Well, should I post this now, or wait a few weeks and be ready for next year’s feast of St. Teresa of Jesus? I’ll post it now, late as it may be.
Here is an exclusive interview with Holy Mother Saint Teresa. One of our sisters was able to “interview” her on some topics that concern us today, and her advice is most helpful. (translation: we found passages from her writings and wrote questions to go with them, so when it says St. Teresa, it really is her own words.)
Carmelite Sister: Holy Mother Teresa, I’ve read that there were times in your life that you really struggled to live a truly virtuous life. I think many of us share that same struggle year after year. What advice would give from your experience?
St. Teresa: I understood that I wasn’t what I should have been- not by a far cry. I begged the Lord to help me. But I must have failed, as it appears to me now, because I did not put all my trust in His Majesty and lose completely the trust I had in myself. I searched for a remedy, I made attempts, but I didn’t understand that all is of little benefit if we do not take away completely the trust we have in ourselves and place it in God.
Carmelite Sister: But even after we’ve placed our trust in the Lord, isn’t it possible that we might take it back, little by little? Was there ever a point after you began living a life of confidence in God that you struggled to maintain this trust? After all, the world we live in is not exactly conducive to such confidence.
St. Teresa: I experienced, in sum, a great darkness of soul. While I was in this affliction, the Lord began to speak to me. He told me not to be anxious, that in seeing myself in this condition I would understand how miserable I’d be if He withdrew from me, and that there is no security while we live in this flesh. He made me understand how worthwhile this war and strife is that merits such a reward (it seemed to me the Lord took pity on those who live in the world), that I should not think He had forgotten me, that He would never abandon me, but that it was necessary I do what I could.
Carmelite Sister: Today there is a certain criticism of contemplative life. Only action and doing seem to be encouraged. Our Church is in great need. How would you address the accusation that it is a lack of concern to put so much emphasis on prayer?
St. Teresa: Since I am aware of the great needs of the Church- for these afflict me so much that it seems to me silly to feel sorrow about anything else- I don’t do anything but pray to God for these persons. For I see that one person who is completely perfect would do more good with a true, fervent love of God than many others would with lukewarmness.
Carmelite Sister: We are almost out of time, but one more question. What would you say is the source of the richest graces?
St. Teresa: Certainly, I think that if we were to approach the most Blessed Sacrament with great faith and love, once would be enough to leave us rich. How much richer from approaching so many times as we do. The trouble is we do so out of routine, and it shows. O miserable world, you have so covered the eyes of those who live in you that they do not see the treasures by which they could win everlasting riches!
Carmelite Sister: St. Teresa, thank you so much for your time and wisdom. I am sure all our readers will enjoy what you have shared with us.
St. Teresa: May God our Lord be forever praised and blessed.