'God alone suffices'
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (October 15, 2018): GAL 4:22-24, 26-27, 31— 5:1; PS 113:1-2, 3-4,5, 6-7; LK 11:29-32
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
St. Teresa of Avila is known as the great Carmelite reformer.
Born in 1515, she entered the local convent and was content for a number of years with the relaxed rule of the community that allowed contact with the outside world and lenient discipline. Finally, she became aware that God was calling her to a new way of life. Her prayer life became not only fervent but also mystical. She wrote about spirituality in a number of books now seen as religious masterpieces, including The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle. One of her best-known prayers reveals the depth and simplicity of her work and outlook: “Let nothing disturb you, Nothing affright you. All things are passing, God never changes. Patience obtains all: Whoever has God Lacks nothing else. God alone suffices.”
St. Teresa suffered from the persecution of various religious leaders and a number of her fellow religious as she returned convents to deeper simplicity and self-denial. She also endured a great deal of physical pain, especially headaches. But she continued her efforts to build up her order and to encourage the spiritual renewal of all she met. Her love of God always remained first in her life. “From the rising of the sun to its setting let the name of the Lord be praised. High above all nations is the Lord; above the heavens is His glory” (Psalm 113:3-4). She died at age 67 and was canonized forty years later in 1622.
Suggested missionary action: We can ask St. Teresa of Avila to invigorate our life of prayer and active service to our Lord and His people. We can also read some of her writings and use them to grow spiritually.