“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 : )