Today is the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582). She was a Doctor of the Church, also a mystic and writer – and truly a practical, down-to-earth woman who saw into the heart of God, and truly made a difference in her world. Teresa reformed the Carmelite Order during the very difficult pass in the Catholic Church of the Spanish Inquisition.
Through it all, she kept her marvelous sense of humor. Once, after being thrown from a carriage into the mud, she said to God, “If this is how you treat your friends, it’s no wonder you have so few of them.” She was serious about her spiritual practices and being observant to, what we would call, strict religious practices. Nonetheless, she enjoyed life to the fullest, and encouraged her sisters to do the same. One wonderful story tells how Teresa danced on the table during recreation!
Perhaps it was the beauty of the Spanish countryside that gave her such a sense of passion and the joy of God.
Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing; God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
The one who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.
Did she learn this from the poppies?