Today is a big day for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. We celebrate the feast of our patroness, St. Teresa of Ávila! In particular, we turn to her to ask her intercession as we begin the novena which will prepare us for the election of our new Mother General. Please join us in prayer. You can say the prayer we have been saying to prepare for our whole General Chapter, or make one up yourself – here is our prayer:
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
you gave the world its true light, Jesus, your Son, the Son of God.
You abandoned yourself completely to God’s call
and thus became a wellspring of the goodness which flows forth from Him.
Show us Jesus, lead us to Him.
Help us to know and love Him,
so that we, too, can become capable of true love,
and be fountains of living water, in the midst of a thirsting world.
(written by Pope Benedict XVI)
Besides preparing for our election on the 24th of this month, and beginning that novena, St. Teresa is special to the Salesian Sisters because she was a woman who really could read the signs of her times, and was able to hear God’s urgings. Here are some of my favorite things she said or wrote:
Just as we cannot stop the movement of the heavens, revolving as they do with such speed, so we cannot restrain our thought.
Fourth Mansion – Ch. 1
How true is this? So often, we say, “Let’s quiet our minds and open ourselves to the presence of God.” I think St. Teresa was in touch with the impossibility of quieting our thoughts, and she was able to realize that our minds are more like spectators, so when I hear this phrase, I like to picture myself sitting at the edge of a stream, as life moves on, to see God present – the water making the stream flow…
We cannot know whether we love God, although there may be strong reason for thinking so; but there can be no doubt about whether we love our neighbor or not. Be sure that, in proportion as you advance in fraternal charity, you are increasing your love of God.
Fifth Mansion Ch. III
I can still hear Sr. Barbara Jane in the first grade saying “Actions speak louder than words.” So true – let’s love one another , especially those it is most difficult to love, so our love for God will be EVIDENT!
Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes. Patience attains All that it strives for. He who has God Finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices.
How true – in the end…for every religious, and for every human being, God alone must suffice, because He is our only and greatest prize. What we often forget is that in searching for Him, we often go astray, thinking one thing or another will bring us true happiness, but we all know that the feeling of longing returns until we belong totally to Him and can be found only on Him – this, friends, is true happiness! (And why I think some of the people I know who could absolutely LIGHT THE WORLD ON FIRE with their happiness belong totally to HIM!)