The sign of the Scapular points to an effective synthesis of Marian spirituality, which nourishes the devotion of believers and makes them sensitive to the Virgin Mother's loving presence in their lives.
St. Teresa concludes that when we sell out to God's will, we become his slaves, just as he became a slave through obedience for our sake; so she says that it matters not how much time we spend praying or working — obedience is key.
True union with God, St. Teresa says, is union of our wills with His. She states that lack of obedience is an indicator of the presence of self-will and self-love. "Make your will one with God's. This is the union that I desire and would want for all of you."
St. Teresa speaks plainly today: in order to acquire the treasure of perfect conformity to God's will "there is no better way than to dig and toil in order to excavate from this mine of obedience."
St. Teresa proposes obedience as the solution to the "interior battle" between our self-will and God's will for us: "it means making Him Lord over the free will He has given us."
Having stated previously that "there is no path that leads more quickly to the highest perfection than obedience," today St. Teresa intends to explain why, in her opinion, obedience "is the quickest or best means for reaching this most happy state."
St. Teresa drives to the heart of her teaching on prayer, obedience, and perfection: "there is no path that leads more quickly to the highest perfection than obedience."
St. Teresa reflects on the example of the layman she met and how "the fulfillment of the duties of obedience and charity" led to an amazing "improvement in spiritual things". Her conclusion is that "the Lord walks among the pots and pans" to help us.
Telling the story of a layman she knows, St. Teresa explains that we can practice obedience and the trials and distractions that result do not disturb our prayer because the Lord repays us well.
In matters touching on obedience He doesn't want the soul who truly loves Him to take any other path than the one He did: obediens usque ad mortem.
As we observe the 450th anniversary of St. Teresa's return to Avila under obedience to the Apostolic Visitor, we meditate on her teaching concerning obedience: "there is no path that leads more quickly to the highest perfection than obedience"
"I'm sure that the Good Lord wouldn't give you the desire to be POSSESSED by Him — by His Merciful Love — if He didn't reserve this favor for you"
"Let's love our littleness, let's love not feeling anything, then we'll be poor in spirit and Jesus will come looking for us"
"We need to agree to remain poor and powerless, and this is the difficult part because 'the truly poor in spirit, where can we find them'?"
"The weaker we are, without desires, without virtues, the more suitable we are for the workings of this consuming and transforming Love..."