Monday, October 15, 2012

Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church

Happy Feast of St. Teresa of Avila!

She is truly one of my all-time favorites-- a woman of drive and passion, with a real love for the world, but who found herself, mid-life, always wanting. God alone supplied that want, she received him, and the Church will never be the same because of what he did in her.

A few years ago (okay, 5 years ago), I wrote a series of synopses of her Interior Mansions. Today's a good day to link to them, re-read some of her sayings, and rest in the certainty that our God is the center, beginning, and end of all.

And this bit from her autobiography is hilarious. I can hear the tongue-in-cheek restraint of the last line. It sounds exactly like something my choleric child would do...

"One of my brothers was nearly of my own age; and he it was whom I most loved, though I was very fond of them all, and they of me. He and I used to read Lives of Saints together. When I read of martyrdom undergone by the Saints for the love of God, it struck me that the vision of God was very cheaply purchased; and I had a great desire to die a martyr's death, — not out of any love of Him of which I was conscious, but that I might most quickly attain to the fruition of those great joys of which I read that they were reserved in Heaven; and I used to discuss with my brother how we could become martyrs. We settled to go together to the country of the Moors, begging our way for the love of God, that we might be there beheaded; and our Lord, I believe, had given us courage enough, even at so tender an age, if we could have found the means to proceed; but our greatest difficulty seemed to be our father and mother." ~Life, Ch. I

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