October 15, 2021

Memorial of Saint Teresa of Ávila, Doctor of the Church

Our three-week diet on the letter to the Romans continues today with a reflection on justification through faith in Christ. Paul retraces the history of salvation through Abraham’s faith and his essential witness. While Paul remembers his tent business transactions in the use of his language, we all know that we receive the gift of pure faith from God “just because.” No purchase necessary!

The Pharisees’ “leaven” of hypocrisy and lack of faith is a careful reminder to recognize that God cares for every detail of our life and faith. God wants us to treasure this gift and allow it to blossom, even in times of trouble.

The great doctor of the church, Saint Teresa of Ávila, and her Carmelite charism promoted a mysticism that relied on her true, “stubborn” faith. Her spiritual experiences and inner contemplation deepened her faith making sure that her ascetical works always led to proper union with God. In the deep silence of her life, she advocated contemplative prayer for her sisters and us. Her promotion of an examination of conscience strengthens our faith to always be in sync with God.

Predating our Saint Peter Julian’s thoughts on this, Teresa sought inner communion to renew the faith and allow for a complete transformation. Her famous prayer, an excellent text, captured in the Taizé mantra “nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten,” invites us to always “seek God and then we will never go wanting. God alone fills us.” *

With the psalmist today, we recognize that we turn to God through our faith in times of trouble. God will fill us with joy and retract the guile that blocks our spiritual growth. How may I choose not to worry today? What fears will the Holy Spirit release from me?

Let Us Pray:

May our faith be born of you, O God, with a call that bids us to follow you. May we share the struggle of the cross until the world is made anew. Faith born of God, O living faith, we will be true to you till death.


*Music text from “Nada Te Turbe,” GIA Publications, Inc. agent, © 1986, 1991 and “A Living Faith,” GIA Publications, Inc. agent, © 1981. It is reprinted with permission: Onelicense A-721444 on file in the music/liturgy office of Saint Paschal Baylon.


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About John Thomas Lane, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Lane is pastor of his home parish, Saint Paschal Baylon, Highland Heights, Ohio. He writes and speaks regular on liturgy, has written two books for LTP, a four time member on the team of authors for Sourcebook, worked in a diocesan worship office and is an associate member of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC). He has degrees in education, music, theology and liturgy and also served his religious order as vocation minister. Contact him at jtlanesss@gmail.com or (440) 442-3410 extension 111.