Wednesday, October 15, 2014Teresa of Avila
Nun, Doctor of the Church
b. March 28, 1515
d. October 4, 1582
Teresa dedicated her life to prayer, missionary work, the establishment of convents, and writing. Two of Teresa's most important works were The Way of Perfection and Interior Castle.
In her writing, she could be quite honest and straight-forward, which is why clergy everywhere quote her. She manages to get to the heart of the matter.
For example, in 2005, Father Stafford, quoted Teresa in a sermon as follows: 'To say that we abandon our will to another’s will seems very easy until through experience we realize that this is the hardest thing one can do if one does it as it should be done." Way back in 2003, in his sermon Why Pray for the Dead?, Fr Mead (now Rector Emeritus) reminds us of her directness: "I want to see God and, in order to see him, I must die."
Perhaps Teresa is so quotable because she was grounded both in theology and in humility. According to Lesser Feasts and Fasts of the Episcopal Church (2000), Teresa was a fan of Saint Augustine as well as Saint Mary Magdelene.
O God, who by the Holy Spirit didst move Teresa of Avila to manifest to thy Church the way of perfection: Grant us, we beseech thee, to be nourished by her excellent teaching, and enkindle within us a lively and unquenchable longing for true holiness; through Jesus Christ, the joy of loving hearts, who with thee and the same Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.