Thursday, October 15, 2020

Doctor Orationis

 Today is the feast of St. Teresa of Ávila, Virgin and Doctor of the Church. From The Interior Castle:

Oh, my sisters, how forgetful of her ease, how unmindful of honours, and how far from seeking men’s esteem should she be whose soul God thus chooses for His special dwelling-place! For if her mind is fixed on Him, as it ought to be, she must needs forget herself: all her thoughts are bent on how to please Him better and when and how she can show the love she bears Him.

This is the end and aim of prayer, my daughters; this is the reason of the spiritual marriage whose children are always good works. Works are the unmistakable sign which shows these favours come from God, as I told you. It will do me little good to be deeply recollected when alone, making acts of the virtues, planning and promising to do wonders in God’s service, if afterwards, when occasion offers, I do just the opposite. I did wrong in saying, ‘It will do me little good,’ for all the time we spend with God does us great good. Though afterwards we may weakly fail to perform our good intentions, yet some time or other His Majesty will find a way for us to practise them although perhaps much to our regret. Thus when He sees a soul very cowardly, He often sends it some great affliction, much against its will, and brings it through this trial with profit to itself. When the soul has learnt this, it is less timid in offering itself to Him.

François Gérard - St Theresa (detail) 
François Gérard, Sainte Thérèse

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