I repeat, it is necessary that your foundation consist of more than prayer and contemplation. If you do not strive for the virtues and practice them, you will always be dwarfs.
And, please God, it will be only a matter of not growing, for you already know that whoever does not increase, decreases. I hold that love, where present, cannot possibly be content with remaining always the same.
The Interior Castle, VII, Chap. 4, no. 9
Teresa writes these words toward the end of her description of the interior journey when the soul arrives at union.
Fundamental to spiritual progress is the development of a life of virtue, as virtues and prayer shape one another. In the context of Teresa’s definition of prayer as the intimate sharing between friends, virtues are all that we do and suffer for the love of God our great friend.
Therefore, engagement in recollection helps us to cultivate practices to enhance our relationship with God, while the continued exercise of these virtues helps us to be gradually more receptive to interacting with Him.
In our prayer today, let us ask for the grace to develop and grow in lives of virtue, so that God’s love for us may be expressed and nurtured in our love for Him.
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