Quote of the day: 4 December

The whole city is truly scandalized.

In our quote of the day for 2 December we remembered the anniversary of the abduction of Saint John of the Cross from his chaplain’s quarters at the monastery of the Incarnation in Avila. We read Saint Teresa’s anguished letter to King Philip II wherein she provided the backstory and described the abduction of Saint John and his companion and fellow confessor, Fray Germán. More important, Teresa begged the king to intervene in the affair.

Saint Teresa’s letter was dated 4 December 1577. We recall that she wrote how the Carmelite vicar provincial “is holding these confessors captive in his monastery after having forced his way into their cells and confiscating their papers” (Letter 218).

 

 

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Saint Edith Stein wrote the Science of the Cross in the final months before her arrest in August 1942. Did a correlation between Saint John of the Cross’ abduction and the arrests of the Jews come to mind? | Photo Credit: Bundesarchiv (Creative Commons)

 

 

Today we turn to Saint Edith Stein’s Science of the Cross to provide us with more details of his abduction; we refer to her introduction, “The Message of the Cross”. Let us recall that scholars differ on the date of the abduction; by Edith’s calculation, the event occurred on the night of December 3 and Teresa wrote to the king on the very next day. Based on this knowledge, Edith recounts the story:

On the night of December 3, 1577, several of the Calced with their accomplices broke into the living quarters of the nuns’ two confessors and took them away as captives. From then on, John was missing. True, Holy Mother learned that the prior, Maldonado, had taken him away. But where he had been taken was not revealed until nine months later when he was freed.

Nine months. During nine months Saint John of the Cross would be exposed to cruel captivity in Toledo, penned up like a political prisoner. For all intents and purposes, John actually was a political prisoner, a prisoner because of the jealous machinations of the prior in the Carmelite friars’ convent in Toledo, Fray Hernando Maldonado. Maldonado: he of whom Saint Teresa wrote to King Philip, “he is more capable than the others of making martyrs.”

 

French Underground inspects blindfold in Paris Yad Vashem photo record 1460_179
After the liberation, a member of the French underground in Paris inspects a blindfold used on prisoners during interrogations | Photo credit: Yad Vashem (Creative Commons)

 

We will let Saint Edith continue the story of Saint John’s abduction:

Blindfolded, he had been brought through a lonely suburb to the monastery of Our Lady in Toledo, the most important Carmelite monastery of the mitigated Rule in Castile. He was interrogated, and because he refused to abandon the Reform he was treated as a rebel. His prison was a narrow room, about 10 feet long and 6 feet wide. Teresa later wrote: “small though he was in stature, he could hardly stand erect in it.”

At this point, the conditions of Saint John of the Cross’ confinement remind us of Saint Teresa’s vision of hell, where she wrote in her autobiography:

The entrance it seems to me was similar to a very long and narrow alleyway, like an oven, low and dark and confined; the floor seemed to me to consist of dirty, muddy water emitting a foul stench and swarming with putrid vermin. At the end of the alleyway, a hole that looked like a small cupboard was hollowed out in the wall; there I found I was placed in a cramped condition. All of this was delightful to see in comparison with what I felt there. What I have described can hardly be exaggerated (Life 32:1).

Here is what Edith has to say about Saint John’s “cramped condition”:

This cell had neither window nor air vent other than a slit high up on the wall. The prisoner had to “stand on the poor-sinner-stool and wait until the sun’s rays were reflected on the wall in order to be able to pray the breviary.” The door was secured by a bolt.

Small wonder that when Saint Teresa wrote on 4 December to King Philip, she remarked, “I would consider the confessors better off if they were held by the Moors, who perhaps would show more compassion.”

 

Dachau Frans de Wit Flickr 14997966451_3b62cd0105_o
Dachau concentration camp | Frans de Wit / Flickr

 

There was a daily routine of psychological and physical torture, as Saint Edith explains:

At first every evening, later three times a week, and finally, only sometimes on Fridays, the prisoner was brought to the refectory where, seated on the floor, he ate his meal—bread and water. He was also given the discipline in the refectory. He knelt, naked to the waist, with bowed head; all the friars passed by him and struck him with the switch. And since he bore everything “with patience and love” he was dubbed “the coward.” Throughout, he was “immovable as a rock” when they commanded him to abandon the Reform, attempting to bribe him by offering to make him a prior. Then he would open his silent lips and assure them that he refused to turn back “no matter if it cost him his life.”

He bore everything with patience and love. How rich were his counsels to Saint Teresa’s nuns in later years! When he exhorted them to practice patience, they understood that he had the bitter life experience to qualify his counsel:

Serve God, my beloved daughters in Christ, following in his footsteps of mortification, in utter patience, in total silence, and with every desire to suffer, becoming executioners of your own satisfactions, mortifying yourselves, if perhaps something remains that must die and something still impedes the inner resurrection of the Spirit who dwells within your souls (Letter 7 to the nuns at Beas, 18 November 1586).

Saint Edith tells us that “the youthful novices who were witness to the humiliations and mistreatment wept out of compassion and said “This is a saint” when they saw his silent patience.”

 

Juan de la Cruz (silence profile pic 22)
Credit: Portal Carmelitano

 

 

John of the Cross, St. 1991, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Revised Edition, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K and Rodriguez, O with revisions and introductions by Kavanaugh, K, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

 

Kieran Kavanaugh, K, Rodriguez, O, and Teresa, 1976, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

 

Stein, E 2002, The Science of the Cross, translated from the German by Koeppel, J, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 2 December

To the King Don Philip II

Avila, 4 December 1577

The grace of the Holy Spirit be with your majesty, amen. I strongly believe that our Lady has chosen you to protect and help her order. So, I cannot fail to have recourse to you regarding her affairs. For the love of our Lord, I beg you to pardon me for so much boldness.

I am sure your majesty has received news of how the nuns at the Incarnation tried to have me go there, thinking they would have some means to free themselves from the friars, who are certainly a great hindrance to the recollection and religious observance of the nuns. And the friars are entirely at fault for the lack of observance previously present in that house. The nuns are very much mistaken in their desire that I go there, for as long as they are subject to the friars as confessors and visitators, I would be of no helpat least not of any lasting help. I always said this to the Dominican visitator, and he understood it well.

Since God allowed that situation to exist, I tried to provide a remedy and placed a discalced friar in a house next to them, along with a companion friar. He is so great a servant of our Lord that the nuns are truly edified, and this city is amazed by the remarkable amount of good he has done there, and so they consider him a saint, and in my opinion, he is one and has been one all his life.

When the previous nuncio through a long report sent him by the inhabitants of the city was informed of the things that were happening and of the harm that the friars of the cloth were doing, he gave orders under pain of ex-communication that the confessors be restored to their house (for the calced friars had driven them from the city heaping abuse on them and giving much scandal to everyone). And he also ordered that no friar of the cloth under pain of ex-communication go to the Incarnation for business purposes, to say Mass, or hear confessions, but only the discalced friars and secular clergy. As a result, the house was in a good state until the nuncio died. Then the calced friars returnedand so too the disturbancewithout demonstrating the grounds on which they could do so.

And now a friar who came to absolve the nuns caused such a disturbance without any concern for what is reasonable and just that the nuns are deeply afflicted and still bound by the same penalties as before, according to what I have been told. And worst of all he has taken from them their confessors. They say that he has been made vicar provincial, and this must be true because he is more capable than the others of making martyrs. And he is holding these confessors captive in his monastery after having forced his way into their cells and confiscating their papers.

The whole city is truly scandalized. He is not a prelate nor did he show any evidence of the authority on which these things were done, for these confessors are subject to the apostolic commissary. Those friars dared so much, even though this city is so close to where your majesty resides, that it doesn’t seem they fear either justice or God. I feel very sad to see these confessors in the hands of those friars who for some days have been desiring to seize hold of them. I would consider the confessors better off if they were held by the Moors, who perhaps would show more compassion. And this one friar who is so great a servant of God is so weak from all that he has suffered that I fear for his life.

I beg your majesty for the love of our Lord to issue orders for them to set him free at once and that these poor discalced friars not be subjected to so much suffering by the friars of the cloth. The former do no more than suffer and keep silent and gain a great deal. But the people are scandalized by what is being done to them. This past summer in Toledo, without any reason, the same superior took as prisoner Fray Antonio de Jesúsa holy and blessed man, who was the first discalced friar. They go about saying that with orders from Tostado they will destroy them all. May God be blessed! Those who were to be the means of removing offenses against God have become the cause of so many sins. And each day matters will get worse if your majesty does not provide us with some help. Otherwise, I don’t know where things will end up, because we have no other help on earth.

May it please our Lord that for our sakes you live many years. I hope in him that he will grant us this favor. He is so alone, for there are few who look after his honor. All these servants of your majesty’s, and I ask this of him continually.

Dated in St. Joseph’s in Avila, 4 December 1577.

Your majesty’s unworthy servant and subject,

Teresa of Jesus, Carmelite

 


In early December 1577, St. John of the Cross was abducted from his chaplaincy at the monastery of the Incarnation in Avila. Sanjuanist scholars disagree on the exact date.

Translator and editor Father Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD indicates that “on the night of December 2, 1577, a group of Carmelites, laypeople, and men-at-arms broke into the chaplain’s quarters, seized Fray John, and took him away” (Kavanagh 1991, Introduction).

Saint Edith Stein, for example, writes, “on the night of December 3, 1577, several of the Calced with their accomplices broke into the living quarters of the nuns’ two confessors and took them away as captives” (Stein 2002, Introduction).

Teresianum professor and Sanjuanist authority Father Iain Matthew simply states this about John’s arrest: “On a cold night in early December, his chaplaincy in Avila was raided. The young man was taken away for interrogation and chastisement. Then he disappeared” (Matthew 1995, p. 9)

Whatever the date may have been, nine long months of physical and psychological torture followed with hardships that most would have found unbearable. Yet out of this darkness emerged the most profound and exquisite poetry that John of the Cross ever wrote.

 

Where have you hidden,
Beloved, and left me moaning?
You fled like the stag
after wounding me;
I went out calling you, but you were gone.

 

 

Silhouelk Mark Gunn Flickr 27703036162_53bc7c3800_o
Mark Gunn / Flickr

 

 

John of the Cross, St. 1991, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Revised Edition, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K and Rodriguez, O with revisions and introductions by Kavanaugh, K, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

 

Matthew, I 1995,  The Impact of God: Soundings from St. John of the Cross,  Hodder & Stoughton, London.

 

Stein, E 2002, The Science of the Cross, translated from the German by Koeppel, J, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 2 November

To King Don Philip II, Madrid
Seville, 19 July 1575
Jesus.

The grace of the Holy Spirit be always with your majesty. While much afflicted and praying to our Lord about the affairs of this holy order of our Lady and considering the great need there is that these initiatives God has taken in its regard not crumble, it occurred to me that the best safeguard for us would be that you realize what giving a solid foundation to this edifice entails; even the calced friars would benefit from the increase in numbers.

I have lived among them for 40 years

and, considering everything, I know clearly that if a separate province is not made for the discalced friarsand soongreat harm will be done, and I think it will be impossible for them to move ahead. Since this lies in your hands and I see that the Blessed Virgin, our Lady, has chosen you to support and protect her order, I have dared to write and beg you that for the love of our Lord and his glorious Mother you give orders that this separate province be formed…

Your majesty’s unworthy servant and subject,

Teresa of Jesus, Carmelite

 


 

Teresa Enters the Convent MetMuseum DP310147
Vita B. Virginis Teresiae 
Plate 4: Teresa Enters the Convent 
Adriaen Collaert (Netherlandish, 1560-1618) Engraving, 1613 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

On the 2nd of November 1535, Saint Teresa entered the Carmelite monastery of the Incarnation at Avila when she was twenty years old. The Lord had been preparing her for that moment by a long and circuitous route; even after she said “yes” to Him, there was no straight path to her goal:

My fondness for good books was my salvation. Reading the Letters of St. Jerome so encouraged me that I decided to tell my father about my decision to take the habit, for I was so persistent in points of honor that I don’t think I would have turned back for anything once I told him. So great was his love for me that in no way was I able to obtain his permission or achieve anything through persons I asked to intercede for me. The most we could get from him was that after his death I could do whatever I wanted. I was afraid of myself and my frailty and of backing down; and since I could not wait so long, I tried to do it by another way… (Book of Her Life, 3)

Her “other way” was so secretive, one would think that St. John of the Cross had her story in mind when he wrote the first stanza of his poem, ‘The Dark Night’:

One dark night,
fired with love’s urgent longings
– ah, the sheer grace! –
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

Indeed, Teresa went out unseen from her house, or rather, from her father’s house:

I remember, clearly and truly, that when I left my father’s house I felt that separation so keenly that the feeling will not be greater, I think, when I die. For it seemed that every bone in my body was being sundered. Since there was no love of God to take away my love for my father and relatives, everything so constrained me that if the Lord hadn’t helped me, my reflections would not have been enough for me to continue on. In this situation, He gave me such courage against myself that I carried out the task. (Book of Her Life, 4)

Teresian scholar Fr. Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. notes that her father did, in fact, come to “accept it all with resignation, gave her a dowry that was more than substantial, and acquired for his daughter a private room of her own in the monastery.” (Book of Her Life, Introduction)

Exactly one year later, on the 2nd of November 1536, Saint Teresa received the habit of our Lady of Mount Carmel. Father Kavanaugh notes that the prioress was Doña Mencía Cimbrón, “a distant relative of Teresa’s”.

The lessons that Saint Teresa learned on November 2 can serve us well:

As soon as I took the habit, the Lord gave me an understanding of how He favors those who use force with themselves to serve Him (…) When I recall this, there is no task that could be presented to me, no matter how hard, that I would hesitate to undertake. For I have already experienced in many ways that if I strive at the outset with determination to do it, even in this life His Majesty pays the soul in such ways that only one who has this joy understands it. (Book of Her Life, 4)

Saint Teresa of Jesus, pray for us.

 

TERESA signature Blogfeatureimage
Signature of St. Teresa conserved in the general archives of the City of Burgos

 

 

Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Vives con Cristo en la gloria: San Juan Pablo II en Alba de Tormes

Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas, hijos e hijas de Santa Teresa:

1. Nos hallamos congregados junto al sepulcro que guarda, como precioso tesoro, las insignes reliquias del cuerpo de Santa Teresa de Jesús.

Al clausurar solemnemente este IV centenario, abierto hace un año por el cardenal Enviado especial mío, quiero que mis palabras sean una evocación y una plegaria dirigida a Teresa de Jesús, presente entre nosotros en la comunión de los santos.

2. Ante todo, la evocación de aquella muerte gloriosa.

¡Teresa de Jesús! Quiero recordar las palabras de los últimos instantes de tu vida:

La humilde confesión de tus faltas: “Cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies” (Ps. 50, 19).

La exhortación a tus hijas a mantener intacta tu herencia espiritual, la fidelidad al carisma.

El deseo de ver a Dios: “Señor mío, tiempo es ya que nos juntemos; ya es tiempo de caminar”.

La gozosa profesión de fe: “En fin, Señor, soy hija de la Iglesia”.

Entregaste tu vida al Señor, envuelta en el cariño maternal de esa Iglesia de la que te sentías hija: con la gracia del sacramento de la penitencia, el viático de la Eucaristía, la santa unción de los enfermos.

Fue la tuya una muerte de amor, como bien expresó San Juan de la Cruz: “Consumida por la llama de amor viva, se rompió la tela del dulce encuentro con Dios” (San Juan de la Cruz, Llama de amor viva, 1, 29-30).

“Ahora, pues, decimos que esta mariposica ya murió . . . y que vive en ella Cristo” (Santa Teresa, Castillo interior, VII, 1, 3).

3. Vives con Cristo en la gloria y estás presente en la Iglesia, caminando con ella por los senderos de los hombres.

En tus escritos plasmaste tu voz y tu alma. En tu familia religiosa perpetúas tu espíritu. Nos has dejado como lección la amistad con Cristo. Nos has legado como testamento el amor y servicio a la Iglesia. “¡Dichosas vidas – como la tuya – que en esto se acabaren!” (EIUSDEM, Vida, 40, 15.

Tu patria es España, pero todo el mundo es hoy tu hogar, donde habitan tus hijas y tus hijos, donde hablas desde las páginas de tus libros.

Eres mensajera de Cristo. Eres palabra universal de experiencia de Dios. Tu vivo lenguaje castellano ha sido traducido en muchos idiomas. Tus autógrafos se han multiplicado en ediciones sin fin. Has entrado en la cultura religiosa de la humanidad. Estás presente, honrando a la Iglesia, en la literatura universal.

¡Se han cumplido, Teresa, tus deseos de servir al Señor sin límites de tiempo ni de espacio, hasta el día de la venida gloriosa de Jesús!

4. Suba ahora hasta el Padre, por intercesión tuya, Teresa de Jesús, la ardiente plegaria del Papa peregrino.

Te pido por la Iglesia nuestra Madre: “No ande siempre en tanta tempestad esta nave de la Iglesia” (EIUSDEM, Camino de perfección, 35, 5).

Intercede por su extensión evangelizadora y por su santidad, por sus pastores, sus teólogos y ministros, por los hombres y mujeres que han consagrado a Cristo, por los fieles de la familia de Dios.

Te ruego por un mundo en paz, sin guerras fratricidas como las que herían tu corazón.

Descubre a todos los cristianos el mundo interior del alma, tesoro escondido dentro de nosotros, castillo luminoso de Dios. Haz que el mundo exterior conserve la huella del Creador y sea libro abierto que nos habla de Dios (Cfr. Santa Teresa, Vida, 9, 5).

Acoge mi súplica por las almas que alaban a Dios con sosiego, por los que han recibido la gran dignidad de ser amigos de Dios, por los que buscan a Dios en tinieblas, para que se les revele la Luz que es Cristo. (…)

5. ¡Teresa de Jesús, que sigues viviendo en esta tierra de España! Te pido por todos sus pueblos. Haz que vivan la riqueza de sus valores culturales en espíritu de fraterna y solidaria comunicación.

A ti que eres amiga de Dios y de los hombres, y con tus escritos abres caminos de unidad, te encomiendo la unidad de la Iglesia y de la familia humana: Entre los cristianos de diversas confesiones, entre miembros de diversas religiones, entre hombres de diferentes culturas. Que todos se sientan como tú los sentías: “hijos de Dios y hermanos” (Santa Teresa, Castillo interior, V, 2, 11).

Haz que se cumpla tu oración y tu palabra de esperanza, escrita en el Castillo interior (Ibid. VII, 2, 7-8).

“Orando una vez Jesucristo nuestro Señor por sus Apóstoles, dijo que fuesen una cosa con el Padre y con El, como Jesucristo nuestro Señor está en el Padre y el Padre en El (Cfr. Io. 17, 21).  ¡No sé qué mayor amor puede ser que éste! Y no dejaremos de entrar aquí todos, porque así dijo su Majestad: No sólo ruego por ellos, sino por todos aquellos que han de creer en mí también”. Haz que todos lleguemos donde tú llegaste: hasta la comunión con la Trinidad, “donde nuestra imagen está esculpida” (Santa Teresa, Castillo interior, VII, 2, 7-8).

¡Teresa de Jesús, escucha mi oración! Suba hasta el trono de la sabiduría de Dios la acción de gracias de la Iglesia, por lo que has sido y has hecho, por lo que todavía harás en el Pueblo de Dios que te honra como Doctora y Maestra espiritual. Quiero hacerlo con tus mismas palabras de alabanza y bendición:

“¡Sea Dios nuestro Señor por siempre alabado y bendito! Amén. Amén” (Ibid. 4).

San Juan Pablo II

Discurso del Papa San Juan Pablo II
en el acto de clausura del IV Centenario
de la muerte de Santa Teresa de Jesús
Alba de Tormes, lunes 1 de noviembre de 1982

 

1nov1982 AlbadeTormes
El papa San Juan Pablo II clausuraba en Alba de Tormes (Salamanca) los actos del cuarto centenario de la muerte de Santa Teresa de Jesús | Ricardo Martín / El País (Ver más)

Quote of the day: 1 November

Pilgrim in the footsteps of Saint Teresa of Jesus, with great satisfaction and joy I come to Avila. In this city there are so many Teresian places, such as the monastery of Saint Joseph, the first of the “dovecotes” founded by her; this monastery of the Incarnation, where Saint Teresa received the Carmelite habit, made her religious profession, had her decisive “conversion” and lived her experience of total consecration to Christ. It can well be said that this is the shrine of the contemplative life, place of great mystical experiences, and the focal point of monastic foundations.

To contemplate so many cloistered religious today, I cannot help but think about the great Spanish monastic tradition, its influence on Spanish culture, customs and life. Isn’t it here where the moral strength dwells, where there is a continuous reference to the spirit of the Spaniards?

The Pope calls you today to continue cultivating your consecrated life through a liturgical, biblical and spiritual renewal, following the guidelines of the Council. All this requires a permanent formation that enriches your spiritual life, giving it a solid doctrinal, theological and cultural foundation. In this way, you will be able to give the evangelical response that so many young people of our time expect, who today also approach your monasteries, attracted by a life of generous surrender to the Lord.

In this regard I want to issue a call to Christian communities and their Pastors, reminding them of the irreplaceable position occupied by the contemplative life in the Church. We all must deeply value and esteem the dedication of contemplative souls to prayer, praise, and sacrifice.

They are very necessary in the Church. They are living prophets and teachers for all; they are the vanguard of the Church on the way to the kingdom. Their attitude toward the realities of this world, which they contemplate according to the wisdom of the Spirit, enlightens us about the last things and makes us feel the gratuitousness of God’s saving love. I, therefore, urge everyone to try to foster vocations to monastic life among young women, in the assurance that these vocations will enrich the whole life of the Church.

Daughters of Carmel: May you be living images of your Mother Teresa, of her spirituality and her humanism. May you truly be as she was and wanted to be calledand as I wish her to be calledTeresa of Jesus.

Saint John Paul II

Meeting with Cloistered Nuns (excerpts)
Carmel of the Incarnation, Ávila
1 November 1982

 

 

1982 Nuns at the Encarncion Avila to see JP2 1nov82 ElPais
Roughly 3000 cloistered nuns representing approximately 15,000 contemplative religious gathered at the Carmel of the Incarnation in Ávila on All Saints Day, where they awaited the Holy Father Pope St. John Paul II. Having spent the entire night outside the monastery in a prayer vigil, they were overjoyed at the sight of his helicopter when it arrived. For some, this was the first time they had left their cloisters in decades. | Ricardo Martín / El País (See more)

 

 

This English translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

Timbre de gloria

Hoy me trae a vosotros la clausura —en vez de la apertura— del IV centenario de la muerte de Santa Teresa de Jesús, esa gran santa española y universal, cuyo mayor timbre de gloria fue ser siempre hija de la Iglesia y que tanto ha contribuido al bien de la misma Iglesia en estos cuatrocientos años.

San Juan Pablo II

Discurso, Ceremonia de Bienvenida
Aeropuerto Internacional de Madrid-Barajas
Domingo 31 de octubre de 1982

 

 

Teresa-Avila_1982-centenary_Spanish-postage-stamp
IV Centenario de la muerte de Santa Teresa, sello conmemorativo con timbre postal de Madrid

Quote of the day: 31 October

Today brings me to the closing — instead of the opening — of the IV centenary of the death of Saint Teresa of Jesus, that great Spanish and universal saint, whose greatest stamp of glory was to be forever the daughter of the Church, who has contributed so much to the good of the same Church in these four hundred years.

Saint John Paul II

Welcome Ceremony, Madrid Airport
31 October 1981

 

31oct1982 Madrid airport welcome
Marisa Flórez / El País (See more)

 

Quote of the day: 25 October

Teresa is writing a letter. If you could see the faces she’s making while writing you would be delighted. However badly our fortunes go I don’t allow them to tell her anything. Today is January 30.

Saint Teresa of Avila

 


Discalced Carmelite translator, editor, and scholar Fr. Kieran Kavanaugh tells us that this autograph fragment from a letter, presumably written in 1578 to Padre Jerónimo Gracián from Avila, gives us an intimate glimpse inside the tender relationship between Teresa and her niece, ‘Teresita’, Sr. Teresa de Jesús Cepeda.

This is a little scene in which Teresa watches as Teresita, about eleven years old, makes some first attempts at writing. This fact in itself is significant. In 1935, the international literary quarterly Books Abroad invited the famed Ecuadorean writer, Víctor Manuel Rendón, to write an article on Ecuadorean literature. His topic of choice was ‘Women Writers of Ecuador’ and in it, he made a bold claim:

Who was the first woman writer of Ecuador? Teresa de Jesús Cepeda (1566-1610). Her father was a brother of Santa Teresa de Jesús. She was born in Quito but was taken at an early age to Spain and educated in the Carmelite Convent over which her glorious aunt presided. The latter said of her: “She has the disposition of an angel, and is a brilliant conversationalist; she tells stories of the Indians and of the sea better than I could tell them.” All that we have of Teresa de Jesús Cepeda is her letters; but they are written with consummate grace and in the purest Castilian, abounding in profound ideas in which discretion, strength, modesty, and piety vie with one another, like reflections of the divine intellectual gifts of the Saint of Avila.

Discalced Carmelite historian and blogger Father Iván Mora Pernía places Teresita’s date of birth as 25 October 1566, relying upon the research of Teresian biographer Father Salvador de la Virgen del Carmen, OCD.

Father Mora recalls the words of St. Teresa’s brother and Teresita’s father, Lorenzo; when he presented his daughter Teresita to the nuns at the Carmel of St. Joseph in Avila, he reportedly said, “I’m giving you the best gift I brought back from the Indies.”

 

Sister Teresa de Jesús Cepeda (1566-1610), portrait by fray Juan de la Miseria

 

Rendón, V 1935, 'Women Writers of Ecuador', Books Abroad, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 380-382.

 

Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 19 October

He was very old when I came to know him, and so extremely weak that it seemed he was made of nothing but tree roots.

Saint Teresa of Avila

The Book of Her Life, Chap. 27

 

Peter of Alcantara shows Teresa d'Avila the way to paradise - Francesco Fontebasso - Cappella Giustinian dei Vescovi - San Francesco della Vigna, Venice
Peter of Alcantara shows, to Teresa d’Avila, the way to paradise Francesco Fontebasso Cappella Giustinian dei Vescovi of San Francesco della Vigna (Venice)

Conversation in Avila — Phyllis McGinley

Teresa was God’s familiar. She often spoke
To Him informally,
As if together they shared some heavenly joke.
Once, watching stormily
Her heart’s ambitions wither to odds and ends,
With all to start anew,
She cried, “If this is the way you treat your friends,
No wonder you have so few!”

There is, however, no record standing by
Of God’s reply.

Phyllis McGinley

Conversation in Avila

 

HAWTHORNE_Avila
Avila
Charles Webster Hawthorne (American, 1872-1930)
Watercolor on paper, 1929
Private collection

 

 

McGinley, P 1954, The Love Letters of Phyllis McGinley, Viking Press, New York.

 

 

 

15 October: Kontakion and Ikos of St. Teresa of Jesus

Kontakion

 

You showed the way of perfection
to the point of rapture, you cherished the God of love
who lavished upon you His ineffable visions;
with the zeal of Elijah you conquered souls for Christ;
through your foundations you made the desert blossom again,
and your monasteries sanctify the people of the cities.
O venerable Teresa, having reached the castle of the great King,
intercede for the faithful who celebrate your glory, as they sing:
Rejoice, mystic spouse of Jesus!

 

 

Teresa-Avila_icon-interceding_Carmelite-Retreat-Tagaytay
Icon of St. Teresa venerated at the Pontifical Faculty of Theology Teresianum, Rome

 

Ikos

 

Rejoice, for so many graces sown in you!
Rejoice, for you were loved by the Lord!
Rejoice, you whose homeland was above!
Rejoice, splendid glory of Avila!
Rejoice, you who were nourished by manna!
Rejoice, you whose desert became a meadow!
Rejoice, shepherdess-friend of the Good Shepherd!
Rejoice, as you bring your lambs to the Creator!
Rejoice, you who were perfect in the Way!
Rejoice, you who radiate holy joy!
Rejoice, you whose passion was for the Eternal One!
Rejoice, for your way leads to heaven!
Rejoice, mystic spouse of Jesus!

 


Texts from the Byzantine Matins of our venerable mother Teresa of Jesus, mother of the Carmelite Order, graciously provided by Father J. Michael Thompson.

St. Teresa Novena 2019 — Day 9

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:

Father,
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.

15 October: St. Teresa of Jesus

October 15
SAINT TERESA OF JESUS
Virgin, Doctor of the Church, and our Mother

Solemnity

The solemnity is observed even when October 15 falls on a Sunday

Teresa was born at Avila in Spain in 1515. She entered the Carmelites and made great progress in the way of perfection and was granted mystical revelations. Wishing to share in the spiritual renewal of the Church of her time, she began to live her religious life more ardently and soon attracted many companions, to whom she was like a mother. She also helped in the reform of the friars, and in this had to endure great trials. She wrote books that are renowned for their depth of doctrine and which showed her own spiritual experiences. She died at Alba in 1582.

Evening Prayer I

Hymn

As messenger of the Most high,
Theresa from her home would fly,
Good tidings of the Heavenly King
To heathen lands afar to bring,
Or yield for Christ her gentle life,
In ruddy streams of martyr strife.

But death with sweeter aspect came,
Awaiting her with rapturous claim.
Ecstatic pangs delight her soul,
And, conquered by their strong control,
She falleth, wounded from above
By piercing lance of heavenly love.

Oh, flaming victim! may thy dart
Enkindle every frozen heart,
That upward mounting, one with thine,
They rise, consumed with fire divine.
And may thy pleading safely keep
Thy nations from the burning deep.

All praise unto the Father be,
And to the Son eternally,
With joyful harmony repeat
All praise unto the Paraclete,
The Blessed Trinity adore
With reverent homage evermore.

88.88.88.
Regis superni nuntia

 

Psalmody

Ant. 1 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to little ones.

Psalm 113

Praise, O servants of the Lord, *
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed *
both now and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting *
praised be the name of the Lord!

High above all nations is the Lord, *
above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God, *
who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down, *
to look down upon heaven and earth?

From the dust he lifts up the lowly, *
from his misery he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes, *
yes, with the princes of his people.
To the childless wife he gives a home *
and gladdens her heart with children.

Ant. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to little ones.

Ant. 2 Nations will proclaim her wisdom, and the Church will sing her praise.

Psalm 146

My soul, give praise to the Lord, †
I will praise the Lord all my days, *
make music to my God while I live.

Put no trust in princes, *
in mortal men in whom there is no help.
Take their breath, they return to clay *
and their plans that day come to nothing.

He is happy who is helped by Jacob’s God, *
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who alone made heaven and earth, *
the seas and all they contain.

It is he who keeps faith forever, *
who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry, *
the Lord, who sets prisoners free,


the Lord who gives sight to the blind, *
who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger *
and upholds the widow and orphan.

It is the Lord who loves the just *
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever, *
Zion’s God, from age to age.

Ant. Nations will proclaim her wisdom, and the Church will sing her praise.

Ant. 3 The Lord gave her wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and a heart as vast as the sand on the seashore.

Canticle: Ephesians 1:3-10

Praised be the God and Father *
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who has bestowed on us in Christ *
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

God chose us in him *
before the world began,
to be holy *
and blameless in his sight.

He predestined us †
to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ, *
such was his will and pleasure,
that all might praise the glorious favor *
he has bestowed on us in his beloved.

In him and through his blood, we have been redeemed, *
and our sins forgiven,
so immeasurably generous *
is God’s favor to us.

God has given us the wisdom *
to understand fully the mystery,
the plan he was pleased *
to decree in Christ.

A plan to be carried out *
in Christ, in the fullness of time,
to bring all things into one in him, *
in the heavens and on the earth.

Ant. The Lord gave her wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and a heart as vast as the sand on the seashore.

Reading

1 Corinthians 2:6-9

There is, to be sure, a certain wisdom which we express among the spiritually mature. It is not a wisdom of this age, however, nor of the rulers of this age, who are men headed for destruction. No, what we utter is God’s wisdom: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom. God planned it before all ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age knew the mystery; if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. Of this wisdom it is written:
“Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man
what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Responsory

In the midst of the Church she spoke with eloquence.
In the midst of the Church she spoke with eloquence.
The Lord filled her with the spirit of wisdom and understanding.
She spoke with eloquence.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
In the midst of the Church she spoke with eloquence.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Holy Mother Teresa, light of the Church, teach us the way of perfection, and lead us to the eternal mansions where Christ has his home.

Intercessions

With our Mother Saint Teresa let us call upon our loving Father, in the name of Christ our friend and companion. Let us pray:

R/. Lord, may your kingdom come.

You made your Son a source of life, so that whoever believes in him might have life for all eternity;
may we listen to the voice of Christ, our true life, and so have life in him.

You gave us your only-begotten Son as our teacher of holiness and our Way to you;
may we, your children, loyally follow Christ, the Way of perfection, and pray to you without ceasing.

You promised through Christ that with him you will come to dwell in those who surrender to your love;
may we let your Spirit of love take possession of our hearts for Christ, and so be admitted to the inmost mansions of your dwelling-place.

You made Christ head and cornerstone of the Church, the foundation on which we might build;
may we love and serve the Church for his sake, rooted and founded in his love and faith.

You raised Christ to your right hand in glory, to prepare a place for us in your presence;
may all the dead who seek your face be with Christ, and contemplate the glory you have given him.

Our Father…

Prayer

Father,
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.

 

T 11099935763_d92cc69a76_o (2)

 

Invitatory

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, source of all wisdom.

Invitatory psalm, as in the Ordinary.

 

Office of Readings

Hymn

Noonday blaze of virtues rare;
Highest gifts of grace and prayer;
You have lived, in deep repose,
All that faith on us bestows.

Wedded to the Father’s Word,
Word of light, in silence heard
Leaning on the Savior’s breast,
Guided by the Spirit blest.

Blest the mind refined by fire
To receive divine desire,
Wisdom’s secrets in your heart,
Opened by the heavenly dart.

Christ drew you to his embrace
By the fragrance of his grace;
In your teaching we confide,
Trusting you, our heav’n-sent guide.

Truth eternal, One and Three,
May Teresa constantly
Lead us up the mountain’s ways
To the realms of joy and praise.

77.77.
Sr. Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.

 

Psalmody

Ant. 1 My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life: when shall I see God face to face?

Psalm 42

Like the deer that yearns *
for running streams,
so my soul is yearning *
for you, my God.
 

My soul is thirsting for God, *
the God of my life;
when can I enter and see *
the face of God?

My tears have become my bread, *
by night, by day,
as I hear it said all the day long: *
“Where is your God?”

These things will I remember *
as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd *
into the house of God,
amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving, *
the throng wild with joy.

Why are you cast down, my soul, *
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still, *
my savior and my God.

My soul is cast down within me *
as I think of you,
from the country of Jordan and Mount Hermon, *
from the Hill of Mizar.

Deep is calling on deep, *
in the roar of waters: *
your torrents and all your waves *
swept over me.

By day the Lord will send *
his loving kindness;
by night I will sing to him, *
praise the God of my life.

I will say to God, my rock: *
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning *
oppressed by the foe?”

With cries that pierce me to the heart, *
my enemies revile me,
saying to me all the day long: *
“Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, my soul, *
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still, *
my savior and my God.

Ant. 1 My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life: when shall I see God face to face?

Ant. 2  Your splendor, Lord, is unending, who can tell your mercy and greatness?

Psalm 145

I will give you glory, O God my King, *
I will bless your name forever.

I will bless you day after day *
and praise your name forever.
The Lord is great, highly to be praised, *
his greatness cannot be measured.

Age to age shall proclaim your works, *
shall declare your mighty deeds,
shall speak of your splendor and glory, *
tell the tale of your wonderful works.

They will speak of your terrible deeds, *
recount your greatness and might.
They will recall your abundant goodness; *
age to age shall ring out your justice.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion, *
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all, *
compassionate to all his creatures

Ant. 2  Your splendor, Lord, is unending, who can tell your mercy and greatness?

Ant. 3 The Lord is faithful to all who call on him in truth; his kingdom will never end.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord, *
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign *
and declare your might, O God,

to make known to men your mighty deeds *
and the glorious splendor of your reign.
Yours is an everlasting kingdom; *
your rule lasts from age to age.

The Lord is faithful in all his words *
and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall *
and raises all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all creatures look to you *
and you give them their food in due time.
You open wide your hand, *
grant the desires of all who live.

The Lord is just in all his ways *
and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him, *
who call on him from their hearts.

He grants the desires of those who fear him, *
he hears their cry and he saves them.
The Lord protects all who love him; *
but the wicked he will utterly destroy.

Let me speak the praise of the Lord, †
let all mankind bless his holy name forever,
for ages unending.

Ant. 3 The Lord is faithful to all who call on him in truth; his kingdom will never end.

You, O Lord, are close.
And all your commands are truth.

First Reading

Phil 3:8-21

From the letter of the apostle Paul to the Philippians

The knowledge of Christ Jesus is supreme

I believe nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For him I have accepted the loss of everything, and I look on everything as so much rubbish if only I can have Christ and be given a place in him. I am no longer trying for perfection by my own efforts, the perfection that comes from the Law, but I want only the perfection that comes through faith in Christ, and is from God and based on faith. All I want is to know Christ and the power of his resurrection I and to share his sufferings by reproducing the pattern of his death. That is the way I can hope to take my place in the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have become perfect yet: I have not yet won, but I am still running, trying to capture the prize for which Christ Jesus captured me. I can assure you my brothers, I am far from thinking that I have already won. All I can say is that I forget the past and I strain ahead for what is still to come; I am racing for the finish, for the prize to which God calls us upward to receive in Christ Jesus. We who are called “perfect” must all think in this way. If there is some point on which you see things differently, God will make it clear to you; ·meanwhile, let us go forward on the road that has brought us to where we are.

My brothers, be united in following my rule of life. Take as your models everybody who is already doing this and study them as you used to study us. I have told you often, and I repeat it today with tears, there are many who are behaving as the enemies of the cross of Christ. They are destined to be lost. They make foods into their god and they are proudest of something they ought to think shameful; the things they think important are earthly things. For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the Savior we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.

Responsory

Colossians 3:3-4; Romans 8:38-39

Your life is hidden now with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears, you too will appear with him in glory. Neither death nor life, nor anything in all creation, can come between us and Christ’s love for us.
When Christ your life appears, you too will appear with him in glory.

Second Reading

Ch 22:6-7, 14

From the Autobiography of Saint Teresa of Jesus

We should always be mindful of Christ’s love

Whoever lives in the presence of so good a friend and excellent a leader, who went ahead of us to be the first to suffer, can endure all things. The Lord helps us, strengthens us, and never fails; he is a true friend. And I see clearly, and I saw afterward, that God desires that if we are going to please him and receive his great favors, we must do so through the most sacred humanity of Christ, in whom he takes his delight. Many, many times have I perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we desire His Sovereign Majesty to show us great secrets.

Thus your Reverence and Lordship should desire no other path, even if you are at the summit of contemplation; on this road you walk safely. This Lord of ours is the one through whom all blessings come to us. He will teach us these things. In beholding his life we find that he is the best example. What more do we desire than to have such a good friend at our side, who will not abandon us in our labors and tribulations, as friends in the world do? Blessed is he who truly loves him and always keeps him at his side! Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it doesn’t seem that any other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, as coming from one who kept the Lord close to his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they hadn’t taken any other path: Saint Francis demonstrates this through the stigmata; Saint Anthony of Padua, with the Infant; Saint Bernard found his delight in the Humanity; Saint Catherine of Siena—and many others about whom your Reverence knows more than I.

We must walk along this path in freedom, placing ourselves in the hands of God. If His Majesty should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, we ought to accept gladly. As often as we think of Christ we should recall the love with which he bestowed on us so many favors, and what great love God showed in giving us a pledge like this of his love; for love begets love. Even if we are at the very beginning and are very wretched, let us strive to keep this divine love always before our eyes and to waken ourselves to love. If at some time the Lord should favor us by impressing this love on our hearts, all will become easy for us, and we shall carry out our tasks quickly and without much effort.

Responsory

Phil 1:21; 2 Cor 12:9

For me, to live is Christ,
to die is gain.
Gladly will I glory in my weakness, so that Christ’s strength may come to dwell in me.
To die is gain.

Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:

Ant. I have been zealous for the honor of my spouse, Jesus Christ; he said to me: Be zealous for my honor like a true bride.

Canticle I

Is 2:2-3

All the peoples will come to the house of the Lord

The mountain where God has chosen to dwell (Ps 67:17)

It shall come to pass in the latter days *
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains
and shall be raised above the hills, *
and all the nations shall flow to it.

And many people shall come, and say:
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, *
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways *
and that we may walk in his paths.’

For out of Sion shall go forth the law, *
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Canticle II

Is 61:10-62:3

The prophet rejoices in the new Jerusalem

I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, as beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband (Rev 21:2)

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord *
my soul shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, *
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, *
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its shoots, *
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise *
to spring forth before all the nations.

For Sion’s sake I will not keep silent, *
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest
until her vindication goes forth as brightness, *
and her salvation as a burning torch.

The nations shall see your vindication, *
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name *
which the mouth of the Lord will give.

You shall be a crown of beauty *
in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem *
in the hand of your God.

Canticle III

Is 62:4-7

The glory of the new Jerusalem

Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them (Rev 21:3)

No longer are you to be named ‘Forsaken,’ *
nor your land ‘Abandoned,’
but your shall be called ‘My Delight’ *
and your land ‘The Wedded;’
for the Lord takes delight in you *
and your land will have its wedding.

Like a young man marrying a virgin, *
so will the one who built you wed you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, *
so will your God rejoice in you.

On your walls, Jerusalem, *
I set watchmen.
Day or night *
they must never be silent.

You who keep the Lord mindful *
must take no rest.
Nor let him take rest
till he has restored Jerusalem, *
and made her the boast of the earth.

Ant. I have been zealous for the honor of my spouse, Jesus Christ; he said to me: Be zealous for my honor like a true bride.

Gospel

Jn 14:1-11a

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

There are many rooms in my Father’s house

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house;
if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have gone and prepared you a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am
you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus said:

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.
If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.” “Have I been with you all this time, Philip,” said Jesus to him, “and you still do not know me?

“To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, ‘Let us see the Father?’
Do you not believe
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:
it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”

Te Deum

You are God: we praise you; *
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father: *
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, *
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might, *
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. †
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. *
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you: *
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, *
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory, *
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free *
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death, *
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. *
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people, *
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints*
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
 Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
 We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
— Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
 for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
 And we shall never hope in vain.

Prayer

Father,
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.

 

T 11114180193_33ab266224_o (2)

 

Morning Prayer

HYMN

The day is dawning with delight,
When, spotless as the dove,
Theresa winged her spirit flight
Afar, to realms of love and light,
In heavenly courts above.

Her ear hath caught the mystic sound,
Oh, come, my sister, spouse!
From Carmel’s summit come, be crowned,
Bride of the Lamb, in bliss profound,
Come plight thy nuptial vows!

O Jesus! Spouse of Virgin choice,
Thy holy name we praise!
While heavenly choirs, too, rejoice,
Their bridal canticle to voice,
And hymn their endless lays.

86.88.6.
Felix dies, qua candidae

Psalmody

Ant. 1 For you my soul is thirsting, Lord; my body pines for you.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you *
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant.  For you my soul is thirsting, Lord; my body pines for you.

Ant. 2 All your creatures praise you, Lord; your saints shall bless your name.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for ever.

Ant.  All your creatures praise you, Lord; your saints shall bless your name.

Ant. 3 I have sung the praises of your mercies, Lord, in the assembly of the faithful.

Psalm 149

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant.  I have sung the praises of your mercies, Lord, in the assembly of the faithful.

Reading

2 Cor 4:5-7

It is not ourselves we preach but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts, that we in turn might make known the glory of God shining on the face of Christ. This treasure we possess in earthen vessels, to make it clear that its surpassing power comes from God and not from us. 

Responsory

My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.
I long to gaze upon you, Lord.
Show me your face.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. All who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old †
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. All who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.

Intercessions

The Lord of glory, Crown of all the Saints, gives us the joy of honoring our Mother, Saint Teresa.

Let us praise him, saying:
Glory to you, Lord!

Source of life and holiness, in your saints you show us the infinite marvels of your grace;in company with Saint Teresa may we sing of your mercies forever.

You want your love to blaze like fire throughout the world;
with Saint Teresa, make us zealous in spreading your charity.

You make friends of your saints, and reveal to them the mysteries of your heart;
bind us to yourself in friendship so close that we may taste the secrets of your love, proclaim your wonders, and draw others to you.

You pronounced blessed the pure of heart, and promised that they should see you;
purify our sight, so that we may see you in everyone and be faithful to you in all things.

You resist the proud and give wisdom to little ones;
make us humble of heart, so that we may receive your wisdom for the sake of the whole Church.

Our Father…

Prayer

Father,
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.

 

T 11114229236_aac8d0b4f2_o (2)

 

Daytime Prayer

The complementary psalms are used. In place of psalm 122, psalm 129 may be said, and in place of psalm 127, psalm 131 may be said. If this feast falls on Sunday, then psalms from Sunday, Week I are said.

 

Midmorning

Ant. When you pray go into your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is hidden.

Psalm 120

To the Lord in the hour of my distress *
I call and he answers me.
“O Lord, save my soul from lying lips, *
from the tongue of the deceitful.”

What shall he repay you in return, *
O treacherous tongue?
The warriors arrows sharpened *
and coals, red-hot, blazing.

(Alas, that I abide a stranger in Meshech, *
dwell among the tents of Kedar!)

Long enough have I been dwelling *
with those who hate peace.
I am for peace, but when I speak, *
they are for fighting.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains; *
from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord *
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble! *
Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers, *
Israel’s guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade; *
at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you *
nor the moon in the night.

The Lord will guard you from evil, *
he will guard you soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming *
both now and for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 129

“They have pressed me hard from my youth,” *
this is Israel’s song.
“They have pressed me hard from my youth *
but could never destroy me.

They plowed my back like plowmen, *
drawing long furrows.
But the Lord who is just, has destroyed *
the yoke of the wicked.”

Let them be shamed and routed, *
those who hate Zion!
Let them be like grass on the roof *
that withers before it flowers.

With that no reaper fill his arms, *
no binder makes his sheaves
and those passing by will not say:
“On you the Lord’s blessing!” *
“We bless you in the name of the Lord.”

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Reading

Rev 3:20

Here I stand, knocking at the door. If anyone hears me calling and opens the door, I will enter his house and have supper with him, and he with me.

I will pray to the God of my life.
I will say to him: You are my support.

 

Midday

Ant. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say: Rejoice! The Lord is near.

Psalm 123

To you have I lifted up my eyes, *
you who dwell in the heavens;
my eyes, like the eyes of slaves *
on the hand of their lords.

Like the eyes of a servant *
on the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes are on the Lord our God *
till he show us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. *
We are filled with contempt.
Indeed all too full is our soul
with the scorn of the rich, *
with the proud man’s disdain.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 124

“If the Lord had not been on our side,” *
this is Israel’s song.
“If the Lord had not been on our side *
when men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive *
when their anger was kindled.

Then would the waters have engulfed us, *
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept *
the raging waters.”

Blessed be the Lord who did not give us *
a prey to their teeth!
Our life, like a bird, has escaped *
from the snare of the fowler.

Indeed the snare has been broken *
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, *
who made heaven and earth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 125

Those who put their trust in the Lord
are like Mount Zion, that cannot be shaken, *
that stands for ever.

Jerusalem! The mountains surround her,
so the Lord surrounds his people *
both now and for ever.

For the scepter of the wicked shall not rest *
over the land of the just
for fear that the hands of the just *
should turn to evil.

Do good, Lord, to those who are good, *
to the upright of heart;
but the crooked and those who do evil, *
drive them away!

On Israel, peace!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Reading

1 Thess 5:16-18

Rejoice always, never cease praying, render constant thanks; such is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

You will show me the path of life.
The fullness of joy in your presence.

 

Midafternoon

Ant. Let us live in truth and love, and let all things aid our growth into Christ.

Psalm 126

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage, *
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
on our lips there were songs.

The heathens themselves said: “What marvels *
the Lord worked for them!”
What marvels the Lord worked for us! *
Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage *
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears *
will sing when they reap.

They go out, they go out, full of tears, *
carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song, *
carrying their sheaves.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house, *
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city, *
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising, *
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat, *
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord, *
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth *
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man *
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame *
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 128

O blessed are those who fear the Lord *
and walk in his ways!

By the labor of your hands you shall eat. *
You will be happy and prosper;
the wife like a fruitful vine *
in the heart of your house;
Your children like shoots of the olive, *
around your table.

Indeed thus shall be blessed *
the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion *
all the days of your life!
May you see your children’s children *
in a happy Jerusalem!

On Israel, peace!

Reading

3 John 3-4

It has given me great joy to have the brothers bear witness to how truly you walk in the path of truth. Nothing delights me more than to hear that my children are walking in this path.

Serve the Lord in truth.
All who follow the truth come to the light.

Prayer

Father,
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.

 

T 11114949676_99d7315155_o (2)

 

Evening Prayer

Hymn

Glory of Carmel, Mother Saint Teresa
Called to refashion Mary’s holy Order,
Yearning to suffer, even die for Jesus
From early childhood.

Carmel’s enclosure was the chosen desert
Where purest blossoms should be gathered for him—
Christ gave his right hand, sealing your espousals
With him forever.

God was your Teacher, to your mind imparting
Learning surpassing human intuition;
Bread full of sweetness, secret strength and virtue
You give the faithful.

Praise to the Godhead through the world resounding,
Majesty, honor, joy and jubilation,
Christ our Redeemer, through Teresa’s pleading
Grant us salvation!

11.11.11.5.
Text: Sr. Margarita, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 The Lord showed me the holy city: it was resplendent with the glory of God, and shone like a precious jewel.

Psalm 122

I rejoiced when I heard them say: *
“Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing *
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city *
strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes go up, *
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is, *
there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgment *
of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray; *
“Peace be to your homes!
May peace reign in your walls, *
in your palaces, peace!”

For love of my brethren and friends *
I say: “Peace upon you!”
For love of the house of the Lord *
I will ask for your good.

Ant. The Lord showed me the holy city: it was resplendent with the glory of God, and shone like a precious jewel.

Ant. 2 Behold, the dwelling of God is with men, and he will make his home among them.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house, *
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city, *
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising, *
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat: *
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord, *
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth *
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man *
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame *
w
hen he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Ant. Behold, the dwelling of God is with men, and he will make his home among them.

Ant. 3 I will make up in my body whatever is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for the sake of his body the Church. 

Canticle: Col 1:12-20

Let us give thanks to the Father *
for having made you worthy
to share the lot of the saints *
in light.

He rescued us *
from the power of darkness
and brought us *
into the kingdom of his beloved Son.
Through him we have redemption, *
the forgiveness of our sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, *
the first-born of all creatures.
In him everything in heaven and on earth was created, *
things visible and invisible.

All were created through him; *
all were created for him.
He is before all else that is. *
In him everything continues in being.

It is he who is head of the body, the church! *
he who is the beginning,
the first-born of the dead, *
so that primacy may be his in everything.

It pleased God to make absolute fullness reside in him *
and, by means of him, 
to reconcile everything in his person,
both on earth and in the heavens, *
making peace through the blood of his cross.

Ant. I will make up in my body whatever is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for the sake of his body the Church.

Reading

Jude 20-21

Beloved, grow strong in your holy faith through prayer in the Holy Spirit. Persevere in God’s love, and welcome the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ which leads to life eternal.

Responsory

You are the temple of the living God.
You are the temple of the living God.
And the Spirit of God dwells in you,
the temple of the living God.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
You are the temple of the living God.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Do not let your hearts be troubled. In my Father’s house, there are many mansions, and I am going to prepare a place for you.

Or: Holy Mother Teresa, look down from heaven and see; visit this vineyard of yours, and perfect what your right hand has planted.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Do not let your hearts be troubled. In my Father’s house, there are many mansions, and I am going to prepare a place for you.

Or: Holy Mother Teresa, look down from heaven and see; visit this vineyard of yours, and perfect what your right hand has planted.

Intercessions

Christ loved his Church and gave his life for her that she might be holy: let us pray to Christ that his Church may be holy and spotless in all her members:

Be with your Church, Lord Jesus.

You are the Head of the Church and the source of all her grace;
may all your people be joined to you in faith and love, and realize that they are the living and holy members of your Body.

You founded the Church on Peter and the apostles, and through them you teach us the truth and lead us in green pastures;
enlighten and guide those you have placed over your Church, and confirm our faith so that in them we may hear your voice leading us to life.

You choose some to announce the Good News by teaching, baptizing, calling to repentance, and offering in your memory the Eucharistic Sacrifice;
as the harvest is great, and the laborers few, send laborers into your harvest.

You choose some of your friends to follow you more closely in your poverty, your chastity and your obedience, for the building up of the Church;
with Mary as their Mother and teacher, may all religious cling to you and show forth your life within them as they serve the Church.

You made your people one body and one spirit in the unity of faith and baptism;
may all whom you have redeemed preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bonds of peace.

You died for our redemption and rose so that we could have life;
may all who have died in your love and await the revelation of your glory rejoice at the eternal banquet in the company of your saints.

Our Father…

Prayer

Father,
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.

 

 

Michiel Snyders 1613 British Museum AN00485686_001_l
St Teresa praying at a desk to left, looking at the Holy Spirit in top left, a book and ink-well on the table; unsigned; illustration to page 122 of Aubert le Mire’s “Sanctorum Principum … Imagines” (Antwerp: 1613) Engraving | British Museum (Creative Commons)

Quote of the day: 14 October

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.

Saint Teresa of Avila

The Interior Castle: VII:4

 

Stunted Growth Scott Jungling Flickr 35436886661_8b265fe5ac_o
Stunted Growth | Scott Jungling / Flickr

 

 

Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

St. Teresa Novena 2019 — Day 8

From her writings

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:4, No. 9

 

Reflection by Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm.

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, that God’s love for us may be expressed and nurtured in our love for Him.

 

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:

Father,
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.

St. Teresa Novena 2019 — Day 7

From her writings

I gave myself to Love Divine,
And lo! my lot so changèd is
That my Beloved One is mine
And I at last am surely His.

When that sweet Huntsman from above
First wounded me and left me prone,
Into the very arms of Love
My stricken soul forthwith was thrown.
Since then my life’s no more my own
And all my lot so changèd is
That my Beloved One is mine
And I at last am surely His.

The dart wherewith He wounded me
Was all embarbèd round with love,
And thus my spirit came to be
One with its Maker, God above.
No love but this I need to prove:
My life to God surrender’d is
And my Beloved One is mine
And I at last am surely His.

Poems III. I gave myself to Love Divine … (“Yo toda me entregué y dí. …”)
(translation by 
E. Allison Peers)

 

Reflection by Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm.

This beautiful poem is the result of Teresa’s reflection on Songs 2:16: “My Beloved belongs to me and I to him.” In her verse, she expresses a fundamental truth of the interior journey: God himself initiates and sustains the relationship, and invites us to surrender to Him in faith. Our efforts of self-renunciation, sacrifice, and humility about which Teresa constantly discusses in her writings are our personal response to this love. In renouncing ourselves, we allow the Lord to unite us to Himself.

Let us not tire of making our sacrifices of love, but instead take courage, sure in the knowledge that we are already loved.

 

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:

Father,
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: 12 October

A long-time after the Lord had already granted me many of the favors I’ve mentioned and other very lofty ones, while I was in prayer one day, I suddenly found that, without knowing how, I had seemingly been put in hell. I understood that the Lord wanted me to see the place the devils had prepared there for me and which I merited because of my sins…

What I felt, it seems to me, cannot even begin to be exaggerated; nor can it be understood. I experienced a fire in the soul that I don’t know how I could describe. The bodily pains were so unbearable that though I had suffered excruciating ones in this life and according to what doctors say, the worst that can be suffered on earth… these were all nothing in comparison with the ones I experienced there. I saw furthermore that they would go on without end and without ever ceasing.

This, however, was nothing next to the soul’s agonizing: a constriction, a suffocation, an affliction so keenly felt and with such a despairing and tormenting unhappiness that I don’t know how to word it strongly enough… I felt myself burning and crumbling, and I repeat the worst was that interior fire and despair.

Saint Teresa of Avila

The Book of Her Life: Chap. 32

 

Fire in a Sky Thomas Hawk Flickr 4564963763_39b579dfba_o
Thomas Hawk / Flickr

 

Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

St. Teresa Novena 2019 — Day 6

From her writings

A long-time after the Lord had already granted me many of the favors I’ve mentioned and other very lofty ones, while I was in prayer one day, I suddenly found that, without knowing how, I had seemingly been put in hell. I understood that the Lord wanted me to see the place the devils had prepared there for me and which I merited because of my sins. This experience took place within the shortest space of time, but even were I to live for many years I think it would be impossible for me to forget it. The entrance it seems to me was similar to a very long and narrow alleyway, like an oven, low and dark and confined; the floor seemed to me to consist of dirty, muddy water emitting a foul stench and swarming with putrid vermin. At the end of the alleyway, a hole that looked like a small cupboard was hollowed out in the wall; there I found I was placed in a cramped condition. All of this was delightful to see in comparison with what I felt there. What I have described can hardly be exaggerated.

What I felt, it seems to me, cannot even begin to be exaggerated; nor can it be understood. I experienced a fire in the soul that I don’t know how I could describe. The bodily pains were so unbearable that though I had suffered excruciating ones in this life and according to what doctors say, the worst that can be suffered on earth (for all my nerves were shrunken when I was paralyzed, plus many other sufferings of many kinds that I endured, and even some, as I said, caused by the devil), these were all nothing in comparison with the ones I experienced there. I saw furthermore that they would go on without end and without ever ceasing. This, however, was nothing next to the soul’s agonizing: a constriction, a suffocation, an affliction so keenly felt and with such a despairing and tormenting unhappiness that I don’t know how to word it strongly enough. To say the experience is as though the soul were continually being wrested from the body would be insufficient, for it would make you think somebody else is taking away the life, whereas here it is the soul itself that tears itself in pieces. The fact is that I don’t know how to give a sufficiently powerful description of that interior fire and that despair, coming in addition to such extreme torments and pains. I didn’t see who inflicted them on me, but, as it seemed to me, I felt myself burning and crumbling; and I repeat the worst was that interior fire and despair.

The Book of Her Life: Chapter 32, Nos. 1-2

 

Reflection by Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm.

Teresa experiences the vision described above within the context of God’s salvific action, both universal and personal, in order that she might understand the torments from which she was freed because of His mercy, and also motivate her to realize her personal vocation of reform.

The theme of hell appears often in her writings and underlines humanity’s gift of free will and its natural consequences. The redemption wrought by Christ is intended for all, and the Divine plan is that all should be saved, but this does not preclude one’s possibility to choose. Hell is the result of a lifetime of choices made of separating oneself from God through sin, resulting in the suffocating experience of being completely bound in the darkness of God’s absence, without freedom and without hope.

Not wanting to see others end like this, Teresa exercised her own free will, dedicating her life to participating in Christ’s own saving action via her life of prayer. May we, like Teresa, give thanks to God for the truths revealed to us about eternal life, for our redemption through Christ’s blood, and for the gift of free will that allows us to choose and love him freely. Let us also pray for all those who most need our prayers for conversion of heart today.

 

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:

Father,
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: 11 October

O Eternal Father! How much this humility deserves! What treasure do we have that could buy Your Son? The sale of Him, we already know, was for thirty pieces of silver. [Mt 26:15] But to buy Him, no price is sufficient. Since by sharing in our nature, He has become one with us here below—and as Lord of His own will—He reminds the Father that because He belongs to Him, the Father, in turn, can give Him to us. And so He says, “our bread.” He doesn’t make any difference between Himself and us, but we make one by not giving ourselves up each day for His Majesty.

Saint Teresa of Avila

The Way of Perfection: Chap. 33

 

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Photo by Yang Jing on Unsplash

 

Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

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