Celebrating the feast of Saint Theresa

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During the week we celebrated the feast day of Saint Teresa of Avila.

She was born in 16th Century Spain and at a young age joined the Carmelite Order.

Saint Teresa grounded through a life of great prayerfulness and possessing spiritual insight and wisdom help to organise a reform of the Carmelite Order.

Through her strength, courage and determined personality, she wasn’t afraid to highlight and tackle the many problems which affected the religious life of her time.

Saint Teresa wasn’t concerned with power, honour, position or prestige.

What marked her out as a great saint, who was later to be venerated as a Doctor of the Church, was her total commitment to the person of Jesus Christ.

Everything in this world paled into insignificance for Saint Theresa, for true wisdom was learning to entrust oneself to God, handing all that we are over to the creator of the universe.

At the heart of this vision was her humble acceptance and obedience to God’s word.

As one commentator stated, Saint Teresa was able to see Jesus for who he was; not only what she wanted Jesus to be.

This outlook in life is a challenge placed before all of us gathered under the banner of being called Christian.

On a weekend when we celebrate Mission Sunday, we pray for the wisdom and courage to enter into the great mystery of trying to discern and understand God’s will for each and every one of us.

Often in prayer, we come before God with a list of demands and petitions, and this week we ask for the humility, insight and obedience to open our lives up to what God truly wants and asks of each person called to be a child of God.

Ultimately, we ask for the gifts which will enable all men and women to follow the example of Jesus who came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.

Every day we are faced with encounters when were asked to give a little of ourselves, to surrender some of our freedoms, privileges and rights in order to respond to the needs and concerns of others.

On many occasions, the people who inspire and challenge us the most are those who have given up everything to follow and pursue what they believe to be right and just.

We are also provoked into reassessing our lives and our attitudes by those men and women who in the light of great hardship or suffering still have to generosity to reach out and tend to the needs and hurts of others.