Teresa, from a family of converted Jews, became a Carmelite nun and founded the Reformed, or Discalced, Carmelites. John of the Cross (see December 14th) was her protégé. She was given to mystical experiences in prayer, teaching an openness to such possibilities, but she did not encourage undue dependence on them. Times of experiencing God’s presence were to be received with gratitude and joy, but were not to be treated as a right or allowed to become disruptive.
Her order’s way of life was austere and her reforms were radical, but she is now honoured as a Doctor of the Church. ‘God made me pleasing,’ she wrote. She would perhaps have made even more enemies than she did, had He not blessed her with the gift of being likeable!
The Blessing in our Community Midday Prayer is known as ‘Teresa’s Bookmark’, and we take it as our suggested prayer for today:
Let nothing disturb thee, nothing affright thee; all things are passing, God never changeth! Patient endurance attaineth to all things; who God possesseth in nothing is wanting; alone God sufficeth.