Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Saint Teresa of Jesus, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church -

Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

St. Teresa of Jesus was a Spanish Carmelite nun and mystic born in 1515. Her life story is inspirational and relatable. She was not the typical saint that had a calling to be religious while at a young age. Her courage, intelligence, determination, and mystical encounters with the Lord made her the first woman Doctor of the Church and an enchanting saint. 

Growing up, she was a regular teenager; her focus was boys, clothes, flirting, and rebelling. When she was 14 years old, her mother passed away, leaving her brother and dad alone. Discouraged by her unruly behavior, her father sent her to the Carmelite convent in the year 1535. St. Teresa had a rough start as a religious sister. She had to teach mental prayer for money to help the community; she kept relationships that tied her back into the world. Only after 18 years into her new life as a Carmelite, she surrendered her life to Jesus, and there was no turning back. 

Conversion and Reformation of The Order

One day while looking at a crucifix, she was intensely moved by Christ's suffering on the cross. She recognized her lack of gratitude towards His wounds and how He died for her sins. In tears, she begged the Lord to strengthen her desire to belong to Him and resolved not to move from there until God granted her prayer.

The Lord inspired her to reform the Carmelite order to living a radical contemplative life. During the 14th and 15th centuries, this way of life had relaxed. After all the opposition, the Vatican approved the reform, and she started founding convents all around Spain. 

As she changed her heart, so did her surroundings, even her order. 

"Spiritual life is an attitude of love, not a rule." She believed in obedience to God more than penance. "If you do something wrong, don't punish yourself -- change." 

 

Prayer 

She believed that the most powerful and acceptable prayer was the prayer that leads to action. Good effects were better than pious sensations that only make the person praying feel good.

When she became ill with Malaria, which left her paralyzed for three years, instead of her sickness, drawing her closer to God, it became the excuse not to pray. A priest finally told her that she needed to go back to her prayer life. She struggled with prayer and being distracted. She always complained about how she did not enjoy it. 

Despite all of her struggles, God granted her encounters through prayer that left her breathless and almost levitating. She had to be analyzed by a priest to validate her encounters because they thought she was crazy. 

Teresa was ordered by the church to document her mystical life that later became meaningful books, The Way of Perfection, The Interior Castle, and The Foundations. 

We can say that St. Teresa of Avila was attacked by the world and resisted holiness throughout her life. Her perseverance in prayer and trust in God gave her the confidence to change her order and the Catholic Church forever. 

Teresa died in 1582 at the age of 67. On October 15th, 1622, she was canonized, and in 1970 Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church.

Her famous mental prayer helps calm the nerves and peace of mind.

Let nothing disturb you,

Let nothing frighten you,

All things are passing away:

God never changes.

Patience obtains all things

Whoever has God lacks nothing;

God alone suffices.

If you have difficulty with prayer, ask St. Teresa for her intercession. 

Happy Feast of St. Teresa of Avila!
St. Teresa of Jesus, Pray for Us!
 Saint Teresa Of Avila Laminated Holy Card
Saint Teresa Of Avila Laminated Holy Card.
Click Here to Buy.

 

 

The Way Of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila
The Way Of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila
The Way Of Perfection Book by St. Teresa of Avila.
Click Here to Buy.