Saint Teresa of Avila, Pray for Us!Oct 15, 2022
I remember the first day I met her while sitting in the church office waiting to see my new Spiritual Director. She gently looked at me with a knowing grin and I knew we'd be friends forever! She wasn't actually, physically present it was THIS painting on a holy card that happened to be stuck in a "random" book that I "happened" to pick up as I waited for Father. When I got home I ordered my first book about her and we became fast friends!
THE ROAD IS SIMPLE BUT ARDUOUS
I talk about her like she is physically here... and that might seem strange... but as a Catholic homeschool mom it really isn't. As I entered our 5th year of Homeschooling, I was at my wit's end. I couldn't fathom juggling another year of school, church ministry and a budding wellness practice amongst all of the other things tugging at my attention. Then she spoke straight to my heart, "the road is simple but its arduous."
I sat there thinking - well that's easy for you to say you lived in a time when things were much simpler! Perhaps some things were simpler, but were they really? The human condition hasn't really changed has it? We're still looking for the next best thing, wishing things were different, and missing the blessings right in front of us!
Saint Teresa has taught me so much over the years and I must say that it has been in the past 5 years that she has NOT left me alone - ever! At what I think are "random" times she shows up, a quote, a book, or a tidbit from her life floats across my radar - it's like a little tap on the shoulder, a quick text from a dear friend, a knowing look - all things to remind me that I am seen and heard by the Almighty as she continues to intercede for me as I do the work which God has called me to do in my family, my community and the world.
Many times I find myself imagining that she and I would have been great friends - we have a lot in common: we live(d) an active lifestyle, we say what we mean - sometimes without a filter, struggle with sitting still, consistently striving for integration, and we both love God and yet sometimes find it hard to pray well. I have a LONG way to go to be a Saint but her example and her friendship are reassuring consolations.
GOD'S CALL THROUGH HER
One summer night this year while reading Thomas Dubay's The Fire Within, I had another intimate moment with my friend. in the beginning of Dubay's work he describes how St. Teresa's life work was conversion, reform and contemplation - but she didn't BEGIN her most important work for God until the age of 52!! WOW!! I am 52 AND This is the year that the Lord has called me COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone and into the work which is most important to Him! She pointed me right to the work HE desires me to do - and then reminded me it's not TOO LATE!
In honor of my friend and her feast day the Integrated Catholic Woman Community website launches - it is in her honor that the work which God has led me to do will now be shared with more women and my prayer is that all of us will grow in holiness through our efforts to live the integrated life! The Integrated Life IS our life's work!
Saint Teresa of Avila, Pray for Us!
Do you have a Saint-Friend like mine? I hope so! If you don't, ask your Guardian Angel to help you find one.
GET TO KNOW MY FRIEND
If you'd like to read more about St. Teresa, my favorite book about her life was written by Marcelle Auclair and of course The Way of Perfection is a must read for anyone with the desire to deepen their prayer life and grown in more love for God. (This is an audio book version.)
For the young girls in your life this book published by the Pauline Sisters is really a great read too!
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