Today, October 15, is the feast day of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila). There is so much to learn from this heroic lady. She was a mystic that gave herself to God and His service. She said yes to Him in imitation of Our Lady and in turn He gave Himself to her through her faithful life of prayer and self sacrifice.
St. Teresa was a woman who suffered intensely many illnesses both body and soul. She had many attacks from the devil because she was always striving to obtain union with God through prayer. She was very faithful in her daily prayers because she knew this time belonged already to God. Her faithfulness led her to be the great mystic that she is. She is a Doctor of the Church on Prayer and Contemplation. Because the ways of God are unchanging - her teachings are also timeless. Therefore, we need to study her wisdom which was given to her by the Holy Spirit and implement this into our lives. This is not as easy as it sounds.
St. Teresa warned us about the enemy. She said Satan was constantly active against Christians, especially the contemplative who was trying to achieve union with God by trying intensely to block them from their goal of achieving this absolute union with Him. Although the Devil is powerless against the defense that Christ builds up in a faithful soul, he will rush in at the person’s weakest moments to suggest things that appear reasonable and good but invariably result in feelings of confusion, worthlessness and disgust. He puts forward ingeniously devised temptations: he encourages self-righteousness and false humility and discourages us from prayer; he causes us to feel guilty for having received God’s grace and to labor under the impossible burden of trying to earn it; he makes us ill-tempered toward others; he creates illusions and distractions in the intellect; he inspires the doubt and fear that the understanding that we are granted in contemplation is an illusion. Sometimes we feel that we have lost control of our souls, as if demons are tossing us back and forth like balls. Sometimes we feel that we have made no progress, but even when the boat is becalmed, God is secretly stirring in the sails and moving us along. We must be brave and fight the good fight.
We all know that this is a battle - a spiritual battle each day that we wake up. Nothing comes easy and especially if we trust in man rather than God. Let us look at her famous prayer and memorize it. There is Truth in it. Happy Feast Day and God bless you! May Our Lady pray for us! Good St. Teresa and all Carmelite saints pray for us!
ST TERESA'S PRAYER
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!