I have been blessed to visit many holy places. One of these places was the Convent of St. Teresa of Ávila.
This is one of those places where you stand in awe. As the tingling sensation runs down your spine and the presence is felt in your soul. You feel the holiness!
Who is St Teresa of Ávila?
St Teresa of Ávila (1515-82) was a Spanish noblewoman who felt called to the monastic life of a Carmelite nun. She was a theologian of contemplative prayer and meditation. Since 1970, Teresa has been proclaimed the first female Doctor of the Church. She is also one of the patron saints of Spain.
Saint Teresa of Avila’s Story 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. Source: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-teresa-of-avila
Powerful Prayers of St. Teresa
Guided by You Lord, grant that I may always allow myself to be guided by You, always follow Your plans, and perfectly accomplish Your Holy Will. Grant that in all things, great and small, today and all the days of my life, I may do whatever You require of me. Help me respond to the slightest prompting of Your Grace, so that I may be Your trustworthy instrument for Your honour. May Your Will be done in time and in eternity by me, in me, and through me. Amen.
Let nothing disturb you Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things will pass away. God never changes; patience obtains all things, whoever has God lacks nothing. God alone suffices. Amen.
Thy Love for Me is Strong If Lord, Thy love for me is strong As this which binds me unto thee, What holds me from thee Lord so long, What holds thee Lord so long from me? O soul, what then desirest thou? Lord I would see thee, who thus choose thee. What fears can yet assail thee now? All that I fear is but lose thee. Love’s whole possession I entreat, Lord make my soul thine own abode, And I will build a nest so sweet It may not be too poor for God. A soul in God hidden from sin, What more desires for thee remain, Save but to love again, And all on flame with love within, Love on, and turn to love again.
A Love Song Majestic sovereign, timeless wisdom, your kindness melts my hard, cold soul. Handsome lover, selfless giver, your beauty fills my dull, sad eyes. I am yours, you made me. I am yours, you called me. I am yours, you saved me. I am yours, you loved me. I will never leave your presence. Give me death, give me life. Give me sickness, give me health. Give me honour, give me shame. Give me weakness, give me strength. I will have whatever you give. Amen
Growing Older Lord, You know better than I myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all; but You know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains; they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people; and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.
St Teresa of Ávila pray for us …
Would you like to visit Ávila? We can add this option on to your pilgrimage when you walk with us.