The blessings gained through true poverty I think are many, and I wouldn’t want to lose them.
I am often aware of a faith within me so great that I think God cannot fail anyone who serves Him. I know that there never is or will be any time in which His words will fail; for I cannot persuade myself otherwise, nor can I fear…
It seems to me I have much more compassion for the poor than I used to. I feel such great pity and desire to find relief for them that if it were up to me I would give them the clothes off my back. I feel no repugnance whatsoever toward them, toward speaking to or touching them.
This I now see is a gift given by God. For even though I used to give alms for love of Him, I didn’t have the natural compassion. I feel a very noticeable improvement in this matter.
Spiritual Testimonies, 2, nos. 3–4
According to Teresa, while interior development necessarily involves continued progress in self-knowledge and self-awareness, it is not egotistical, because it also encourages us to look beyond ourselves to God and to others. Thus progress in the spiritual life really authenticates itself in charity.
God’s love, as the evangelist John tells us, is for all and is so profound that He sent His Son for our redemption. For those engaged in a life of prayer, we must also love with this Divine love. It is a transformative love that changes the way we see and approach our fellow men and women, as Teresa illustrates in the passage above.
May we, therefore, learn to love others with the love that God loves us, that our prayer may be truly perfected.
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!
for joining our novena!
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
That’s amazing!!! I’ve been afraid to spen hours a day overtly with God as people keep telling me I am too wothdrawn and reclusive and shopoudl go out of myself more. Yet here she says the hours with God actually enable and foster that very extroversion & self giving they are aftwer. In my 50s it is about time I stopped listening to “them”. I came tot carmel in the forst place years ago as I have doscerned a call to celibate religious ;l;ife for about 30 years. My health prevents much in that line (I have tried) but I can still “indulge” myself in the kind of spiritual absorption I crave and was born for. Thank you, this is excelelnt spiritual direction. In our retreat on the Life, Fr matt Blake told us St Teresa said of those led directly by the Spirit that “they are n ot without a Director”…….
Beautiful, Kathie. Thank you for sharing with us!