Tuesday, October 15, 2013



Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

-- St. Teresa of Avila


Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus
Virgin and Doctor of the Church

ROM 1:16-25

Brothers and sisters:

I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.”

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven
against every impiety and wickedness
of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them,
because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.
Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for the likeness of an image of mortal man
or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
through the lusts of their hearts
for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 19:2-3, 4-5

R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.

R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.

R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

LK 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.

The Lord said to him,

“Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”


October 15

St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Teresa lived in an age of exploration as well as political, social and religious upheaval. 
It was the 16th century, a time of turmoil and reform. 
She was born before the Protestant Reformation and died almost 20 years after the closing of the Council of Trent.

The gift of God to Teresa in and through which she became holy and left her mark on the Church and the world is threefold: She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.

As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man's world of her time. She was "her own woman," entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; 
a mystic, yet an energetic reformer. A holy woman, a womanly woman.

Teresa was a woman "for God," a woman of prayer, discipline and compassion. Her heart belonged to God. Her ongoing conversion was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification and suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous and faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to God in life and in prayer. Her writings on prayer and contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical and graceful. 
A woman of prayer; a woman for God.

Teresa was a woman "for others." Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time and energy seeking to reform herself and the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought—always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired and gave life.

Her writings, especially the Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, have helped generations of believers.

In 1970, the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: doctor of the Church. 
She and St. Catherine of Siena (April 29)were the first women so honored.


O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim your praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 94 (95)

The Lord is the king of virgins:
come, let us adore him.

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.

The Lord is the king of virgins:
come, let us adore him.

For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.

The Lord is the king of virgins:
come, let us adore him.

Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.

The Lord is the king of virgins:
come, let us adore him.

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”

The Lord is the king of virgins:
come, let us adore him.

“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”

The Lord is the king of virgins:
come, let us adore him.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The Lord is the king of virgins:
come, let us adore him.


O God of truth and Lord of power,
whose word their course to things assigns,
whose splendor lights the morning hour,
whose fiery sun at noonday shines:
Within us quench the flames of strife,
the harmful heat of passion quell;
give health of body to our life
and give true peace of soul as well.
In this, most loving Father, hear,
and Christ, co-equal Son, our prayer:
with Holy Ghost, one Trinity,
you reign for all eternity.

Psalm 101 (102)
Prayers and vows of an exile

Let my cry come to you, Lord:
do not hide your face from me.

Lord, listen to my prayer
and let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me:
whenever I am troubled,
turn to me and hear me.
Whenever I call on you,
hurry to answer me.
For my days vanish like smoke,
and my bones are dry as tinder.
My heart is cut down like grass, it is dry –
I cannot remember to eat.
The sound of my groaning
makes my bones stick to my flesh.
I am lonely as a pelican in the wilderness,
as an owl in the ruins,
as a sparrow alone on a rooftop:
I do not sleep.
All day long my enemies taunt me,
they burn with anger and use my name as a curse.
I make ashes my bread,
I mix tears with my drink,
because of your anger and reproach –
you, who raised me up, have dashed me to the ground.
My days fade away like a shadow:
I wither like grass.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Let my cry come to you, Lord:
do not hide your face from me.

Psalm 101 (102)

Turn, Lord, to the prayers of the helpless.

But you, Lord, remain for ever
and your name lasts from generation to generation.
You will rise up and take pity on Zion,
for it is time that you pitied it,
indeed it is time:
for your servants love its very stones
and pity even its dust.
Then, Lord, the peoples will fear your name.
All the kings of the earth will fear your glory,
when the Lord has rebuilt Zion
and appeared there in his glory;
when he has listened to the prayer of the destitute
and not rejected their pleading.
These things shall be written for the next generation
and a people yet to be born shall praise the Lord:
because he has looked down from his high sanctuary,
– the Lord has looked down from heaven to earth –
and heard the groans of prisoners
and freed the children of death
so that they could proclaim the Lord’s name in Zion
and sing his praises in Jerusalem,
where people and kingdoms gather together
to serve the Lord.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Turn, Lord, to the prayers of the helpless.

Psalm 101 (102)

You founded the earth, Lord,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.

He has brought down my strength in the midst of my journey;
he has shortened my days.
I will say, “My God, do not take me away
half way through the days of my life.
Your years last from generation to generation:
in the beginning you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will pass away but you will remain;
all will grow old, like clothing,
and like a cloak you will change them, and they will be changed.
“But you are always the same,
your years will never run out.
The children of your servants shall live in peace,
their descendants will endure in your sight.”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

You founded the earth, Lord,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.

Listen, my people, to my teaching;
– open your ears to the words of my mouth.

First Reading
Zechariah 1:1-2:4

In the second year of Darius, in the eighth month, the word of the Lord was addressed to the prophet Zechariah (son of Berechiah), son of Iddo, as follows, ‘Cry out to the remnant of this people and say to them, “The Lord of Hosts says this: Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of Hosts. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the prophets in the past cried: the Lord of Hosts says this: Turn back from your evil ways and evil deeds. But – it is the Lord who speaks – they would not listen or pay attention to me. Where are your ancestors now? Are those prophets still alive? Did not my words and my orders, with which I charged my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?” the Lord was stirred to anger against your ancestors.”’ This reduced them to such confusion that they said, 
‘The Lord of Hosts has treated us as he resolved to do, and as our ways and deeds deserved.’

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month (the month of Shebat), in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord was addressed to the prophet Zechariah (son of Berechiah), son of Iddo, as follows, ‘I saw a vision during the night. It was this: a man was standing among the deep-rooted myrtles; behind him were horses, red and sorrel and black and white. I said: What are these, my lord? (And the angel who was talking to me said, “I will explain to you what they are.”) The man standing among the myrtles answered, “They are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol throughout the world.” They then spoke to the angel of the Lord standing among the myrtles; they said, “We have been patrolling the world, and see, the whole world is at peace and rest.” The angel of the Lord then spoke and said, “Lord of Hosts, how long will you wait before taking pity on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, on which you have inflicted your anger for the past seventy years?” the Lord then replied with very consoling words to the angel who was talking to me. The angel who was talking to me then said to me, “Make this proclamation: the Lord of Hosts says this: I feel most jealous love for Jerusalem and Zion, but very bitter anger against the proud nations; for my part I was only a little angry, but they have overstepped all limits. The Lord, then, says this. I turn again in compassion to Jerusalem; my Temple there shall be rebuilt – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks – and the measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem. Make this proclamation too: the Lord of Hosts says this: My cities are once more going to be very prosperous. 
The Lord will again take pity on Zion, again make Jerusalem his very own.”’


I turn again in compassion to Jerusalem:
My temple there shall be rebuilt.
The city will have no need of sun or moon for its light;
its lamp will be the Lamb.
My temple there shall be rebuilt.

Second Reading
St Teresa of Avila

Let us always be mindful of Christ's love

If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader,
that man can endure all things,
for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us.
He is a true friend.
And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces,
God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ,
through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.

Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. 
All blessings come to us through our Lord. 
He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.

What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they took no other path: Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God’s hands. 
If God should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, 
we ought to accept this gladly.

Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favors, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, 
all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.


All those who abandon the Lord shall perish.
To be near God is my happiness:
I have made him my refuge.

He who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
To be near God is my happiness:
I have made him my refuge.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, our Father, you sent Saint Teresa of Ávila
to be a witness in the Church to the way of perfection.
Sustain us by her spiritual doctrine,
and kindle in us the longing for true holiness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.