Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection
28th Friday in Ordinary time, Feast of St Theresa of Avila, October 15, 2021
Rom 4:1-8, Ps 32:1b-2, 5, 11, Lk 12:1-7 (or Rom 8:22-27, Jn 15:1-8).
Today, on the feast day of St. Theresa of Avila, we hear about faith, hope, and love, not in the sense of the catchy phrase you find on the thrift store shelves, but the faith, hope, and love God gives to us every day. St. Theresa demonstrates that attitude in everything she did. She truly believed that all blessings and grace came from God. She felt that everything she did was a gift from God, and she felt those gifts needed to be returned back to God in the form of love.
Born in Avila, Spain, in 1515, she entered the Carmelite Order at twenty years old. If you recall, that was the time of the great persecutions in the Church in Spain, commonly referred to as the Great Reformation. There were many heresies going on, and it seemed that the church was falling apart. There was a demand that certain books containing heretical teachings be removed and burned. While many did contain heretical teachings, even some of the sound teachings were asked to be removed and burned. St. Theresa fought hard to keep the books that were true to the faith and contained sound teachings. She fought tirelessly to keep the Church pure and battled many a foe on keeping the Church true to its origins. She also wrote many books of her own on sublime doctrine and mystical theology, which were the basis of her own spirituality. From those writings, in 1970, Pope Paul VI named her a Doctor of the Church.
St. Theresa worked hand in hand with S.t John of the Cross to reform the Church, and between the two of them they founded the reformed (discalced) Carmelites of nuns and friars. One of her most famous works, the Interior Castle, is still used by many today as a study guide for inner spirituality. In addition, all of her writings exude that ultimate love God gave us, and her belief that we must return it back to Him. For as she says, when one loves, it calls us to love in return. It is through that love, that faith, hope, and love become the basis for all things given to us through the gift of grace from God. St Theresa died at Avila in 1582 at 67 years old.
St Theresa of Avila, pray for us.