It is always good to ponder the key themes in the lives of our saints—and this is especially true with Saint Teresa of Avila. Her writings are so rich in concrete spiritual formation, inspired prayers, and hymns of praise; accounts of her adventures and exploits; and, practical advice given to family, friends, and her daughters and confrères in religious life.
In this year’s novena, a Carmelite friar will guide us as we explore some of these key themes from St. Teresa’s writings.
Father Emiel Abalahin, O.Carm. is a friar from the Saint Elias Province; he is a member of the community at Saint Simon Stock Parish in the Bronx. An alumnus of the Pontifical Gregorian University, he is currently studying for the Advanced Certificate in Christian Spirituality at Fordham University.
Some of our readers may recall that Father Emiel was a featured presenter at the 2015 North American Carmelite Symposium celebrating the Fifth Centenary of the birth of Saint Teresa.
Father Emiel has selected nine passages from the collected works of Saint Teresa and written a brief reflection for each day to prompt us in prayer.
May this time of reflection, prayer, and intercession with Saint Teresa help us as we make our way along the way of perfection to the perfect union of love in Jesus Christ our Lord.
We invite you to join us each day as this novena unfolds so that we may meditate together on Teresa’s wisdom and pray for the gifts that she has in store for us all.
- Day 1
Inspired by her teaching
- Day 2
Making space for prayer
- Day 3
To be in love with Jesus Christ
- Day 4
Care for our souls
- Day 5
For the grace of humility
- Day 6
Giving thanks for the gift of free will
- Day 7
Making our sacrifices of love
- Day 8
Growth in lives of virtue
- Day 9
Loving others with God’s love
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