Feast of St. Teresa of Jesus
Contemplative Teresa of Avila-
Finding the 7 Mansions
The beauty of our soul, is like a castle with many mansions, as St. Teresa of Avila contemplated. Most of us, if not all, would love to live in a mansion or a castle or a palace, if you wish. I was in my younger years when fairy tales would capture my day with a sense of fulfillment. Does not our heart desire for what is beautiful? and everlasting? " And they live happily ever after"?
This is Sr. Teresa Josephine. I have been consecrated to God for 25 years. Sometimes I thought my choice of vocation was like a fairy tale. It's like going into the woods and find yourself under a spell. But God is not magic. He is very real. He is truth... and He continually extends to me an invitation to enter into the narrow gate-to make a journey inwards- to be able to find Him at the center of the castle, in my soul. He is there- waiting to be recognized so that He can bestow His blessings upon me and the power to hold him in deep friendship- and live happily ever after with Him. And such are these that, even if I tried for 25 years, I know I could not possibly accomplish them by my own effort. I could only give my best and God will do the rest. And so, let us allow God to show us the way to the mansions leading to Him who is most beautiful and everlasting. I pray that in your heart will grow a great desire to make this adventure of faith and contemplative prayer. I believe that if you do, you will never be the same again.
Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus
SR. MARY HELEN OF THE PARACLETE, OCD
I am inviting you today to experience a quiet place, like the Apostles when Jesus told them: "Come away with me to a quiet place".
I have my own moments of a busy life: taking care of our sick even attending to their needs when they are confined in the hospital, putting petty things in order in our little kitchen, washing linens, cleaning areas assigned to me or doing some small acts of charity for my sisters. All these can take a great portion of my precious time. And yet I know there is a quiet place somewhere in the inner sanctuary of my heart, where I can spend peaceful time with Jesus- to be able to draw strength and power so that I can give the best of myself. All I need to do is to open the door of quiet contentment and thankfulness and sure enough peace and joy flow from the loving gaze of my God.
I pray that today you too may respond, with full trust, to the invitation of Jesus: "Come away with me to a quiet place".
Feast of Mary's Nativity
SR. NOEMI MAGDALEN OF THE MOTHER OF GOD, OCD
I am Sr. Noemi Magdalen of the Mother of God. Many things in my life have come as a surprise- occasions when misunderstanding in the family have become a heavy burden and a deep pain for years. Yet, this brought me to lean on the maternal intervention of Mary, our Mother. Just three months ago, a sister of mine whom I have missed and loved so much; and who for long, long years I haven't heard from as we had no communication at all, came home as a surprise! You can imagine the deep joy I felt at this home coming! My waiting in silence burst into joy, into a song of praise like Mary's Magnificat!
Sometimes we just have to wait in patience in our prayer - the kind of waiting that draws us closer to God, keeping and pondering things in our hearts. Then when God's own beautiful time comes, we can only marvel at the unfolding of God's promise taking place before our eyes.
There were many instances when my state of health deprived me of doing things I would have loved to do. There were many aches and pains shared with my friends and members of my family and community, which only trust in the power of God's sustaining grace gave me the courage and effort to remain standing beneath the cross with Mary.
To fully surrender all our hopes and desires to God; as the prayer in our breviary says - "surrender to God and He will do everything for you". This is the best attitude to take in imitating Mary in her "FIAT".