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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy Feast Day, St. Teresa

I love St. Teresa of Avila. I spent months using a little booklet of seventeen Communion meditations she wrote as my own thanksgiving after Mass. Whenever I got to the end I started over. You can tell how much the little paperback was handled because it's taped and held together with rubber bands. I still use it occasionally.

The title of my booklet is Lingering with my Lord, but it wasn't a title St. Teresa selected. According to the introduction the translator, Michael Griffin, she frequently didn't title her works. When the meditations were published in 1588 the publisher, Luis de Leon, called it "Exclamations or meditations of the soul to its God, written by Mother Teresa of Jesus, on different days, according to the spirit communicated to her by our Lord after she made her Communion, in the year 1569." Wow! How did he fit all that on the cover? The title most often given to the book is Exclamations of the Soul to God. I like Griffin's title better. It has a sense of savoring -- "taste and see the goodness of the Lord."

Today I'm savoring once again St. Teresa's meditations and I offer you a few tastes as well:

Oh Lord, how sweet are Your ways! But who will be able to walk them without fear? I fear to live without serving You, and when I try to serve You I do not find anything that satisfies me in order to pay You back something of what I owe. It seems that I would like to employ my whole life in serving you worthily, and when I consider my misery I see that I can do nothing that is good, unless You grant it to me. 
When I consider the glory that You, my God, have prepared for those who persevere in doing Your will, and how much trial and pain it cost Your Son, and badly we have merited this, then my soul is greatly afflicted when I see how much it is necessary that we should not be ungrateful for the greatness of the love that You constantly taught us to love You with. 
Oh, my powerful God, since You are going to judge us whether we like it or not, why do we not look out for our own good and try to please You....But who, who will not love a Judge who is so just? 
Recover for me, my God, the time I have lost by giving me grace in the present and in the future, so that I may appear before You with nuptial garment, for You can do this if You wish.
O Lord, my God, how true it is that You have the words of life, where all mortals will find whatever we wish, if we only look for it. But what an astonishing thing it is, my God, that we forget Your Word with the madness and sickness that our wicked deeds cause! O my God, God, Maker of all created things! And what is everything created, if You, Lord, wanted to create more? You are all powerful; Your works are incomprehensible. Bring it about, Lord, that Your Words never be separated from my mind. 
St. Teresa, please pray for my conversion and that I will imitate you in your desire to be a "burning furnace of charity."

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