce the holes that will make the divine breath carry the sound of your song? I’m sorry to say that this is the only way to hollow out the flute of reed.

And so, if you wish, the Spirit will spread your heart’s wings and share this message of love across the world and pour the light of God into all beings, seen and unseen, above and below.

Your song will reintegrate the shattered shards of the divine vessel and remind the many that they were, are, and will be one. Your song of love will harmonize the mystical body of the cosmic Christ as all of creation works in unison and without division to build the kingdom of God.

And, when your arms are tired of holding the weight of the earth, take courage, the Mother is at the foot of your cross. She will never abandon you. She will never look away. And when you breathe your last, she will cradle your body and bury it in the womb of the earth as your soul rises to heaven. She, who carried you in her womb and birthed you from darkness into light, is there to witness your birth from impermanence to permanence, from the finite to the infinite. But before your soul takes off this borrowed yet sacred garment of the body, the mind, and the heart, take courage Beloved, don’t be afraid to sing your song.