Thursday, October 15, 2020

⛪. And you stopped . ⛪

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God Desires to Dwell in Everyone

Teresa of Avila's theology offers an elevated, enticing vision of the human capacity for God. At the outset of The Interior Castle, she wrote: "It is a shame and unfortunate that through our own fault we don't understand ourselves or know who we are—that is loved by God." Spiritual self-knowledge includes both positive and negative qualities. It does not mean simply gathering information about ourselves, but seeing ourselves truly in the light of God which brings about humility, repentance, and joy.

— from Accidental Theologians: Four Women Who Shaped Christianity by Elizabeth Dreyer


†Saint Quote
"Work hard every day at increasing your purity of heart, which consists in appraising things and weighing them in the balance of God's will."
— St. Francis de Sales

"Love proves itself by deeds, and how shall I prove mine? ... I can prove my love only by scattering flowers, that is to say, by never letting slip a single little sacrifice, a single glance, a single word; by making profit of the very smallest actions, by doing them all for love. I want to suffer and even rejoice for love, for this is my way of scattering flowers."
— St. Therese of Lisieux, p. 4-5
The Story of a Soul

"If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, his religion is vain. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
James 1:26-27


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St. Teresa of Avila (1515–1582), also known as St. Teresa of Jesus, was born in Spain to a large, devout, and prominent Catholic family. Fascinated with the lives of the saints taught to her by her pious parents, as children she and a brother tried to run away from home to seek martyrdom among the Moors. After an uncle found them and returned them home, they built hermitages for themselves in the family garden. At the age of 14 Teresa was plunged into sorrow upon the death of her mother; to find consolation she asked the Virgin Mary to be her new mother. When she began to exhibit worldly vanities, her father placed her in a convent to be educated with other ladies of her social class. Determined to avoid marriage, and motivated more by the need for security than love for God, at the age of twenty Teresa entered religious life as a Carmelite nun. For two decades she led what she describes as a mediocre prayer life, hindered by too much socialization with visitors. However, an intense prayer experience in her forties helped her to renounce worldly attachments and enter deeper into a life of prayer. She advanced rapidly and taught others to do the same, being encouraged by a vision of the place reserved for her in hell if she was unfaithful to God's graces. She had many profound mystical experiences for which she was often slandered and ridiculed. After the reform of her own life she worked hard to reform the laxity of many Carmelite convents, and was successful even while being greatly opposed in her efforts. She was a strong and important female figure of her era, and her great progress in the spiritual life led her to write the spiritual classics Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection. For these works St. Teresa of Avila was named the first female Doctor of the Church. Her feast day is October 15th.


Teresa lived in an age of exploration as well as political, social, and religious upheaval. It was the 16th century, a time of turmoil and reform. She was born before the Protestant Reformation and died almost 20 years after the closing of the Council of Trent.

The gift of God to Teresa in and through which she became holy and left her mark on the Church and the world is threefold: She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.

As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man's world of her time. She was "her own woman," entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; a mystic, yet an energetic reformer; a holy woman, a womanly woman.

Teresa was a woman "for God," a woman of prayer, discipline, and compassion. Her heart belonged to God. Her ongoing conversion was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification and suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, and opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous and faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to God in life and in prayer. Her writings on prayer and contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical, and graceful. She was a woman of prayer; a woman for God.

Teresa was a woman "for others." Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time and energy seeking to reform herself and the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought—always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired and gave life.

Her writings, especially the Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, have helped generations of believers.

In 1970, the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: Doctor of the Church. She and St. Catherine of Siena were the first women so honored.


Ours is a time of turmoil, a time of reform, and a time of liberation. Modern women have in Teresa a challenging example. Promoters of renewal, promoters of prayer, all have in Teresa a woman to reckon with, one whom they can admire and imitate.

Saint Teresa of Avila is the Patron Saint of:



Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 470
Reading 1

EPH 1:1-10

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
to the holy ones who are in Ephesus
and faithful in Christ Jesus:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.

In Christ we have redemption by his Blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6

R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.


JN 14:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


LK 11:47-54

The Lord said:
"Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
'I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute'
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter."
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.


Daily Meditation: Ephesians 1:1-10

In love he destined us for adoption. (Ephesians 1:4-5)

Adoption in the ancient Middle East didn't work quite the way it does in modern, first-world countries. In Greco-Roman culture, legal adoptions were almost always the adoption of adults in order to secure an heir of one's own choosing. Adoptees in Roman society were expected to respect and honor their new parents. They were given all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of natural-born sons.

Jewish adoptions were a little different and not only because it was mainly minors who were adopted. As a good, morally upright king provides for his weakest subjects, Jewish adoptions were meant to provide material support for orphans and to expand the family workforce, since children learned and helped with their family trade.

For both Romans and Jews, adoption was a life-altering, life-saving act. It was a change of fortune and a profound rescue from a bad future. So for Paul's readers, both Jews and Greeks, Paul's words about spiritual adoption would have had many different connotations.

Jews would have thought about God's covenant with Israel that rescued them from slavery. They would have thought about how the Scriptures extolled the one who cares for widows and orphans. Greeks and Romans would have thought about the complete acceptance given to a legal adoptee—his past erased.

From every angle, Paul was trying to help his listeners understand that through Christ, we experience a whole new life. We don't just receive the "inheritance" of eternal life; we get to live as forgiven, grace-filled sons and daughters right now. We gain a loving family in the followers of Christ around us. We get to participate in the "work" of our Father to fill the earth with his goodness. We are freed from the slavery of sin and death.

When someone is adopted, every corner of his life is affected—where he goes, how and with whom he eats, and what he can look forward to in the future. That's your story. You are an adopted heir of all God's promises. You are a new creation!

"Father, thank you for adopting me into your family. Help me to embrace this new life you have given to me."

Psalm 98:1-6
Luke 11:47-54



Do not tire your brain by trying to work it during meditation. It is a higher grace from God that you should continually praise Him and wish that others may do so too, and a striking proof that your mind is fixed on Him.
— St. Teresa of Avila
from the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila


"In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth."
An apostle wrote this. An apostle that has always been zealous, until our Lord encountered him, and the zealous became the less. Not less full of zeal, but struck by humility. For once he sought to be the greatest Jew, now he sought to be the least of Christians. To be humble. I desire to see this apostolic zeal today. Nobody likes to get slapped around, or stabbed in the back, but for the Kingdom of Heaven....would you?


"The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. The Lord has made known his salvation."
Our Lord remembers. What does He remember? Everything. Does He remember the bad things Saul did? Or does He remember the good things Paul did? They say in Heaven there is much rejoicing when a sinner repents. Could there be much repentance today? Could there be much rejoicing today? What will it take for a sinner to repent? It will take prayer. Jesus prayed. It will take truth. Jesus is the truth spoken. And it will take much perseverance. This is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We would love to see full churches of repented people. But wouldn't you say, it starts one by one? It starts right here inside, in what St. Teresa of Avila calls....the interior castle.


Our Lord spoke and we should all be attentive: "Therefore, the wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute"
And He spoke of how they kill prophets and build memorials to them. Hypocrites do this. You kill the very Word and then attempt to exonerate. Our Lord had quoted Scripture:

Judah's Idolatry Persists
"…24Yet they did not listen or incline their ear, but they followed the stubborn inclinations of their own evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. 25From the day your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all My servants the prophets again and again. 26Yet they would not listen to Me or incline their ear, but they stiffened their necks and did more evil than their fathers."
Why would this Scripture be called idolatry? And our Lord spoke about memorials. Because, they were attempting to memorialize themselves through their false deeds. They were killing the very prophet they were supposed to be listening to. How does that suit you? You claim to love God and hate neighbor, you are not nice to some people, you are rude to them, you cut them short, you say unkind things about them when they turn around. Such is the people God was talking to about killing prophets and memorializing them, false works.

They would not listen thousands of years ago. And today we don't listen. We don't care to hear what is really being asked of us. I pray that the spirit of Paul, the lesser, takes precedence in our very lives. If you are zealous, then be zealous for what God wants. What He wants, He has shown on the cross. And we don't want the cross that makes Saints and Heaven possible. We want all the glory with no guts. We want all the pomp of being praised without lifting a finger. We want people to love us, but we don't care to love more. You see how deep this goes into your castle, where you fortify what is important?

St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us, to know the will of Our Father, and to actually do what He desires


Random Bible verse from online generator:

Proverbs 16:9

The heart of man plans his way,

but the LORD establishes his steps.


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God Bless You! Peace

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