St. Teresa Novena 2019 — Day 2

From her writings

Whoever has not begun the practice of prayer, I beg for the love of the Lord not to go without so great a good. There is nothing here to fear but only something to desire. Even if there be no great progress, or much effort in reaching such perfection as to deserve the favors and mercies God bestows on the more generous, at least a person will come to understand the road leading to heaven. And if one perseveres, I trust then in the mercy of God, who never fails to repay anyone who has taken Him for a friend. For mental prayer, in my opinion, is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. In order that love be true and the friendship endure, the wills of the friends must be in accord. The will of the Lord, it is already known, cannot be at fault; our will is vicious, sensual, and ungrateful. And if you do not yet love Him as He loves you because you have not reached the degree of conformity with His will, you will endure this pain of spending a long while with one who is so different from you when you see how much it benefits you to possess His friendship and how much He loves you.

The Book of Her Life, Chapter 8, No. 5


Reflection by Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm.

On September 27, 1970, Pope Paul VI proclaimed Teresa a doctor of the Church. In his address, the Pope celebrated Teresa’s gift of spiritual doctrine, a fact underlined by the title written on her statue in the basilica in Ávila: Mater Spiritualium. She certainly merits this title.

Her writings are not theoretical abstracts, but concrete lessons drawn from her own experience and interaction with the Divine. In entering the struggle of spiritual growth, she came to discover some very important truths about the process of prayer, the truth of God and the realization of self in this context. She realized in a very real and personal way Jesus’ words: “I call you friends.”

Learning from Teresa, let us make ample space for prayer, taking time and having the courage to open ourselves to all of the possibilities that lie open to us when we enter this deep and profound relationship, including our own transformation in God and His love.


We pray together

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. Holy Mother St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray:

by your Spirit you raised up
our Mother Saint Teresa of Jesus
to show your Church the way to perfection.
May her inspired teaching
awaken in us a longing for true holiness.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.


Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm. is a friar of the Saint Elias Province and the pastor of Transfiguration Parish in Tarrytown, New York, U.S.A.

View the entire novena on the website of the General Curia of the Carmelite Order

Quote of the day: 23 June

photo of woman smiling while siting on stairs and using white smartphone
Photo by on

This virtual presence in social media is as real as physical existence. One is as present in the digital world as one is in the physical world. It isn’t an isolated world: there are also people there, there are feelings, there are sorrows …  In social media, I introduce myself just as I do in person. My presence in social media reflects my convictions, just as I am in life. In social media, in addition, communication is given equal to equal, never from top to bottom. I speak as a friend.

Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

Read more: Faith that cuts deep: An interview with Bishop Silvio Báez


God is such that those who act with love and friendship toward him will make him do all they desire.

St. John of the Cross
Spiritual Canticle, 32

Juan de la Cruz (icon lift up from water)

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena – Day 7

It is this intimacy with Him “within” that has been the beautiful sun illuminating my life… it is what sustains me today in my suffering


For the grace of a greater intimacy with Christ: it sounds like a wonderful thing, but we may think, “such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.” [Ps 139:6] On the contrary, intimacy with Jesus is a frequent theme in the homilies of Pope Francis, who always emphasizes how close the Lord is to us and how he never leaves us:

The Lord is a friend forever. Even if you disappoint him and walk away from him, Jesus continues to want the best for you and to remain close to you; he believes in you even more than you believe in yourself…  The Lord… is always with you and he is happy to be with you. As he did with his first disciples, he looks you in the eye and he calls you to follow him, to “put out into the deep” and to “cast your nets wide” trusting in his words and using your talents in life, in union with him, without fear. Jesus is waiting patiently for you. He awaits your response. He is waiting for you to say “yes”. 

Practicing the presence of God, St. Elizabeth grew in this friendship and intimacy with the Lord to the point that his presence became her sustenance in darkness and suffering. Like St. Paul, she desires that we might grow in this love, too, so that we may “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” and that we “may be filled with all the fullness of God.” [Eph 3:19]

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Speaks 

“It is this intimacy with Him “within” that has been the beautiful sun illuminating my life, making it already an anticipated Heaven; it is what sustains me today in my suffering.”


Consider the points of suffering in your life. Jesus loves you infinitely! Are you permitting his love to sustain you in your suffering? Where are you trying to bear your burdens alone? Let him love you and uphold you.


O God of bountiful mercy,
you revealed to Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
the mystery of your secret presence
in the hearts of those who love you,
and you chose her to adore you in spirit and in truth.
Through her intercession
may we also abide in the love of Christ,
that we may see what you see
and love in the way that you love
and thus merit to be transformed
into temples of your life-giving Spirit
to the praise of your glory.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

pine cone kid
Pine cone kid | Kevin Conor Keller
Excerpt from Letter 333, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel 
Copyright © 2003 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC
Homily by Pope Francis (full text), Jubilee for Boys and Girls, 24 April 2016

Novena to Saints Louis and Zélie Martin – Day 1

Your husband and true friend, who loves you for life.


October 8, 1863

My dear Friend,

I won’t be able to arrive in Alençon until Monday. It seems like a long time to me, and I’m longing to be with you.

Needless to say, your letter made me very happy, except I see that you’ve tired yourself out far too much. So I strongly recommend calm and moderation, above all in your work. I have some orders from the Compagnie Lyonnaise; once again, don’t worry so much. We’ll manage, with God’s help, to build a good little company.

I had the happiness of receiving Communion at Notre-Dame des Victoires, which is like a little heaven on earth. I also lit a candle for the intention of our entire family.

I kiss you with all my heart, while waiting for the happiness of being with you again. I hope that Marie and Pauline are being very good!

Your husband and true friend, who loves you for life.

Correspondence from St. Louis Martin to his wife, St. Zélie Guérin

R/.  Be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
V/.  So that you may be able to discover what is God’s will,
       what is good, pleasing and perfect.

O God,

who gave to Saint Louis and Marie Zelie
the grace to lead a life of holiness
as Christian spouses and parents,
grant that, through their intercession and example,
we may be able to love and serve you faithfully,
living worthily our own vocation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Discover more from the letters of Saints Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin on the website of the archives of the Carmel of Lisieux

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