Feast of St.Teresa of Avila

Romans 8:22-27
John 15:1-8


It’s the Feast of St Teresa of Avila, Spanish Carmelite nun, canonized in 1622, and made a Doctor of the Church in 1970 by Pope Paul VI. She was a devout child, and even wished to be martyred by the Moors. Her fervour cooled as a teenager, but it returned after she read the letters of St Jerome. At the age of 20 she decided to enter the Convent of the Incarnation at Avila. There she began to work for the reform of Carmel, and got permission to found the convent of St Joseph in Avila. With the help of St John of the Cross, the reform was extended to the friars. From her personal experience she composed three works on prayer and the mystical life: The Life (her autobiography), The Way of Perfection, and The Interior Castle. Though troubled by bad health most of her life, she was courageous and fearless, and managed to found 40 convents of the strict observance.

Teresa is famous for saying: ‘Let nothing disturb you, nothing scare you: having God is enough.’ She taught that meditation on the humanity of Jesus is essential for authentic living as a Christian person.

Teresa lived by the messages of the Word of God in today’s Mass: -1. “May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17-18); and 2. “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9).

Speaking of our faith or from our faith is hard today, because much of our surrounding culture is either hostile or indifferent to what we believe. In imitation of St Teresa, let us trust the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness (Luke 12:12).

Brian Gleeson , a Passionist priest.