Saints of WYD 2011: St. Teresa of Avila

Kathryn Diener

 

“Let nothing trouble you, let nothing make you afraid.  All things pass away.  God never changes.  Patience obtains everything.  God alone is enough.”

“Lord, save me from gloomy saints.”

I really love Teresa of Avila.  She is one of my all time favorites, not only because her life and writings are so inspiring, but also because I almost feel like I am talking to one of my favorite friends.  She’s wise, witty, and everything she writes about seems so relatable, even though its been some 400+ years since her death.  And oh, did I mention that Teresa was also one spunky, vivacious, beautiful, charming, and popular girl?  Not words one usually associates when one thinks of a nun who is a Saint!  And actually, the whole reason she entered the convent was because her Dad wanted to “straighten” her out.  I kid you not.  I guess all of Teresa’s flirting and dalliances with young men in her town had given her Dad cause for alarm.  Teresa was a girl who liked to be liked.  And given her good looks and great personality she got a whole lot of positive response and enjoyed it.  But, her Dad’s “punishment” kind of backfired on all involved.  Teresa enjoyed her time at the Convent and experienced something deeper and more fulfilling than in her world of parties and socials.  Unknowingly, she had gone straight to the source of Love, and found the ultimate lover of her soul in Christ.  She ended up making her vows to Christ as a Carmelite nun, eventually becoming the Mother Superior and reforming the whole order.  Far from being perfect, Teresa struggled with many sins and the always present desire to woo people with her charm.  She learned humility, the power of prayer, perseverance, and a heck of a lot of wisdom along the way.  If you get the chance check out her book “The Interior Castle” where she divulges some Saintly wisdom and shares the beauty and richness of her love for Christ.

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