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Archive for the ‘St. Teresa Margaret Redi’ Category

“By offering my whole self to You, I understand that I am giving You my free will, so that henceforth, you alone will be the master of my heart and Your will alone will regulate my actions. Therefore, dispose of me always according to Your good pleasure: I am content with everything, since I wish to love You with a love that is patient, mortified, wholly abandoned to you, an active love, a strong, undivided love and, what is more important, a persevering love.” (St Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart)

St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart led a quiet and hidden life. She died at the young age of twenty-two. Despite her short life on earth, she spent five years of it in a Carmelite monastery in Florence, Italy. She did not do anything to gain the world’s attention; there were no great deeds or brilliant performances. Her interior life, however, was rich, fragrance and powerfully charmed all those around her. She was a hidden but ardent disciple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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She was born on July 15th 1747 in Tuscany. Even as a young child she often spoke of God and had a strong desire to please Him and to live a holy life. She made her profession on March 12, 1766. Her life in the convent was one of deep faith. “God is love,” was one of her best-loved phrases.

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St. Teresa Margaret was one day snatched up in a rapture while reciting the Divine office. During the recitation the words of St. John’s first epistle were being chanted:

God is love, and he who dwells in love dwells in God and God in him.”

In this vision she beheld that the source of love is centered in the Heart of Jesus. His heart is the source of love, and  Jesus merited for us the power to return this love. “To return love unceasingly to Him who has so loved us,” says this disciple of the the Heart of Jesus.  Love for Love. This was the mindset of this holy Carmelite. This is the attitude we should also have.

 

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I live without living in myself,

and in such a way I hope,

I die because I do not die.

Since I die of love,

Living apart from love,

I live now in the Lord,

Who has desired me for Himself.

He inscribed on my heart

When I gave it to Him:

I die because I do not die.

Within this divine prison,

Of love in which I live,

My God my captive is.

My heart is free

To behold my prisoner-God,

Passion welling in my heart,

I die because I do not die.

Ah, how weary this life!

These exiles so hard!

This jail and these shackles

By which the soul is fettered!

Longing only to go forth

Brings such terrible sorrow,

I die because I do not die.

Ah, how bitter a life

When the Lord is not enjoyed!

While love is sweet,

Long awaiting is not.

O God, take away this burden

Heavier than steel,

I die because I do not die.

Only with that surety

I will die do I live,

Because in dying

My hope in living is assured.

Death, bringing life,

Do not tarry; I await you,

I die because I do not die.

See how love is strong.

Life, do not trouble me.

See how all that remains

Is in losing you to gain.

Come now, sweet death,

Come, dying, swiftly.

I die because I do not die.

That life from above,

That is true life,

Until this life dies,

Life is not enjoyed.

Death, be not aloof;

In dying first, may life be,

I die because I do not die.

Life, what can I give

To my God living in me,

If not to lose you,

thus to merit Him?

In dying I want to reach

Him alone whom I seek:

I die because I do not die.

Poetry of St. Teresa of Jesus “Aspirations toward Eternal Life” trans. by Adrian J. Cooney, OCD (ICS Publications The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Volume 3)

 

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Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is to love the Lord incessantly in return for His love. St. Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart whose feast day it is today, was a Discalced Carmelite nun in Florence. She lived from 1747 until her early death at the age of 23 in 1770. She was devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was given a special contemplative experience concerning the words of St. John, “God is Love”. Her life of heroic virtue, living a hidden life of love and self-immolation, is an example for all of us. Like St. Teresa Margaret we can cultivate a spirit of gratitude for the love God has shown us. Contemplating the great sacrifice of Christ for our salvation and for love of us can help us to cultivate this spirit of gratitude. In this spirit of thankfulness we can foster our love for God and for others. Loving God and our neighbor is to return Love for Love.

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