Friday, October 15, 2010

St. Teresa of Avila

Entering Stella Maris Monastery Chapel atop Mt. Carmel that looks graciously down upon Haifa in Israel, a stillness prevails. One painting honors St. Teresa of Avila, the saint whose feast day is today. Other famous Carmelites are honored there also.

My first in-depth time with St. Teresa came when two monks of Holy Cross Abbey, Father Edward and Father Andrew, led an ecumenical group of clergy in a read-through of her Interior Castle. For two Cistercians introducing a variety of Christian ministers to the practice of contemplative prayer, it was a natural choice.

Pray for us, St. Teresa, that we may learn to be still in a world of distractions.


O Loveliness exceeding
All loveliness I know,
In exile here below.
What more, I pray Thee, Jesus,
What more have I to learn?
Save yet to love increasingly,
With pure love to yearn,
Save yet to love Thee ever,
With deeper love to burn.

O bind me ever closer,
My nothingness transcend,
May I be never parted
From Being without end.
What more can I desired now
Save, Lord, to see Thy Face
And there at last in heaven above
To build my nesting place,
And there at last forever
To find my resting place.

St Teresa of Jesus
Tr. Teresa of Jesus, O.C.D.
Taken from Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours, Rome, Institutum Carmelitanum 1993.

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