Saint Teresa of Avila - Carmelite Reformer

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Saint Teresa of Avila

"At last, at last, a daughter of the Church"

Saint Teresa of Avila, lovingly referred to as Teresa la Grande, is a radical sign in our Church. She is so grand, yet so simple in her walk toward the Lord. We believe the reason we shied away from her for so many years is that we were intimidated by her biographers. We were afraid she was high above us, intellectually and spiritually.

We tried to bypass her Shrines at Avila and Alba de Tormes. But the more we attempted to go round her, the more she drew us to her. We planned a pilgrimage to the Shrines of Europe. A beautiful lady, Sister Jane, was celebrating her 25th anniversary as a Religious. She and another Sister also celebrating her 25th anniversary, were given the money to go with us. When we met Sister Jane, she bowled us over with her excitement. We were going to the Holy Land, Rome, Assisi, Siena, Lourdes, Fatima, and as an aside, Avila. When she heard Avila, she almost went into ecstasy. This was her greatest dream, to walk where Teresa, had walked. Because of her, we too became excited.

Saint Teresa of Avila touched us again on that pilgrimage, in Lourdes. We were honored to meet up with our Archbishop, the late Timothy Cardinal Manning. He was on a private pilgrimage of Lourdes and the Holy Land (Ireland), with another Priest. He asked us our itinerary. When we neglected to mention Alba de Tormes, he looked us in the eye, and suggested, no, commanded, "If you don’t visit any other Shrine, you must go to Alba de Tormes." Cardinal Manning had the ability to burrow through to your soul with his eyes and his voice.

The Shrines were beautiful. The tribute given to Saint Teresa of Avila by the Church was awe-inspiring. But we got to know Teresa through her Carmelite Priests, at the Shrines. At her birthplace in Avila, a young Priest explained who Teresa was and is. In Alba de Tormes, Fray Hernandez, spoke of her with such simplicity and love, we hungered to learn more.

Teresa, is that when you became a part of our lives? Was it the day we discovered you were reachable, so touchable, when the Priest spoke of you so lovingly that tears came to his and our eyes? We never knew. When our daughter had spoken of castles; when we started to realize what castle she meant, the Interior Castle1, we became intimidated. We tried to read about the different mansions in the Castle; we felt we would never be able to go beyond the first mansion (room), if we had the courage to enter it, in the first place. But after sharing you with those beautiful Carmelites, we fell in love with you. We knew you were reaching out to us; we gulped a few times, and said Yes!

We knew it couldn’t be our design, to write about Teresa, instead of a Saint we judged easier. As we studied her life and her spirituality, we discovered a woman for all seasons. Rather than a Saint, too spiritual and too deep to understand, we found a woman, with practical, good common sense, someone not superior to the simple mind nor too simple for the superior mind. We found a warm, loving mother with an ear and a heart always open to her sisters.

Teresa, model, and heart of the Church

Although Teresa was and is truly Catholic, we found her to be a model for non-Catholics as well. Crashaw, the English Protestant poet, who converted to Catholicism and later became a Priest, was just one of the many whose lives were changed as a result of her writings.

Blessed Edith Stein, went from being born a Jewess, to a life of science with the exclusion of God, to conversion to the Roman Catholic Church after reading Saint Teresa’s autobiography. She died a Carmelite Nun and Martyr in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

Macauley, a historian, said Teresa did more to block the spread of Protestantism, by her life and writings, than even Saint Ignatius Loyola. "If Saint Ignatius Loyola is the brain of the Catholic reaction, Teresa is its heart; if Ignatius is the head of a great band, Teresa of Jesus belongs to its humanity."

Saints like Francis de Sales and Alphonsus Liguori, both Doctors of the Church, not only greatly admired her, but turned to her works for enlightenment and inspiration. Her autobiography, written reluctantly out of obedience to her Spiritual Director, has become known as one of the most important books on the Christian Way of Life.

Popes, over the centuries, have extolled Saint Teresa and her writings. Pope Saint Pius X said one need go no farther than her books to discover how to live a truly holy life; that in her works she very clearly directs one, from the very ordinary, everyday living of the Christian life, to the highest peaks of holiness. Very simply, she teaches that true progress in prayer is achieved by the faithful fulfilling of our daily duties with Christ as the center, and the living out of our belief in a holy and obedient manner.

 

 

 

 
 

 

Saint Teresa of Avila DVD
 



 

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Saint Teresa of Avila DVD
Carmelite Reformer

"At last, at last, a daughter of the Church."

The life of Saint Teresa of Avila - taped in SpainConvent of the Incarnation image
Scenes from  Avila, and  the Convent of the Incarnation where she had
mystical experiences, including Transverberation of the Heart.

Visit San José in Avila, Valladolid, and Alba de Tormes where she died.

See her incorrupt arm and heart.

ISBN 1-58002-033-X  Our Prices explained
 

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In honor of her Feast Day

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Saint Teresa of Avila

"At last, at last, a daughter of the Church"

Teresa of Avila, lovingly referred to as Teresa la Grande, is a radical sign in our Church. She is so grand, yet so simple in her walk toward the Lord. We believe the reason we shied away from her for so many years is that we were intimidated by her biographers. We were afraid she was high above us, intellectually and spiritually.

We tried to bypass her Shrines at Avila and Alba de Tormes. But the more we attempted to go round her, the more she drew us to her. We planned a pilgrimage to the Shrines of Europe. A beautiful lady, Sister Jane, was celebrating her 25th anniversary as a Religious. She and another Sister also celebrating her 25th anniversary, were given the money to go with us. When we met Sister Jane, she bowled us over with her excitement. We were going to the Holy Land, Rome, Assisi, Siena, Lourdes, Fatima, and as an aside, Avila. When she heard Avila, she almost went into ecstasy. This was her greatest dream, to walk where Teresa, had walked. Because of her, we too became excited.

Teresa touched us again on that pilgrimage, in Lourdes. We were honored to meet up with our Archbishop, the late Timothy Cardinal Manning. He was on a private pilgrimage of Lourdes and the Holy Land (Ireland), with another Priest. He asked us our itinerary. When we neglected to mention Alba de Tormes, he looked us in the eye, and suggested, no, commanded, "If you don’t visit any other Shrine, you must go to Alba de Tormes." Cardinal Manning had the ability to burrow through to your soul with his eyes and his voice.

The Shrines were beautiful. The tribute given this great Saint by the Church was awe-inspiring. But we got to know Teresa through her Carmelite Priests, at the Shrines. At her birthplace in Avila, a young Priest explained who Teresa was and is. In Alba de Tormes, Fray Hernandez, spoke of her with such simplicity and love, we hungered to learn more.

Continued below

 

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Joined with Saint Teresa of Avila to reform the Carmelite Order.
Go to Medina del Campo, where he celebrated his first Mass.
Follow his life, as he brings about reform of the Discalced Male Carmelites in Avila, Salamanca, Alba de Tormes
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Bob and Penny have taken 10 of the most powerful women in the Church of yesterday and today, and shared them in a way that can be understood by all. They write about these women in their simple and engaging style, which has placed them among the most popular Catholic writers of the day.
Each of these 10 women are Role Models for the faithful of today.  Read how they suffered rejection by their peers, discrimination because of sex, and how they rose above all of it to become movers and shakers of the world.  There is a common thread, which gave them the strength to go on when others would have backed down -their devotion to the Holy Eucharist and Mother Mary and an unbending commitment to their vows, most especially that of obedience.

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