Carmelite Conversations

Intimate Friendship with Jesus Christ—from the Perspective of St. Teresa of Avila

October 10, 2016

It was through the lens of intimate friendship with Jesus Christ that the many foundations of St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila) were begun. In her book, “The Way of Perfection,” she wrote: “All my longing was and still is that since He {Jesus} has so many enemies and so few friends that these few friends be good ones. As a result, I resolved to do the little that was in my power; that is, to follow the evangelical counsels as perfectly as I could and strive that these few persons who live here do the same.” Her life was a witness and testimony to this intimate friendship with Jesus. We must be diligent in seeking the Lord and answering “His Call.” St. Teresa counsels us on how to develop this relationship: “Represent the Lord Himself as close to you and behold how lovingly and humbly He is teaching you. Believe me, you should remain with so good a friend as long as you can. If you grow accustomed to having Him present at your side, and He sees that you do so with love and that you go about striving to please Him, He will never fail you. He will help you in all your trials; you will find Him everywhere.” (“The Way of Perfection 23.2; 26.1). It is through a frequent, intimate conversation in prayer and in the sacraments, that we can more easily grown in our union with Jesus. In this program, Mark and Frances discuss the importance of developing this friendship with Christ through the life and counsel of our Mystic and Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila).

Scripture:  1 Jn 4:17-19; Jn 15:13; Jn 14-15

Articles:“Springtime of Faith Conference: The Toolbox of Pope Benedict,” Nashville.

“Christ in the Mysticism of St. Teresa” by Father Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD.

“Teresa of Avila and Friendship” by Susan B. Cordsen;

Books:“Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Vol. 1,2 and 3, ‘ The Book of Her Life,’ ‘The Way of Perfection,’ and ‘Interior Castle’” trans. by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD; ICS Publications.

“15 Days of Prayer with Saint Teresa of Aivla” by Jean Abiven; Liguori.

“Let Nothing Trouble You: 60 Reflections from the Writings of St. Teresa of Avila,” Compiled by Heidi S. Hess; Servant Publications.

“Friendship with Christ: Love and Service” by Sister Mary of Jesus and St. Joseph, OCD; Carmel, Schenectady, New York, 1972.

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