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Feast Day Mini-Study: St. Teresa of Avila

September 15th
St. Teresa of Avila
1515- 1582
I’d like to cut right to the chase: In this little blog on St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila), who we Discalced Carmelites call “Our Holy Mother,” I’ll simply share three ways in which her life and teaching on prayer has touched my life. Hopefully some of these insights will enrich you as well.

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Woman of Grace: St. Josephine Bakhita (1869 – 1947)

It is natural to express thanksgiving for being released from difficult trials and circumstances. But who would be grateful for those who cause such difficult trials or circumstances? This is the stuff of saints — the very stuff of which Saint Josephine Bakhita was made.

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Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton — A Real Woman of Grace

In my reliquary, I have a first-class relic of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native-born American to be canonized. I find it appropriate that a woman was the first of our land to be lifted to the altar of Christ by Holy Mother Church. After all, our country and all of North America is dedicated to the woman: the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our special patroness is also the Blessed Mother under her name, Immaculate Conception.

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Advent Week Three: A Time for Charity, A Time for Love, Part IV

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (St. Edith Stein) wrote, "On the question of relation to our fellow men -- our neighbor's spiritual need transcends every commandment. Everything else we do is a means to an end. But love is an end already, since God is love."

These words express a great truth and they should be at the heart of every action we perform for another, especially as we seek to enter more deeply into the very heart of God given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.


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Advent Week Three: A Time for Charity, A Time for Love, Part III

St. Augustine wrote, "Love has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. This is what love looks like."

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Advent Week Three: A Time for Charity, A Time for Love, Part II

As we discovered yesterday, for our good deeds to become charitable acts, we must center our hearts, our souls, our minds, and all of our strength on love of God. Then, and only then, will our good deeds effect a change that reaches beyond the finite to touch the eternal. And when we do that, every thought, word, deed, and suffering can become an act of charity -- even our daily labor.

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Advent Week Three: A Time for Charity, A Time for Love, Part I

"May the Lord make you overflow with love for one another and for all, even as our love does for you. May He strengthen your hearts...At the coming of our Lord Jesus..." -- Thes. 3:12-13

Toy collections, food drives, charity bazaars -- all common activities in communities and parishes during the Christmas season. And they are good. They help fulfill Jesus' mandate to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31).

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Advent Week Two: A Time for Reconciliation, A Time for Forgiveness, Part V

While it is necessary for our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being for us to extend forgiveness, it is just as necessary that we seek forgiveness when we have offended another.

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