Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of AvilaI’ve been spying on what the Discalced Carmelites are doing to honor a great figure as Saint Teresa of Jesus (Avila) for the Fifth Centenary of her birth. Last evening I read a brief piece on Pope John Paul’s “Carmelite leanings” with his intense emphasis on love. The writer of the essay argued John Paul was captivated by the work and witness of Teresa and John of the Cross. In recent years I have been interested in the Carmelite approach to the spiritual life primarily because I’ve seen others radically changed by it. I have to admit, though, my soul is not Carmelite at the level of radical substance yet I am draw to what Teresa and John had to say.

The Discalced Carmelites report that in Asia interest in Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross is increasing.  A recent title at a conference reveals interest in Asia, “A dialogue between the spiritualities of Ignatius of Loyola and of John of the Cross.”

So, it is reported that hundreds of registrants in Asia are participating in courses designed to introduce inquirers of Carmelite spirituality through the eyes of two great Carmelite saints; there’s been collaboration even with the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan have sponsored similar Teresian courses. More work is scheduled for Israel later in 2014.