Gospel: Lk 12:8-12
I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before people, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But the one who denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.
There will be pardon for the one who criticizes the Son of Man, but there will be no pardon for the one who slanders the Holy Spirit.
When you are brought before the synagogues, and before governors and rulers, don’t worry about how you will defend yourself, or what to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you have to say.”
We are remembering a great lady today, Teresa of Avila, who was born in 1515 and who died on this date in 1582.
As a young woman, she had the reputation of being quite beautiful. She was extroverted, vivacious and could adapt herself easily to other people. After several years of illness, she entered the Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation at Avila. She tried to be a good nun, but her monastery was in serious need of reform. For the next 18 years, she had transitory mystical experiences, but was held back from giving herself completely to God by her strong desire to be appreciated by others. Finally, at the age of 39 she was “converted” and resolutely chose Christ crucified. She then set out to reform her Order by leaving her convent and founding a new one in which a stricter rule was observed. Of course she met a thousands of difficulties in her project. Luckily she received a lot of support from the Jesuits.
Teresa wrote great books on the spiritual life and these became immortal classics: The Way of Perfection, her autobiography, and her masterpiece The Interior Castle. Because of these unique treasures of spirituality, she was declared Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970.