TERESA OF AVILA (OCTOBER 15th!)

“The Lord does not look so much at the magnitude of anything we do as at the love with which we do it.”  –Saint Teresa of Avila

It’s late on this busy Sunday, but I wanted to post something about Teresa of Avila before the clock strikes twelve. (Cinderella Blogger must get grooving – without a glass slipper – although hanging out with a handsome prince would be nice.) 🙂

I am a huge groupie of this AMAZING woman of faith who lived a long time ago (1515-1582), but who continues 500+ years later to impact many people through her writings, life of dynamic faith, dedicated courage & passionate love of Jesus Christ. She loved Jesus with her whole being, everything of hers was His. She put all her trust in Him during tense times of the Inquisition, whilst writing when she was under rigorous scrutiny (one investigator priest consulted a huge stack of deep theological books “to understand an hour with Teresa”), and as she pushed for the reform of her contemplative order when many challenges were stacked against her.

Reading Saint Teresa of Avila’s books, “The Interior Castle” and “My Life” in my early 20s strengthened and deepened my faith in new ways. Teresa’s images of long ago are still relevant today as she likens our faith journey to a castle we enter level by level (dealing with tough internal stuff along the way.) Her “Way of Perfection is also excellent, and anything else of hers you can let your mind and heart to munch on! Her words have a way of jumping off the page and zapping our hearts, edging their way through difficult doors to get our interior change motors moving in Christ.

Saint Teresa’s strong sense of humor helped infuse joy in joyless times (like making a formal street procession with musical instruments after a lice infestation to mock the unwelcome critters out of her nun sisters’ hair!)

Teresa of Avila had a tough go of it as a woman in times when women did not have much recourse to realize their dreams and initiatives. Her father didn’t want her to be a nun, but she managed to become a nun anyway. She ended up as spiritual director of St. John of the Cross – totally radical for that time. Today, Teresa of Avila is a Doctor of the Church – the first woman so named, and one of only four (with St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Therese of Lisieux and Hildegard of Bingen.)

“Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world.”

Saint Teresa of Avila

Now Cinderella blogger must dash on to feast-making (on this feast day of one of her most favorite saints), taking to heart St. Teresa’s admonishment to her contemplative sisters who had to leave prayer stations for food duty:

“Know that if it is in the kitchen, the Lord walks among the pots and pans.”

grace, peace & (joyful) simmering pots

Virginia : )

This entry was posted in Bookshelf (BOOKS), Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to TERESA OF AVILA (OCTOBER 15th!)

  1. TMH says:

    “Know that if it is in the kitchen, the Lord walks among the pots and pans.” Hey, who knew?

    • Virginia says:

      Amen, Tim. Brother Lawrence had the same thing going – our work in the kitchen can be offered as a prayer? (or, we can pray while we are cooking?) Blessings! 🙂

  2. Garfield Hug says:

    Thanks for this share! I used to go to the Church Of St Teresa’s at Kampong Bahru Road in Lil Red Dot. This is where my final resting place will be – in niche within the church’s compound. I enjoyed this read to know that she has a great sense of humor too and maybe that was why I was drawn to her back then.

    • Virginia says:

      She had an amazing sense of humor, which is why I, too, like her so much. Plus, she rocked her times with radical change – something we can aspire to by her example now? Blessings & hugs!! VA

  3. Cindy Kranich says:

    Glad to learn about this amazing woman of faith …. did you get your mission statement re’ being hands and feet of Jesus from the quote you referenced here?

    • Virginia says:

      Teresa of Avila definitely influenced my journey as an RC — and maybe, yes, this quote influenced me indirectly (as maybe she influenced Mother Teresa, who influenced me to be the hands & feet of Jesus..) 🙂 Love & hugs!! gL

  4. arlene says:

    I love these quotes from her: :Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frightens you. all things are passing; God never changes. patience obtains all things. He who possesses God lacks nothing; god alone suffices.”

    • Virginia says:

      That is one of my favorite Teresa of Avila quotes (used in a previous post about her) – I have it on bookmarks and in my journal. A wonderful reminder to keep trusting God, as she did with her whole being. Lots of grace & hugs, Arlene!

  5. faith2426 says:

    I was moved by this, Virginia, and will save it. Thanks for sharing some of her history as well as that remarkable quote near the bottom. The first time I remember hearing that – only a few years ago – it basically stopped me dead in my tracks! Such truth! Why had I never heard this before??

    A year ago last month I was part of a cohort that gathered for 5 days at a former monastery just outside the walls and down the hill from Avila. Such a magnificent city! Of course we all knew of Theresa (not, I’m sorry to say, as deeply as you do) and that gave special meaning to our surroundings.

    Have you visited Avila? Surely you have and know even better just what I mean.

    Hugs to you Faith

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Virginia says:

      What a huge, huge blessing to visit Avila… and to pray there!! It’s on my wish-list one day to make a pilgrimage there, but I haven’t had the chance, as of yet. If you haven’t read the Interior Castle, or the Way of Perfection, I highly recommend them. Blessings & hugs & vicarious joy of your time in Avila — Virginia 🙂

  6. Carol Ostrye says:

    My favorite too!!!!

    • Virginia says:

      Carol – thank YOU for introducing me to Teresa of Avila all those years ago in DC (28 or 29 years ago? egads) 🙂 When are we going plotting our trip to Avila?? Hugs! 🙂

      • Carol says:

        we definitely have to plan it! Right now, with all the turmoil about the secession of Catalonia, we may need to delay it. But we can still plan. Let’s pray for no civil war there! Maybe we can squeeze in where St. Ignatius is from too. Then there’s Assisi, Padua and Rome that I want to visit too1

      • Virginia says:

        Praying no civil war there! We want to visit! I’m also a St. Ignatius groupie so visiting his haunts would be grand, too. I visited Rome, Asissi &’Padua awhile back but would go again in a heartbeat! Lets plot & plan.. (p,s. almost called you after getting waitlisted for Gethsemane retreat a few weeks ago – plotted post weekend convention in Louisville, but had to cancel when neck discs misbehaved. Then Gethsemane called with an opening! So disappointed but our time there was so special… Blessings! 🙏🌷🙏✨🙏🌷🙏

  7. what a lovely and inspiring post. Thank you

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Michele. Teresa of Avila is one of those amazing women of faith who continue to inspire us today to keep on going with God. Blessings & hugs! VA 🙂

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