Carmelite saints & blesseds: October 2008 Archives

Oh Beauty exceeding

St Teresa of Avila St Peter's.jpgAll other beauties!
Paining, but You wound not
Free of pain You destroy
The love of creatures.

Oh, knot that binds
Two so different,
Why do You become unbound
For when held fast You strengthen
Making injuries seem good.

Bind the one without being
With being unending;
Finish, without finishing,
Love, without having to love,
Magnify our nothingness.








St Teresa of Avila.jpgThe Interior Castle is the principal source of mature Teresian thought on the spiritual life in its integrity. Chief emphasis is laid on the life of prayer, but other elements (the apostolate, for example) are also treated. The interior castle is the soul, in the center of which dwells the Trinity. Growth in prayer enables the individual to enter into deeper intimacy with God--signified by a progressive journey through the apartments (or mansions) of the castle from the outermost to the luminous center. When a man has attained union with God in the degree permitted to him in this world, he is "at the center" of himself; in other words, he has integrity as a child of God and as a human being. Each of the apartments of the castle is distinguished by a different stage in the evolution of prayer, with its consequent effects upon every other phase of the life of the individual. (from an essay by a Carmelite nun, Austria)


Graciously hear us, O God, our Savior, that as we rejoice in the festival of blessed Teresa, Thy Virgin, so may we be fed by her heavenly teaching and be strengthened in the love of true piety.

From the First Steps on the Little Way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a publication of the

St Therese.jpgCatholic Information Service:


God has raised up St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church, to enable us to grasp and live the profound truth of divine Love with the same intensity as she lived it. Or to put it another way, the Church has proclaimed St. Thérèse a Doctor of the Church in order to help God's people love the love that is mercy.


Therese was so convinced about how much we need to love the love that is mercy - instead of some twisted, inept infatuation with justice - that she made it the theme of a little Christmas play she wrote and performed for the community in 1894.


In the play, the Angel of Judgment approaches the infant Jesus in the manger and says this:


Have you forgotten, Jesus, O Beauty supreme, that the sinner must at last be punished? I will chastise the crime in judgment; I want to exterminate all the ungrateful. My sword is ready! Jesus, sweet victim! My sword is ready!! I am set to avenge you!!! (Theatre au Carmel, Paris: Cerf DDB, 1985, p. 108, author's translation)


And the baby Jesus replies:


O beautiful angel! Put down your sword. It is not for you to judge the nature that I raise up and that I wish to redeem. The one who will judge the world is myself, the one named Jesus! The life-giving dew of my Blood will purify all my chosen ones. Don't you know that faithful souls always give me consolation in the face of the blasphemies of the unfaithful by a simple look of love? (ibid.)


This little dramatic scene proved to be prophetic. In it we see prefigured the very model for Thérèse to be proclaimed a Doctor of the Church. We hear a little child... speaking with the authoritative voice of God...correcting a destructive concept of divine justice...offering a new way to grasp God's love...and transforming the world through a graced teaching on God's mercy.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Carmelite saints & blesseds category from October 2008.

Carmelite saints & blesseds: December 2008 is the next archive.

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