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WHO IS ST. TERESA OF JESUS? ^ | not avaialable |

Posted on 10/14/2008 10:33:01 PM PDT by Salvation


Mystic - Teacher of Prayer - Doctor of the Church

St. Teresa of Jesus, also known as St. Teresa of Avila, lived in Spain during the 16th Century. Her life as a Carmelite, though far removed from the mainstream of modern culture, still speaks powerfully to us today, as we enter the third millennium. 


            Teresa entered the Carmelite Monastery in 1535, at the age of 20. After years of struggling with her prayer life, Teresa felt that she was still living in shadow rather than in God's light. Repeatedly, she asked God to help her, seemingly to no avail. It was not until 1554 that she experienced the conversion that would mark the rest of her life. Coming upon a statue of the wounded Christ, Teresa was suddenly and intensely moved by what Christ had suffered for her and she was overwhelmed by her own lack of gratitude for His sufferings. In tears, she begged the Lord to strengthen her, that she might not sin any more; she resolved not to leave until this prayer was granted. From then on, Teresa felt that she began to improve.

          Although Teresa's conversion did not transform her instantly, it did set her on a whole new pathway that led her to an intimate experience of God, a God she came to perceive as a beloved Friend. In visions and locutions, God poured out His love on His daughter, who had become a willing and open receptacle. Neither her heart nor her actions could stand against this grace, as she surrendered totally to her Lord and King.

          The special gifts she received were often misunderstood, inciting jealousy and suspicion, and Teresa suffered much because of accusations directed at her. At times  she would try to suppress the ecstasies that accompanied God's intimate presence, even wondering herself if they had come from God. But God would not be thwarted, not even by His Teresa; He continued to lead her into the innermost dwellings of her heart, where she would behold the awesome beauty of her King.

           With God so close to her, not only was Teresa able to change her own ways, but she also came to realize that God wanted her to begin reforming the Carmelites. Convinced that God was with her, she set about reforming the Carmelite order, founding new houses, with a renewed spirit of detachment, charity, and obedience.

           Fortunately, Teresa's superiors ordered her to document the remarkable events of her life and her original works exist today: The Book of Her Life, The Way of Perfection, The Interior Castle, and The Way of Perfection are her main works. It is through these profoundly human yet mystical writings that we may experience the spirit of Teresa, and enter into her remarkable path to God.

           Teresa died in 1582, at the age of 67. In 1622 she was canonized, and in 1970, Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church, the first woman ever to be so recognized.

Still Mentoring

Those of us who have been around many years can look back and probably can name at least one mentor. How many can you name? Take some time to thank God for them.

Some people are larger than life and they keep mentoring throughout history. One of them is Teresa of Avila, whose feast the church celebrates today. Our Founder, St Henry de Osso, used to say that he wanted us to be “other Teresa of Jesus”. Today, in 2006, as it has been throughout four centuries, I propose that we look at her again as a woman of our age still mentoring us. We all, lay or consecrated, can look at her and learn what it is to live in Christ and to be united to Him in charity. We can learn how to come to know him and love Him and how to make him known and loved.

What kind of woman was Teresa?           

A relational woman

Teresa’s whole life was one of relationships. She knew first hand what good and bad relations can do to people, and she longed and worked earnestly for the Best Friendship – which she found in Jesus.

“In this house all must be friends…”

“Prayer is an encounter (a friendly conversation) with the one you know loves you.”

A woman on a journey, in action and in prayer

Depicted often with a walking stick or traveling in a covered wagon, she was always on a journey. Teresa spent much of her life traveling for her foundations, and even more on her interior journey.

“Let us both walk together, Lord. “Do whatever moves you to love more.”

Determined to be determined
She was highly motivated to put whatever was in her power to reach her goal if she knew it was God’s will. Her physical and spiritual journeys were often arduous but her will to accomplish the task never waver. She encouraged all who wish to undertake prayer to begin in a spirit of determination, and persist no matter the obstacles—just as she did.
“From here on, Lord, I want to forget myself and look only at how I can serve you and have no other desire but to do your will. But my desire is not powerful, my God; You are the powerful One. What I can do is to be determined; thus from this very moment I am determined to serve through deeds.”

Breaking stereotypes
Unheard of! How could she dare? Teresa’s age did not think much of women. But she believed in the power of God working in her and through her, and dared to go on, in spite of all kinds of barriers.
“We must be firmly convinced from the start that, if we fight courageously and do not allow ourselves to be beaten, we shall get what we want.”

Joyful and sincere

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; saints
For your information and discussion
1 posted on 10/14/2008 10:33:03 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: All

Sr. Hortensia Coloma, STJ





Teresa de Ahumada born at Ávila, in Spain.

1536 Enters Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation (under the Mitigated Rule), Ávila, as a novice. Regards the next 20 years as a period of semi-conversion.


Final 'conversion'. First contact with the Society of Jesus.


Founded the first convent of the reform, St Joseph's in Avila, under the Primitive Rule of St Albert. Lives there until 1567. Drew up her own Constitutions.


Greater part of the Life written in its final version. The Way of Perfection begun.


Authorization by the Carmelite General for the foundation of further convents of the Reform. Primitive Rule and Constitutions approved.


Teresa assisted in the foundation of the first Discalced Carmelite Friary in Duruelo with St John of the Cross and Fr Antonio of Jesus.


Founded Discalced Carmelite convents throughout Spain.


Began to write the Foundations.


The Interior Castle written.

October 4, 1582

Dies in Alba de Tormes.

April 24, 1614  

Beatified by Pope Paul V

March 12, 1622

Canonized by Pope Gregory XV

July 18, 1970 

Declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI

2 posted on 10/14/2008 10:33:44 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

This is wonderful. I am reading Vol. 1 of her Life. So interesting. She was a mighty prayer warrior.

3 posted on 10/14/2008 10:42:43 PM PDT by redhead (Alaska: Step out of the bus, and into the food chain.)
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To: Salvation


4 posted on 10/14/2008 10:44:19 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: redhead

One of the things about her that I love is her name for the Lord. She referred to Him frequently as “His Majesty.”

5 posted on 10/14/2008 10:45:34 PM PDT by redhead (Alaska: Step out of the bus, and into the food chain.)
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To: redhead

I just saw some of her books posted on the internet. Wow!

I have read just a little summary book — talked a lot about her witty remarks and sense of humor.

6 posted on 10/14/2008 10:46:44 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway

So good to see you around.

7 posted on 10/14/2008 10:47:13 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Faith sharing bump for Santa Teresa de Avila.

8 posted on 10/14/2008 11:02:04 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Salvation
“We must be firmly convinced from the start that, if we fight courageously and do not allow ourselves to be beaten, we shall get what we want.”

God's will be done :-).

9 posted on 10/14/2008 11:20:34 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: Salvation

St. Teresa is a great role model for the difficult times we lived in because she lived in difficult times also.

10 posted on 10/15/2008 8:36:57 AM PDT by Biggirl (Throw The Bums OUT!=^..^==^..^==^..^=)
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To: All
St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
11 posted on 10/15/2008 12:35:06 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Biggirl
You will like the prayer in this post!

St. Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Saint Theresa of Jesus
Saint Teresa of Avila
Virgin and Doctor of the Church
October 15th

Biography | Readings



Saint Teresa of Avila (Saint Theresa of Jesus)
Born in Avila, Spain March 28, 1515; died in Alba de Tormes, October 4 [15], 1582
Foundress of the Discalced Carmelites, 1560-62.
Canonized by Gregory XV, 1622; declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970.

One of the most charismatic of the Church's counter-reformation saints, Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada was born the daughter of a saintly and literate father, Don Alonso, and a pious mother. At fifteen, after her mother's death and the marriage of her oldest sister, Teresa was sent to be educated with Augustinian nuns, but after an illness she returned to live with her father and other relatives. An uncle acquainted her with the Letters of Saint Jerome, which led her to pursue religious life. At the age of 20 Teresa joined the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation at Avila.

During the sixteenth century the early austerity and religious enthusiasm that had characterized religious orders when they were founded, had been lost, and "worldliness" of all kinds, and even moral corruption was widespread. (The Protestant Reformation began in 1519 in Germany, at first as a reaction to the pervasive corruption and lack of governance by Church authorities.)

Teresa's convent at Avila was no exception. Although she had been devout at first, she lost this fervor and embraced the lax life of her convent. After the death of her father, and several serious illnesses, however, she was led to reform herself through intense prayer, and began to have religious experiences which she, and the priests she consulted, thought were delusions.

Two Jesuit confessors, however, believed Teresa's experiences were genuine graces, and advised her to lay a firm spiritual foundation through private prayer and the profound practice of virtue. During this time, she had even more intense and extraordinary experiences of "heavenly communications" -- including "mystical marriage", or the "espousal" of her soul to the person of Christ -- and even bodily manifestations of her spiritual elevation.

Her confessors ordered her to write her experiences of the spiritual necessity for prayer, the practice of contemplative prayer, and its fruits. She wrote the Way of Perfection and Foundations for her nuns, and The Interior Castle, as a guide for all. It was principally for these writings that she was declared a Doctor of the Church four centuries later. Her writings are intensely personal spiritual autobiographies, based on her own experiences and insights, and are remarkably clearly written. They remain spiritual classics -- along with Saint Augustine's Confessions.

Inspired by a niece, who was also a Carmelite at Avila, she decided to undertake the establishment of a reformed convent that would be restored to the austerity and devotion of earlier times. This effort met strong opposition from several quarters. In 1562, Teresa received approval for a new foundation, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Primitive Rule of Saint Joseph, at Avila, which she began with with her niece and three other nuns. Several years later, while she was establishing a new convent in Toledo, she met John Yepes (later John of the Cross), and soon after made new foundations for men that were eventually placed under his care. Difficulties and opposition to the newly established reformed Discalced Carmelite foundations persisted. ("Discalced", literally "shoeless", refers to the austerity of the new foundations. The nuns and friars wore sandals instead of shoes).

Finally, in 1580, the separation of the Discalced Carmelites from the other Carmelites was recognized by the Holy See -- when Teresa was sixty-five years old, and in poor health. Teresa made seventeen foundations of the Discalced Carmelites, her last at Burgos in July, 1582. Instead of returning to Avila from Burgos, she set out for Alba de Tormes. It was a difficult trip and she was ill. Three days after reaching Alba, she died -- on October 4, 1582, and was buried there. The next day the Gregorian reform of the calendar was effected, which resulted in dropping ten days. Thus her feast is fixed on October 15.

 St. Theresa’s most popularly known writing is a brief poem is known as her “Bookmark”, because it was found in her prayer book after her death in 1582. It has been variously translated into English, and has been very widely circulated.

Original Spanish:

Nada te turbe,
nada te espante;
todo se pasa,
Dios no se muda.
La pacientia todo lo alcanza.
Quien a Dios tiene nada la falta:
solo Dios basta.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.


Lord, by your Spirit you raised up Saint Teresa of Jesus to show your Church the way to perfection. May her inspired teaching awaken in us a longing for true holiness.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading: Romans 8:22-27
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Gospel Reading: John 15:1-8
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.

St. Teresa's Bread
Pan De Santa Teresa

This dish, which makes a tasty breakfast or branch, is a first cousin to French toast, but with a flavor and texture all its own.


2 cups milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 good piece of lemon peel
12 slices Italian/French bread (a little stale) 1/2-3/4 inch thick
3 eggs
Pinch of salt
Cinnamon-sugar for sprinkling on the toast
Olive oil for frying

Combine the milk with the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon peel. Simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes, until the milk has become well flavored. Place the bread in a large flat dish or pan, and strain the milk over it.

Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl with a pinch of salt. With a spatula, lay the slices of bread in the egg, turning them to coat both sides. Beat additional eggs and salt together if necessary to finish coating bread slices. Fry the bread in the olive oil until it is browned and crusty on both sides.

Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

Yield: 4-6 servings

from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz, originally published by Harper & Row in 1995, now available in paperback from Ignatius Press.

12 posted on 10/15/2008 12:43:20 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Thank-you. The Carmel 3rd order I belong to is begining a special reading of a study guide book on the “Interior Castle”. I have the honor of doing the section on the first castle. Will be giving the answers to the questions to that study guide book. :)=^..^=

13 posted on 10/15/2008 2:05:48 PM PDT by Biggirl (Throw The Bums OUT!=^..^==^..^==^..^=)
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To: Biggirl

Oh, my! What an undertaking. Prayers are with you.

14 posted on 10/15/2008 2:16:51 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Thank-you! :) =^..^=

15 posted on 10/15/2008 2:17:48 PM PDT by Biggirl (Throw The Bums OUT!=^..^==^..^==^..^=)
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To: Salvation

I started one of her books this week.

16 posted on 10/15/2008 5:44:33 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
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To: Salvation


17 posted on 10/15/2008 5:50:56 PM PDT by novemberslady
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