St. Theresa of Avila

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This Saturday is the feast of Theresa of Avila, one of three women “doctors of the church.” We should listen to her. Last year on the 500th anniversary of her birth, Pope Francis described her as “primarily a teacher of prayer.” “The discovery of Christ’s humanity was central to her experience.”

The aim of prayer for Theresa was not to bring inner balance or get your blood pressure down– a goal you sometimes hear for prayer and meditation today, “ The saint opens new horizons for us, she calls us to a great undertaking, to see the world with the eyes of Christ, to seek what He seeks and to love what He loves.”

A good description of prayer. Far from taking us away from the world and retreating into ourselves, prayer calls us to new undertakings, new horizons, seeing the world with the eyes of Christ. It’s something to do every day.

I’m preaching a three day parish mission beginning Saturday at Saint Theresa Church in Queens, New York.  I’ll be preaching evenings at 7PM about prayer and the way it expands our vision of life.

Theresa knew what living day by day means. She lived that way herself. How did she do it? By daily prayer, by following Jesus Christ day by day, by looking for the daily bread God gives us, by doing God’s will.

Saint Theresa, wise woman you are, be with us on these days of mission. Make them days of blessing!

Here’s a prayer found in her prayerbook, which she must have said everyday.

Let nothing disturb you,

nothing frighten you.

All things are passing,

God is unchanging.

Patience wins everything.

Who has God lacks nothing.

God alone suffices.

 

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