“After contemplating the great beauty of the Lord, I have never seen anyone that compared to Him; I would look beautiful or occupy my spirit. I just need to have a little look with my eyes to the image that I keep in my soul to get a freedom which, since then, makes me disgust everything I see, because nothing is compared with the praises and graces I have seen in the Lord. There is no knowledge or pleasure that I consider worthy before hearing a single word spoken by those divine lips – and how often have I heard! I consider impossible – since the Lord, for my sins, do not let that memory goes off – anyone can occupy my thoughts, I just need to remind me a little of this Lord to feel free.” St. Teresa of Avila, in the Book of Life.
St. Teresa of Avila, reformer of the Carmelites Order and Doctor of the Church, is a bulwark of the Vocation Shalom. As St. Francis of Assisi, the Spanish nun is an example of stability, perseverance, and of a deep Spousal Love for Jesus Christ.
At Shalom, the experience with the Resurrected One who went through the Cross is grounded in prayer, the source for the flowering and ripening of the Spousal Love. Therefore, the path of St. Teresa is tracked by those who have the vocation Shalom. With Teresa of Avila, one must learn that the life of prayer, intimacy with the Lord and intimate union with the Beloved, is sustenance for the souls.
The experience of the evangelical advices “poverty, chastity and obedience” is also motivated to the study of Teresian writings and through their intercession. Obedience is the source of poverty, “an authentic way of perfection,” as St. Teresa says. In obedience to those ones who have authority to form and shepherding, the community members find the door to humility, strip away and poverty in all its aspects.
To learn more about the life and spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila, check here an interview with Friar Maximilian Herráiz, general advisor of Carmel for Latin America and the author of several books about mystical saints.