St Teresa strove to serve the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose habit she wore. She also strongly desired that the Blessed Mother would be served by all the monasteries that she had founded. St. Teresa approached the Feast of the Nativity of Mary with great joy because whenever this day came she would renew her vows. One day on September 8, 1575, the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Teresa and the saint writes, “it seems to me I renewed them in her hands and that they were pleasing to her.” (Spiritual Testimonies, 43)
“On the feast of the Nativity of our Lady I feel special joy. When this day comes, I think it’s good to renew my vows. And once while I was about to do so, the Blessed Virgin, our Lady, appeared to me through an illuminative vision; and it seems to me I renewed them in her hands and that they were pleasing to her. This vision remained with me for some days, as though she were next to me at my left.” (St. Teresa of Jesus, Spiritual Testimonies #43)
St. Teresa of Jesus reformed the order dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. She wore the habit of Our Lady and entrusted her life to Mary. As Secular Carmelites we too consecrate ourselves to Our Lady and should trust that she will prepare us for Our Lord. On this feast day of the Birth of Mary it would be good to imitate our holy founding mother, St. Teresa, by renewing our promise and consecration to so good a Mother.
And although we may not ever experience such gifts as locutions, vision and infused knowledge the way St. Teresa did, we can, as a source of hope, keep Our Lady at our side as we go about our day.
Desiring to follow the Crucified and Risen Christ in the Secular Order of Carmel, I renew my profession, and I promise to tend toward evangelical perfection in the spirit of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience, and of the Beatitudes, according to the Constitutions of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites. I confidently entrust my promise to the Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Carmel.