Resources: October 2018~St. Teresa of Avila


downloadable PDF file:  Women of Faith Resources October 2018

October Quotes by Mary Oliver

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it.”

“There are a hundred paths through the world that are easier than loving. But who wants easier?”

Featured Day: October 15 – Saint Teresa of Avila

Born:  March 28, 1515, in Avila, Spain
Died:  October 4, 1582, in Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Spain
Patroness of:   lacemakers, laceworkers

Teresa of Avila, born Teresa Sanchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, is known as a Spanish nun, mystic, theologian and saint who, with John of the Cross, co-founded the Discalced Carmelite Order.

She was born to Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and Beatriz de Ahumada y Cuevas. As a child, she devoured storied of the lives of saints and developed a life of prayer. Her kindheartedness nurtured her desire to serve the poor and needy people of her neighborhood. As a teenager, she was known to be relational, charming, and stylish, and read popular fiction with great enthusiasm.

Her mother died during childbirth and her father sent her away to a convent school. There, she was formed in a spiritual life that eventually led her into the Carmelite Order of nuns. With time, her experience of mental prayer, coupled with the lax practices she of her convent environment led her to initiate a Carmelite reform. She founded several reformed monasteries where the lifestyle was sober and based in rooted spiritual practices of prayer and sacrifice.

As her spiritual life matured, she began recording ways to live the Carmelite spirituality based in mental and contemplative prayer, silence, and withdrawal from interaction with people outside the convent. Her best known books are The Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection.

On March 12, 1622, she was canonized in Rome by Pope Gregory XV. In 1970, she was declared Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI.

For more extensive biographical notes, see Biography Online.

Lectio Divina: Reflections for Meditation

    • Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8:22-27
    • Gospel of St. John 15:1-8
    • Psalm 42: 1-3

Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila

Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks with
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world

Audio Divina: Music accompanied by images

Enjoy the following musical selections from YouTube and let your heart and soul be touched by their messages. You will find St. Teresa’s Prayer and three renditions of Let Nothing Disturb You.

St. Teresa’s Prayer  Artist;  John Michael Talbot

Nada Te Turbe – A Virtual Choir of Carmelites.   An official VMG virtual choir, “Nada Te Turbe” is one of two virtual choirs produced for the celebration of St. Teresa of Jesus’ 500th birthday. Carmelite Nuns from around the world sing this beautiful rendition composed by Sr. Claire Sokol, OCD, and accompanied by the Teresian Orchestra of St. James Cathedral in Seattle, Washington.

Nada Te Turbe (Let Nothing Disturb You) is a prayer by Saint Teresa of Avila. It can be prayed or sung over and over again like a mantra.

Nada te turbe:  Artist:  Taizé.

For Spiritual Reading

St. Teresa of Jesus Feast Day

“Ten Lessons from St. Teresa of Avila” by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV.

“Intimate Friendship with Jesus Christ—from the Perspective of St. Teresa of Avila”  at Carmelite Conversations: An Apostolate of Our Mother of Good Counsel, OCDS, Community in Dayton, Ohio.

Visio Divina: Art for Prayer and Meditation

“Visual images are another doorway to sacred awareness. They can touch into our desire to grow in intimacy with God. So, we encourage one another to let ourselves be touched by the colors, shapes, figures and symbols that capture our attention most as we are praying. While gazing at an image ~ a painting, a photo, an icon, a sculpture, a piece of pottery … something may leap out at us, calling our attention to something of God just waiting to reveal itself to us.”

(Ideas inspired by Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman in their book, Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction.  See also Abbey of the Arts.)

Here is the translation of Nada Te Turbe, a prayer of quiet. Let the words reach deep into your heart. Let God quiet you. Let the prayer of quiet empty you of all that you really do not need for Joy, for Hope, for Life.

Picture yourself walking on this road of life. What lights are you receiving from God? What light are you bringing to your everyday life, to the folks around you? This photo is from the YouTube video referenced under the photo. The video has many other beautiful images with which to pray.

Imagine your own child, grandchild, adult child, or yourself learning this art of bobbin lacemaking. Teresa of Avila is patroness of lacemakers and likely enjoyed this art. Do you engage in some form of needlework? Reflect on the contemplative aspects of needlework: the quieting, comfort, softness, beauty … thank God for your skill and the pleasure and contentment received in needlework.

Featured Websites

The Carmelites of Baltimore, MD, offer much information and inspiration on what it means to be a Carmelite nun today.

Go to this site to learn about various branches of Carmelites in New England.

This is an inspirational video on bobbin lacemaking in Slovenia.