Daily reflections for prayer, growth in the spiritual life, and good prayer sources. This blog also has links to other websites. One feature is a list of spiritual books.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Wednesday of Holy Week
How am I staying with Jesus?
I continue with the Pope's Letter to the Carmelites as it has helped me to pray over it.
2. Since her encounter with Jesus, St Teresa lived "another life"; she become a tireless communicator of the Gospel (cf. Life, 23, 1). Eager to serve the Church, and in the face of serious problems of her time, she did not limit herself to being a spectator of the reality around her. In her position as a woman and with her health difficulties, she decided, she said, "to do what little depended on me ... that is to follow the evangelical counsels as perfectly as possible and to ensure that these few nuns who are here do the same" (The Way, 1, 2). Thus began the Teresian reform, in which she asked her sisters not to lose time negotiating with God "interests of little importance," while "the world is in flames" (ibid., 1, 5). This missionary and ecclesial dimension has always marked the Carmelites and Discalced Carmelites.
As she did then, even today the saint opens new horizons for us, she calls us to a great undertaking, to see the world with the eyes of Christ, to seek what He seeks and to love what He loves.
3. St Teresa knew that neither prayer nor mission can be sustained without authentic community life. Therefore, the foundation that she laid in her monasteries was fraternity: "Here everyone must love one another, care for each other and help one another" (ibid., 4, 7). And she was very careful to warn her sisters about the danger of individualism in fraternal life, which consists "all or almost all in the denial of ourselves and of our own comforts" (ibid., 12, 2) and to place ourselves at the service of others. To avoid this risk, the saint of Avila recommended to her sisters, first of all, the virtue of humility, which is neither outward neglect nor inner shyness of the soul, but each knowing their own abilities and what God can do in us (cf. Relations, 28). The opposite is what she calls "false point of honour" (Life, 31, 23), a source of gossip, jealousy and criticism, which severely damage relationships with others. Teresian humility consists of self-acceptance, awareness of one’s own dignity, missionary courage, gratitude and trust in God.
With these noble roots, Teresian communities are called to become houses of communion, capable of witnessing to fraternal love and to the motherhood of the Church, presenting to the Lord the needs of the world, torn by divisions and wars