Erin Foord, ocds: St. Teresa’s bookmark – Novena Day 4

St. Teresa of Jesus Novena

O most loving Heavenly Father! We thank you for the great gift you gave us through your beloved St. Teresa of Avila, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her life was a great example of prayer, sacrifice and faith in You. We humbly pray for her most holy intercession… (Mention your intentions)

St. Teresa, we know that you are a powerful intercessor because of your close relationship to the Holy Mother and Jesus through prayer. Open wide the doors to the interior castle of our hearts and souls so that we may know how to pray! Pray for us, that we may have the gift of prayer. St. Teresa of Avila, you are an example of prayerful holiness that we will try to follow. You are in heaven praising God. With your seat of honor, please beg God to bring me to eternal rest with you.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…

Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us! Amen

What can we do? We must start by identifying the disordered attachments in our life, and address them through a practical plan of detaching or releasing ourselves from them. If we don’t break the attachment, we will find ourselves endlessly repeating the same situations over and over again. This kind of compulsive, addictive, behavior actually feeds a false, or phantom self which is the ego. Egoism and pride are deeply embedded in the human spirit.

We can be so unconsciously identified with our ego that we don’t even recognize it. This is why Jesus emphatically demands that, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Lk. 9:23) Saint Paul affirms that, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24) Once purified, we are able to experience a greater freedom and to be open to the gifts that God wishes to lavish on us. As Jesus promised, “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.” (Mt.5:8)

Once purified, we are able to experience a greater freedom and to be open to the gifts that God wishes to lavish on us. As Jesus promised, “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.” (Mt.5:8)

This first instruction of Saint Teresa’s bookmark, “Let nothing disturb you” is advocating emotional detachment and a loving indifference, where we joyously surrender to whatever happens in our lives with equanimity and an absolute trust in God and His will for us. This is expressed by St. John of the Cross in his poem, Glosa a lo Divino:

“From creatures now my soul is free,

Detached from all created things;

Now she at last has taken wings And lives her life delectably.

To God, and God alone, she clings.”

About the author: Erin Foord has been a Secular Discalced Carmelite for 40 years.  He served as President of the California-Arizona Provincial Council from 2014-2017. He gave this conference as part of an Ongoing Formation class for the Santa Clara , CA OCDS community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.