I am thinking about the words of St. Teresa of Avila while I write this today. Her feast day is celebrated in the Catholic Church on October 15.
“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”
― Teresa of Ávila
Reflecting on these words of St. Teresa of Avila and then looking at the known facts of her life, I am inspired. St. Teresa was named as a Doctor of the Church in 1970. She is one of only four female saints to be given this important designation; to date, there are thirty-six Doctors of the Church in all.
What inspires me most about St. Teresa is that she continued to go deeper in her prayer life AND her life of faith in action in spite of many significant obstacles. In a time where many focused on prayer and piety alone for the sake of piety, Teresa spoke up and insisted that love of Christ leads us to prayer AND action. That is why another St. Teresa of Avila quote inspires many:
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
My prayer for anyone reading this today is that you may find comfort and peace in these words of Teresa of Avila. But don’t stop there! Use the example of St. Teresa to go deeper in your conversations with Jesus in prayer. Ask for guidance and direction. But be forewarned! Like St. Teresa, be prepared for whatever surprises God still has in store for you!