Archive for the ‘St. Teresa of the Andes’ Category

Bernini's St. Teresa of Jesus

Bernini’s St. Teresa of Jesus


St. Teresa is best known for her love of God. Jesus Christ increased this virtue and many others in this saint. She experienced many visions and revelations from Christ. One time she saw an angel with a flaming dart piercing her heart. She explains this mystical experience in her autobiography, chapter 19:

“I saw an angel beside me toward the left side, in bodily form…He was not very large, but small, very beautiful, his face so blazing with light that he seemed to be one of the very highest angels, who appear all on fire. They must be those they call Cherubim…I saw in his hands a long dart of gold, and at the end of the iron there seemed to me to be a little fire. This I thought he thrust through my heart several times, and that it reached my very entrails. As he withdrew it, I thought it brought them with it, and left me all burning with a great love of God. So great was the pain, that it made me give those moans; and so utter the sweetness that this sharpest of pains gave me, that there was no wanting it to stop, nor is there any contenting of the soul with less than God”.

This heavenly gift, this flame of divine love in her heart, which penetrated her being and made her so strong that she vowed to always do what seemed to her most perfect and for God’s glory.

St. John of the Cross explains this fire of love in his work The Living Flame of Love:

“When he wills to touch somewhat vehemently, the soul’s burning reaches such a high degree of love that it seems to surpass that of all the fires of the world: for he is an infinite fire of love. Because the soul in this case is entirely transformed by the divine flame, it not only feels a cautery, but has become a cautery of blazing fire.”

“…it does not afflict it: rather, commensurate with the strength of the love, it divinized and delights it, burning gently.”

May God’s love transform our hearts and may our love of God grow, blazing like fire, burning gently.


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It is difficult for people to be joyful. Life isn’t easy. We are often weighed down with problems. Yet we were made for joy!
The opposite of joy is sadness. My last post was titled “sadness” and I receive more visits to my blog that day than on any other since I began to blog. So today I am hoping to raise awareness to this fact: that God is the God of joy and wants His children to be happy.
We have a soul and this is what is in us that tunes us to the inner life of the joyfulness of God. It is our soul that enables us to enjoy God in prayer. Did anyone ever teach you that you were to enjoy God in prayer? Enjoying God in prayer- seems like the concept should be self evident, but for some reason it isn’t. The little known secret of discovering enjoyment in prayer is that God is present to us; He is the God of love and joy. If we truly believe and understand this then prayer will not be just a duty, but a joy!
Do you think of prayer as drudgery or perhaps as something altogether boring? True joyfulness, that joyfulness that is seen in the saints, comes from being rooted in and nourished by a deep prayer life. This is the grace-filled secret to joyfulness.
“To live always joyfully. God is infinite joy”

“When one loves, everything is joy. The cross doesn’t weigh down. Martyrdom isn’t felt. One lives more in heaven than on earth.” (St. Teresa of the Andes)

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“We are going into solitude.”

“I’ll lead her into solitude and there I’ll speak to her heart
(Hosea 2:14).

“I’ll retire with Him into the intimate depths of my soul and there, as in another Nazareth, I’ll live in His company with my Mother and Saint Joseph. Jesus told me He will search through His little house to see what’s lacking so that He can purify it.”

(Retreat of 1917, St. Teresa of the Andes, God the Joy of My Life, Ignatius Press)

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“Jesus did not desire me to be born poor like Himself; I was born in the midst of riches, spoiled by all.”

(St. Teresa of the Andes)

In a secularized society which turns its back on God, this Chilean Carmelite whom to my great joy I present as a model of the perennial youth of the Gospel, gives the shining witness of a life which proclaims to the men and women of our day that it is in loving, adoring and serving God that the human person finds greatness and joy, freedom and fulfillment. The life of Blessed Teresa cries out continually from within her cloister “God alone suffices.”

She shouts it out particularly to the young people who hunger for the truth and seek a light which will give direction to their lives. To young people who are being allured by the continuous messages and stimuli of an erotic culture, a society which mistakes the hedonistic exploitation of another for genuine love, which is self-giving, this young virgin of the Andes today proclaims the beauty and happiness that comes from a pure heart.
(Homily of Pope John Paul II for the Canonizationf of St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, March 21, 1993)

St. Tesesa lived a brief life, dying a teenager at the age of 19 years old. She lived as a Discalced Carmelite nun for 11 months in the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Los Andes, Chile. Juana Henrietta Josephine was born in 1900, into a wealthy, aristocratic family. She was surrounded by the love of a large extended family and every possible comfort. She was a good student and musically gifted. She played the piano and had a pleasing voice. St. Teresa also loved sports; she was an excellent swimmer and loved horsback riding.

St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes has been proposed as a model for young people today by our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. St. Teresa….pray for us!

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