The Foundations, Chapter 5, no. 17
Here we see clearly that we are His slaves, our wills being sold, out of love for Him, through the virtue of obedience, since through obedience we in some way give up enjoying God Himself. And yet, this is nothing if we consider that He came from the bosom of His Father out of obedience to become our slave. Well, how can one repay this favor or what service render for it? It’s necessary to be on one’s guard and careful in the performance of good works by having frequent interior recourse to God, even though these works are done in obedience and charity. And let souls believe me that it is not the length of time spent in prayer that benefits one; when the time is spent as well in good works, it is a help in preparing the soul for the enkindling of love. The soul may thereby be better prepared in a very short time than through many hours of reflection. All must come from His hand. May He be blessed forever.
O most loving Heavenly Father! We thank you for the great gift you gave us through Saint Teresa of Avila, Virgin and Doctor of the Church. Her life was a great example of fervent prayer, heroic sacrifice, profound humility, tireless patience, unwavering trust, and determined faith in you. We humbly pray for her intercession…
(Mention your intentions)
Saint Teresa, you yourself have said that there is no path that leads more quickly to the highest perfection than obedience. Pray for us, that we may grow in obedience and thus follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ, who became obedient unto death.
Saint Teresa, light of the Church, teach us the way of perfection, and lead us to the eternal mansions where Christ has his home.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us!
Teresian scholar and editor Fr. Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. notes that when St. Teresa took possession of her office as prioress of the Monastery of the Incarnation in Avila on 14 October 1571, she placed a statue of Our Lady of Clemency in the prioress’s stall with the keys to the monastery in its hands. A few months later, Our Lady spoke to St. Teresa in a vision (Cf. Spiritual Testimonies, 21):
On the eve of the feast of St. Sebastian, the first year in which I was prioress at the Incarnation, at the beginning of the Salve Regina, I saw the Mother of God descend with a great multitude of angels and sit in the prioress’s choir stall where there was a statue of our Lady. In my opinion I didn’t then see the statue but our Lady herself. It seemed to me she looked something like she does in the painting the countess [of Osorno] gave me; although the power to discern this was quickly taken away, for my faculties were soon held in great suspension. It seemed to me there were angels above the canopies of the stalls in the back and above the front stalls; although they were not in corporeal form, for this was an intellectual vision.
She remained for the whole of the Salve, and she told me:
“You were indeed right in placing me here; I shall be present in the praises they give my Son, and I shall offer these praises to Him.”
After this I remained in the kind of prayer I now have, that of keeping my soul present with the Blessed Trinity. And it seemed to me that the Person of the Father drew me to Himself and spoke very pleasant words. Among them, while showing me what He wanted, He told me:
“I gave you My Son, and the Holy Spirit, and this Blessed Virgin. What can you give Me?”
Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.