Today is the Feast of Saint Teresa of Avila. Happy feast day! Born in 1515 in the Spanish city of Avila, when Teresa was only a child of seven, she ran away from home in the hope of being martyred by the Moors; in this way, she said, she could come to see God. At the age of 18 she joined the Carmelite Order and chose Christ as her heavenly spouse.
With the help of Saint John of the Cross she reformed most of the Carmelite convents and founded new ones. She reached the highest degree of prayer and through prayer obtained such knowledge of divine things that in 1970 Pope Saint Paul VI named her the first woman Doctor of the Church.
Dawn Hausmann, Director of Consecrated Vocations for the Diocese of Lansing, made a pilgrimage to Avila back in 2014. There she found that the example and intercession of Saint Teresa can help those who find prayer difficult. Here is what Dawn has to say:
“Struggling in prayer? On this feast day of Saint Teresa of Avila, we ask for her intercession in our prayer lives! She is a great spiritual mother and sister who had a deep, mystical interior life with the Lord that you can see in her autobiography and also in her book, “Interior Castle”. Let’s learn from her! Regarding prayer with our Lord Jesus, she invites us to visualize Jesus and relate to him through his very humanity:
‘We can picture ourselves standing in front of Christ, and arouse in ourselves the liveliest sentiments of love for his Sacred Humanity; live in his presence, talk to him, ask him for the things we need, tell him about the things that are making us suffer, share our joys with him instead of letting them drive him from our thoughts; without looking for well-tuned phrases in our prayers, but finding the words that express our desires and needs. This is an excellent way of making very rapid progress; those who make this effort to live in his precious company so as to profit greatly from it and experience real love for our Lord, to whom we owe so much – those are souls I consider to be very advanced.’ (Autobiography, Chapter 12)”
“Saint Teresa of Avila, our sister in Christ, teach us how to pray and experience our Lord more intimately like you!”
• Additional material courtesy of Catholic Culture https://www.catholicculture.org/