12 Ten Lessons from St Teresa of Avila - Fr Ed Broom, OMV

posted Oct 10, 2018, 11:01 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 10, 2018, 11:02 AM ]
There are two weeks apart every year in the Church Liturgical Calendar that separate two marvellous, inspiring and most lovable saints, who truly love us and want us to love them: St Thérèse of Lisieux and St Teresa of Avila.

Saint Therese Lisieux we celebrate October 1; Saint Teresa of Avila we celebrate October 15. What do they have in common? Both are women; both are in the class of the few women Doctors of the Church; both were great contemplatives; both were Carmelite nuns, but most important; both were, and are, and will be, for all eternity, great lovers of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

In this short essay, we would like to pay tribute to Saint Teresa of Avila, and highlight ten of her great contributions to the Catholic Church and to us as a model of holiness, that we are all called to attain. Remember the words of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the context of the Sermon of the Mount: "Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy."(Mt. 5:48) Being holy, arriving at sanctity of life is not conditional, wishful thinking nor something that only a select group is called to, but all. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta challenges us with these stirring words: "Holiness is not the privilege of the few, but the duty of all." Now let us lift our gaze to Saint Teresa of Avila who will point us to Jesus, our Lord, God, Saviour and Faithful Friend.

1. Prayer. One of the key hallmarks of the spiritual heights of Saint Teresa of Avila is the importance of prayer. Even though she struggled for many years, she teaches us this basic but indispensable spiritual truth—Perseverance in prayer! Meditate upon her immortal words of wisdom and memorise: "We must have a determined determination to never give up prayer." Jesus taught us this supremely important truth in the Parable of the insistent widow and the judge. This widow, due to her dogged and tenacious insistence finally gained the assistance of this cold-hearted judge (Lk 18:1-8). St Teresa insists that we must never give up in prayer. If you like an analogy: what air is to the lungs, so is prayer to the soul. Healthy lungs need constant and pure air; a healthy soul must be constantly breathing through prayer—the oxygen of the soul!