Saint Teresa of Avila, Sincere Effort to Follow Jesus

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The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Gil Alejandria, SVD (CTManila)

October 15, Memorial of St Theresa of Avila

Image source: Wikimedia Commons — Transverberación de santa Teresa de Jesús con Cristo Resucitado

Saint Teresa of Avila, whose memory we celebrate today, once wrote a poem: “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.”

The life of Saint Teresa as a Carmelite nun was marked by a sincere effort to follow Jesus’ advice in today’s Gospel. She was known in her convent at that time by her intense prayer life and mystical spirituality marked by what others said with an “embarrassment of raptures.”

This deep spirituality led her to introduce much-needed reforms in her convent whose religious atmosphere was threatened by laxity and worldliness. Her changes were opposed at first, but her determination and the support of prominent people ultimately gained appreciation and recognition. Considered guides for a genuine spiritual relationship with God, her writings were a significant influence in religious life formation. Known for her religious wisdom, she became a much sought after spiritual guide.

She died in 1582, canonized in 1622, and in 1970 Pope Paul VI bestowed on her and Saint Catherine of Siena the papal honor of Doctor of the Church, making them the first women to be awarded the distinction.

In her dying moments, her last words were: “My Lord, it is time to move on. Well then, may your will be done. O my Lord and Spouse, the hour that I have longed for has come. It is time to meet one another.”

Thus we find inspiration in her life. She reminds us to go on through life, with its challenges and trials, with no fear in our hearts. She teaches us to be patient and to want for nothing else because God alone is enough. 

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