SAINTS: Teresa Of Ávila — A Woman For More Than Her Time, by Greg Friedman

Daily Reflections

Teresa Of Avila — A Woman For More Than Her Time Greg Friedman

From: Lent With The Saints

Jeremiah 11:18-20; Psalm 7:2-3, 9bc-12; John 7:40-53

In the classic Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons, and Feasts, which I used alongside the lectionary in preparing these reflections, there’s a great description of Saint Teresa of Avila: Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes; wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; mystic, yet an energetic reformer.  A holy woman, a womanly woman.

The lectionary readings continue to give us the sense of the growing plot against Jesus.  Today we hear a snippet from the plot against the prophet Jeremiah, then we listen to discussions about whether Jesus is the Messiah.  The chief priests and Pharisees debate this as well, and a dissenter, Nicodemus, offers support for Jesus.

Against the backdrop of such tension, Teresa seems an ideal guide.  She lived in the turbulent sixteenth century, when the world was being shaken by the discoveries of explorers from Europe.  In society, intellectual debate stirred the pot, and in the church, the Protestant Reformation, and the impact of the Council of Trent made this an age of upheaval.

Teresa brought her prodigious gifts to her time.  She grounded her public persona in a deep personal life.  As a woman, she was able to hold her own against opposition.  Within her Carmelite Order, she was a reformer who brought change through her writing and speaking.

Teresa might find herself at home in our contemporary world and church.  Her talents – recognized by her being named a doctor of the church in 1970 – would serve us well as we continue to come to know Jesus.

Today’s Action

Read about Teresa’s life or some of her spiritual writings.

Prayer

When our enemies surround us and plot against us, Lord, rescue us from their clutches and defend us from harm.  Be our strength and our salvation.

Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: