Meet my Friend, Theresa.

François_Gérard_-_St_Theresa_(detail)People often get “the Theresas” confused.  First there was Theresa of Avila, Spain who lived in the 1500’s.  Then there was Therese’ of Lisieux, France in the late 1800’s.  Of course there’s Mother Theresa of Calcutta from the 20th century.  I love them all!  They were incredibly strong, holy women!  The first lady, Theresa of Avila is extra special to me, because my youngest was born on her feast day – October 15th.  It was when I was recovering in the hospital that my husband introduced my to Theresa by bringing me a silver medal with her picture on it to commemorate the birth of our son.  I immediately began researching my new heavenly friend.

Remarkably, the fact that she was a reformer of the Carmelite order has great significance to our family.  Only nine months before the birth of our son, we lost a beloved family member who was a lay Carmelite.  This lady was a spiritual role model for all of us, and she taught me that it was possible to be both holy and fun!  I learned that Theresa was a writer, like myself.  She is also the patron saint of headache sufferers – Migraine queen right here!!  That’s me!

I love that Theresa often spoke candidly with God. 

When traveling to one of the many Carmelite convents, her cart got stuck in the mud and she could not dislodge it.  She looked up to heaven and said to the Lord, “If this is how you treat your friends, it’s no wonder you don’t have many!”  Yikes!

Oh my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for you is paid in troubles! (And what a precious price to those who love you if we understand its value.)

St. Theresa also had a wonderful sense of humor, evidenced in these quotes:

God, deliver me from sullen saints!

If there is anything better than God, it’s God AND Chocolate! What a girl!

Then there’s just good old wisdom:

There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.  (Something to consider when we feel a prayer has gone unanswered!)

There is more value in a little study of humility and in a single act of it than in all the knowledge in the world.  (Knowledge is not the ultimate good – Yes, that’s coming from me, a teacher!)

We need no wings to go in search of Him, but have only to look upon Him present within us. (Do we remember that God dwells within us?  I had a stranger remind me of that once, and it has left a lasting impression.)

Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds. 

…and then there are my favorites:

Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you. All things are passing. God never changes. Patience obtains everything. God alone suffices.

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

St. Theresa of Avila, Please Pray for Us!

*Painting of Theresa of Avila by Francois Gerard

About danardoyle

I am a Catholic, working wife and mother. I have three children ages 10, 16 and 23. I am extremely busy, as you can imagine. I aim each and every day to put God first in my life, to teach my children the Faith, to be a supportive spouse, keep the house in order, and do my job outside of the home well, too. That's an impossible task - without Divine intervention! Here, I hope to share my triumphs and struggles with other working moms in the same boat. I will share the tools I have discovered to making it all work - most days!
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