Carmelite saints & blesseds: October 2010 Archives

Saint Teresa of Jesus (Avila)

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I was a bit more conscious of today's feast being of the great Carmelite saint, founder and Doctor of the Church, Saint Teresa of of Jesus (Avila). She has a particular hold on me because of her honesty and her extraordinary attention to human experience. This is especially true when you heed what Teresa is saying about friendship and those distinctions between the human friendship that what is shared with the Lord. The Office of Readings provided for us by the Church --and herewith published with my emphasis-- reminded me of something that's been on my mind for some time: am I mindful of Jesus right now? The sacred Liturgy is most direct in reminding us that salvation is given to us today. We are not saved at some point in the future, but right now. Eternal life doesn't only begin when we give up the ghost, but we live in the Eschaton at this moment of existence. Don't be fooled: Christ uses our human experience to manifest the promise of our divine destiny. So I ask you, Are you mindful of Christ right now? If not, why? What is distracting you? If so, in what ways are you paying mind to Him?

St Teresa of Avila Vatican statue.jpg
Pay attention to what Saint Teresa is saying:

If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.

Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.

What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they took no other path: Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God's hands. If God should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, we ought to accept this gladly.

Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favors, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

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See that you do not despise one of these little ones...


St Therese the Little Flower.jpgGod of tenderness and mercy,

Choosing weak, confounding strong,

Telling all of heaven's secrets

To the child that for you longs;

We give thanks for boundless kindness

Shown to this, your little one,

Who, in midst of earthly darkness,

Sought the radiance of your Son.


For Thrérèse, your little flower,

We lift up our song today--

In her life and in her teachings

We are led the "little way,"

From self-seeking to self-knowledge,

That we all might serve in love.

Give us strength to thus surrender;

Shower graces from above.


From her hidden life in Carmel,

You have raised her as a light

In your Church for all your people,

Drawing us from sinful blight

Into fellowship with Jesus,

Image of the Father's face:

Grant us mission spirit fervent,

Preaching you to ev'ry race.


Teach us by her great example

How to treasure sacrifice;

Show us that small acts of loving

Are true gifts, beyond all price.

As she did, so let us utter,

"Jesus, help me love you more!"

In our lack of might and power,

Let us praise you and adore.


God of mercy, love, and blessing,

Father, Son, and Spirit great,

To your name we give the glory

As your coming we await.

Working here to spread your Kingdom,

Lead us in your little way

Till Thèrése and all your faithful

Sing your name in endless day!


J. Michael Thompson copyright 2010


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 2010.

Carmelite saints & blesseds: August 2010 is the previous archive.

Carmelite saints & blesseds: November 2010 is the next archive.

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