The prioress should see to it that good books are available, especially The Life of Christ by the Carthusian, the Flos Sanctorum, The Imitation of Christ, The Oratory of Religious, and those books written by Fray Luis de Granada and by Father Fray Pedro de Alcántara. This sustenance for the soul is in some way as necessary as is food for the body.
In chapter 4 of her autobiography, Teresa recounts the story of a particular visit to her uncle, Pedro Sánchez de Cepeda, wherein he gave her a copy of Francisco de Osuna, OFM’s book, the Third Spiritual Alphabet. It provided the foundations for her spiritual life, and remained an important reference for many years. In time, Teresa added other works to her list of spiritual influences, including those listed in her Constitutions. It was essential to her spiritual growth and to that of her sisters to be educated by knowledgeable people in the realm of the interior life.
Through her example and counsel, we are also invited to enrich our faith and our interior lives by reading and studying the writings of the many holy authors whom the Church recommends to us. Of course, among these, Teresa is one who is especially recommended. Perhaps one way of preparing for the feast during these nine days of novena would be to prayerfully read and reflect on one of her writings.
May she and all of the saintly authors continue to inspire us through their teachings and experience.
Father Emiel Abalahin, O.Carm.
O Holy Mother Saint Teresa, look down from heaven and see: visit this vine and protect what thy right hand hath planted.
(Mention your intentions)
Merciful God, who by thy Spirit didst raise up thy servant Saint Teresa of Jesus to reveal to thy Church the way of perfection: grant that her teaching may awaken in us a longing for holiness until, assisted by her intercession, we attain to the perfect union of love in Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us!
All citations for this novena come from the 1985 edition of The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, published by ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Don’t become discouraged and give up prayer, says St. John of the Cross. We offer varying novenas to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, as well as novenas to St. Joseph, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, and St. Edith Stein.Let us unite in prayer