A Novena to St. Teresa of Avila Day 8 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Day 8:  VIRTUES

St. Teresa you have saidteresa-de-avilaquadro-pintado-por-frei-joao-da-miseria

“I repeat, it is necessary that your foundation consist of more than prayer and contemplation.  If you do not strive for the virtues and practice them, you will always be dwarfs.  And, please God, it will be only a matter of not growing, for you already know that whoever does not increase decreases.  I hold that love, where present, cannot possibly be content with remaining always the same.”

—Interior Castle VII:4.9

Teresa writes these words toward the end of her description of the interior journey, when the soul arrives at union.  Fundamental to spiritual progress is the development of a life of virtue, as virtues and prayer shape one another.  In the context of Teresa’s definition of prayer as the intimate sharing between friends, virtues are all that we do and suffer for the love of God our great friend.  Therefore, engagement in recollection helps us to cultivate practices to enhance our relationship with God, while the continue exercise of these virtues helps us to be gradually more receptive to interacting with Him.

In our prayer today, let us ask for the grace to develop and grow in lives of virtue, that God’s love for us may be expressed and nurtured in our love for Him.

St. Teresa speaks to us today saying:

“Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

O God, who through your Spirit
raised up Saint Teresa of Jesus
to show the Church the way to seek perfection,
grant that we may always be nourished
by the food of her heavenly teaching
and fired with longing for true holiness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

St. Teresa, pray for us:
That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

reflection written by Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm. Used by permission via the  Curia Generalizia dei Carmelitani  Please visit http://www.ocarm.org/en/

The prayer offered by Dr. Matthew Bunson and Kris McGregor

Audio versions of the “Interior Castle” and “The Way of Perfection” by St. Teresa of Avila

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