Monday, October 15, 2012

Love is the measure of our ability to bear crosses . . . St Teresa of Avila

St Teresa (1515-1582) was born in Avila and died in Alba, Spain. At the age of eighteen she joined the Carmelite Order and dedicated herself to a life of prayer. With the help of St John of the Cross she reformed most of the Carmelite convents and founded new ones. She grew in the Holy Spirit and her holiness was recognised in her own day. In 1970 Pope Paul VI named her the first woman Doctor of the Church. The following is a paragraph from her treatise, The Way of Perfection: 

I believe that love is the measure of our ability to bear crosses, whether great or small. So if you have this love, try not to let the prayers you make to so great a Lord be words of mere politeness, but brace yourselves to suffer what God's Majesty desires. For if you give God your will in any other way, you are just showing the Lord a precious stone, making as if to give it and begging God to take it, and then, when God's hand reaches out to do so, taking it back and holding on to it tightly. Such mockery is no fit treatment for One who endured so much for us . . .


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