Father Robert Elias, OCD: October 15, St. Teresa’s Feastday

The Unitive Way

In this conference, Father Robert Elias talks about the value of wisdom, the treasure of heaven. The more our soul is filled with earthly and passing things, the less we can taste life’s substance. We often choose the gift rather than the Giver, creation rather than the Creator. Saint Teresa helps people to have a proper understanding of where our hearts should be and the beauty of holiness, a life made fully alive and transfigured in God.

In the Fifth Mansion, the soul experiences true Mysticism, which gives birth to Mission. The lesser self must be crucified and the person must die to themselves, which brings about peace. In these mystical stages, the profound work of the Holy Spirit reproduces in us the life of the Trinity. The soul enters a deeper intimacy with God and enters a spousal relationship with Him. Father Robert Elias also discusses the Sixth and Seventh Mansions where the prayer is so full of God’s love and the spirit of the resurrection of Jesus, that words cannot express the experience.

THE CAVE by Teresa Linda
Teach me your ways, oh Dust of the Earth
Born before the beginning of time.
In your cavernal womb, envelope me in your loving secrecy
Breathe into me the cool breath of life
From the walls that have carried the waters of springs eternal.
That I may never forget,
That in the beginning, I was dust
Formed into beauty by Your Word
Hidden beneath your mantle of grace.

COME HOLY SPIRIT, I NEED YOU (by Teresa Linda)
That I may learn the ways of the Lord from You.
That I may learn to turn my gaze away from myself and fix them on my God.
That I may learn from my beloved saints and heed their instructions.
That I may walk this path of loneliness and suffering with peace and joy.
That I may drink abundantly from the chalice of my God.

Dr. Anthony Lilles: Way of Perfection Overview, Saint Teresa of Avila 8

Painting by Father Robert Barcelos, OCD, 2014
Painting by Father Robert Barcelos, OCD, 2014

BTP-WP4 A broad overview of first 18 chapters – The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray w/Dr. Anthony Lilles

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

‘Arm yourselves with the armor of faith and the sword of truth.  Pray for the grace to forgive and to ask for forgiveness – and for the healing of wounded bodies and souls.’

 

Dr. Anthony Lilles: Way of Perfection 3-4, Saint Teresa of Avila 7

Bernini's The Transverberation of Saint Teresa
Bernini’s The Transverberation of Saint Teresa

BTP-WP3 Chaps 3 – 4: The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray w/Dr. Anthony Lilles

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Dr. Anthony Lilles: Way of Perfection 1-2, Saint Teresa of Avila 6

BTP-WP2 Chap 1 – 2: The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray w/Dr. Anthony Lilles

CLICK ON THE TRIANGLE ON THE LEFT TO PLAY

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Dr. Anthony Lilles: Way of Perfection Intro – Saint Teresa of Avila 5

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 In this podcast, Dr. Anthony Lilles provides an “introduction to the life of Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada (28 March 1515 – 4 October 1582).  This opening conversation discusses 16th century Spain, events taking place in the world and the people who associated with Teresa. Dr. Lilles also gives introductions to her various spiritual works and the importance of The Way of Perfection.

CLICK ON THE TRIANGLE ON THE LEFT TO PLAY


Introduction –  Way of Perfection, Dr. Anthony Lilles

SOURCE:  http://www.discerninghearts.com/catholic-podcasts/btp-wp1-introduction-way-perfection-st-teresa-avila-beginning-pray-wdr-anthony-lilles/

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: Saint Teresa of Avila 4

The Purgative Way (1-3)

The Third Mansion – the majority of Christians stay in this mansion because of too-human prudence.  Prayer in this stage includes active recollection, simplified mental prayer, and becomes more the work of the heart – St.Teresa calls this the Prayer of Simplicity. The prominent Gift of the Spirit is Fortitude.  Ascetic exercise, penance, and meditative prayer are essential, for we must do everything we can to get to know the humanity of Christ, using our imaginations so that we grow in our love for Jesus as we understand His love for us.

The life of prayer in the Purgative Way is what Saint Teresa calls, ‘the first water.’ To grow in prayer, we must desire it, and have ‘determined determination.’

Many enter the Third Mansion, but very few leave it.

CLICK ON THE TRIANGLE ON THE LEFT TO PLAY

SOURCE: Santa Clara OCDS Meeting, 2014 All Rights Reserved

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.


Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: Saint Teresa of Avila 3

The Purgative Way (Mansions 1-3)

The Third Mansion – a mature friendship with God. We have a well-regulated spiritual life, a conscientious moral life, and an active life of charity. Prayers move from simple petitions to a necessity and longing of the soul. We consecrate ourselves to God in a new way. The predominant faults in this stage are in the thought life of the person: criticism, harsh judgment, easily scandalized, complaining, phariseeism, and egoism.

CLICK ON THE TRIANGLE ON THE LEFT TO PLAY

SOURCE: Santa Clara OCDS Meeting, 2014 All Rights Reserved

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: Saint Teresa of Avila 2

The Purgative Way (Mansions 1-3)

The Second Mansion – This stage requires great battle and we experience increased temptations to turn back, especially through False Humility. It is crucial that we renounce temptations immediately before they grow and take root.  We must willfully and voluntarily mortify our senses so that we discipline and cultivate virtues in our lower faculties.  Spiritual readings, spiritual direction, spiritual friendships, and holy meditation, are helpful in overcoming these new trials.  The primary Gift of the Spirit here is Piety and Reverence.

CLICK ON THE TRIANGLE ON THE LEFT TO PLAY

SOURCE: Santa Clara OCDS Meeting, 2014 All Rights Reserved

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: St Teresa of Avila 1

The Purgative Way (Mansions 1-3)

In this conference Father Robert discusses the stages of the Prayer and Love relationship with God.

The First Mansion – is friendship with God, but not a deep personal relationship. The common form of prayer in this stage is Vocal Prayer – communal prayers, the rosary, and Mass prayers. The primary gift of the Spirit is Fear of the Lord

The Second Mansion – is an active life of friendship with God, the beginning of a personal relationship with Jesus, and the first desires to grow spiritually. The true self begins to emerge, and we begin to genuinely examine our conscience. We enter the beginnings of a new form of Prayer, Recollection/Meditation. Spiritual pride is prevalent in this stage, and so are dryness, trials, and discouragement.

SOURCE: Santa Clara OCDS Meeting, 2014 All Rights Reserved

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Brother Juan Torres, OCD: Saint Teresa of Avila 2

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A melody to God.

It is always good to return to the sources of our spirituality and vocation, to reflect, and to ask ourselves if we really know the great treasure we have in our saints. Do we really know them? Do we really love their testimony? Do we approach them regularly? How have they helped us to live more consciously, our identities as Catholic Christians, and particularly as Discalced Carmelites, as Secular Carmelites, and as Teresian Carmelites?

These are questions that we can ask ourselves in our groups and churches, but we have to also personally think about how much interest we really have in the life and teachings of our saints. These wonderful saints are Doctors of the Church, and whose spirit and charism we intend to live by. However, one popular saying says, “You cannot love what you do not know.” As members of the Carmelite Order, in particular, we can’t simply know the saints, but we must strive every day to approach them, let them be our teachers, and let them form us and teach us. They can tell us how to become true disciples of Christ to our world today, and how to be true Carmelites.

In August 2015, I saw the places where St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross once lived. The experience made me reflect often of the many ways St. Teresa uses to explain her spiritual process and relationship with God. She uses images like the castle, comparisons like the chess game, natural elements like water and fire, or the transformation of the butterfly.  I too want to use a symbol to explain this spiritual reflection.

Life is like a melody, and every day is a different note that builds our lives’ harmony. For a melody to be complete and above all to make it a masterpiece, different musical notes that give the changes and nuances are necessary. For example, of all Beethoven symphonies, the Sixth Symphony [click on the link to listen–] is one of my favorites; it is a truly beautiful piece. Every one of its movements, each musical instrument and every note plays an important role in the harmony. There are times that the melody seems sad, others when it’s calm and quiet, while others are anxious musical moments that break into glorious moments, but later return to calm.

Similarly, our lives are a melody and every day we live is a musical note; all the notes are important in building a harmonic melody, so that together, every single note is part of a masterpiece; all our experiences are necessary and we must learn to find beauty moment by moment, measure by measure.

More importantly, the melody of our life is not for us, but is a melody that we are creating to delight Someone. This melody of our life is for God; it is a song, a hymn in his honor. And this symphony of our lives will be completed at the end of our days; it is our responsibility to keep composing a beautiful melody and not a musical disaster.

The life of St. Teresa was a song that she entitled “The Mercies of the Lord.” In fact the original title that she gave to the book of her life, was of the “The Mercies of the Lord.” Mother St. Teresa ‘s life was not easy, and it was full of different experiences and situations. Sometimes, the events were joyful but others were very painful. Many of her experiences were of difficulties, while others were of spiritual peace. God was present in her life always – whether she lived in coldness or dryness, and whether she lived the graces of union with God or when the fire of love wounded her heart. She also experienced physical diseases and had to suffer slanders and misunderstandings.

Every note of Teresa’s life was a melody to God. This melody started to be written in Avila on March 28, 1515, and was finished in Alba de Tormes on the evening of October 15, 1582. Today, we have the privilege of seeing, hearing, and learning from this masterpiece. She can inspire us, give us light, and advice us in the creation of our own melody. Saint Teresa, pray for us.

Copyright Brother Juan Torres 2016, All rights reserved

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

‘Arm yourselves with the armor of faith and the sword of truth.  Pray for the grace to forgive and to ask for forgiveness – and for the healing of wounded bodies and souls.’

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