Saint Teresa of Avila: a mystique for all

I am yours, for you I was born. What do you want to do with me? Why did you place the fifth centenary of Thérèse’s birth under the sign of this poem?

The Madre is a biblical woman. Like the prophet, she knows that from her mother’s womb God has known and consecrated her (Jr. 1, 5). A question stirs his heart: What do you want to do with me?She responds by placing herself at the Lord’s complete disposal. “Give me Calvary or Tabor, Desert or land of abundance, Whether I am Job in his pain, or John resting on your heart…“It doesn’t matter to him –”Just tell me: where, how, and when?– because she discovers that in all things, she can be His. “That only you live in meshe concludes in her poem.

Five centuries later, she exhorts us to ask the Lord for this fullness of baptismal grace, whatever our state of life and our progress in spiritual life.

Saint Thérèse, giant of mysticism, was she born for us too?

Yes of course ! Let’s finish with this golden legend of Thérèse the unattainable mystic. As soon as you see her a bit, put your nose in her writings – especially her correspondence – you realize that she is like us. That she is a woman of strong friendships, concerned about her nephews and nieces, full of humor and wit, also plagued by inner battles. In her advice, she is simple, realistic. She suggests to those close to her – and to us today – to apply the rule that she applies to herself: “I resolved to do the little that depended on me“. Can’t watch Christ for an hour? Watch it for ten minutes. But this “little bit”, do it!

For twenty years, however, the Carmelite was torn between God and the world…

Therese “bell of the two hocks(1R18, 21) for many years. In this she is close to us! His earliest childhood was however marked by a thirst for living water. But the one who, at the age of 7, runs away to go to the Moors to take away the glory of martyrdom, then becomes lukewarm. And even when, as a young Carmelite, she discovered a method of prayer, she still and always loved to please. “On one side God called me, on the other I followed the world“, she confesses. Until his conversion before Christ to the pains which gives him to unify his life.

She builds her Carmel reform in opposition to all that has turned her away from God. What weapon does it give us to reform our conscience divided by worldliness?

Prayer first,this trade of friendship where we talk often and intimately with the One whom we know loves us“. Therese writes that she is “the door that gives entrance to this castlewhere our soul is and where God is waiting for us to give himself. Then consideration, that is to say knowing who I am and who I am talking to. I am a sinful creature. He is the God who created me. This double knowledge gives birth in oneself to humility. And a thanksgiving for this God who calls me to a relationship of friendship with Him. It’s kneeling before this “so great God who can communicate himself in this exile to such smelly earthworms», that we find the strength to break with other friendships. With these illnesses of the soul that Pope Francis castigates.

Is prayer also the remedy for this “world on fire” described by Thérèse?

The parallels between the sixteenthand and the XXIand centuries are astonishing: religious divisions, rejection of God, economic upheaval, scientific discoveries… Today like yesterday, “they want to bring a new sentence against Jesus Christ. We seek to overthrow his Church!“God needs”amigos fuerteswho practice an apostolic prayer. A prayer that is not simply face to face with God, a search for personal salvation, but communion with Christ the Redeemer to help him save the world which is on fire.

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Saint Teresa of Avila: a mystique for all

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