From her writings
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
Reflection by Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm.
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.
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.