Saturday, October 15, 2011

St. Teresa of Jesus

St. Teresa of Jesus was born in Avila, Spain in the 1500s. She had tried to run off and be a martyr, but by the time she became a teen, all of that enthusiasm for the faith was gone.

She had a passion for fancy clothes and jewelry and was known for being an excellent dancer. One of her favorite hobbies was reading romance novels and she made sure she constantly had a new one.

God moved in Teresa’s life in a very unique way. She decided that she wasn’t content with the life she was living. She knew her happiness was elsewhere and chose to commit her life at a Carmelite convent and make her vows. She disciplined herself to spend time in quiet prayer developing a relationship with the lover of her soul.
A life of poverty and prayer is what was in order and she remained faithful. Teresa reformed the Carmelite Order in these areas even though a war of insults and hatred was around her.

St. Teresa of Avila was a mystic as well. That means she was blessed with visions of Jesus and experienced things like her heart being pierced for love of God. She is also a Doctor of the Church because of her profound writings on prayer, meditation, and contemplation.

Saint Teresa wouldn’t allow herself to be content with where she was in her spiritual life. She was full of life and enthusiasm, and while this drew people to her she had to come to the understanding that God had to be first and foremost in her life. When she put Him where He belonged, then God used her to do amazing things. Her Carmelite Order today is still benefitting from what this saint did.

When God is first it doesn’t matter what other people think – because you know you’re doing what He wants.
Saint Teresa of Jesus wrote,

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours; yours are the only hands with which He can do His work. Yours are the only feet with which He can go about the world; yours are the only eyes through which His compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world. Christ has no body on earth but yours.”