“Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.” (Psalm 23:4)
I can’t argue with today’s wisdom from the Book of Psalms. But there is another prayer that never fails to comfort me when times take an unexpected turn—and this year has been no exception. I listen to the words of our patroness of missions, St. Teresa of Ávila, and I find God’s peace. Here’s what she says:
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things;
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.
I celebrate St. Teresa’s feast day on October 15 in thanksgiving for her gifts to the Church—and her example of the missionary spirit. She never left her cloister, but Teresa founded convents throughout Spain, welcoming many women into religious life. She never preached from a pulpit but Teresa was a mystic and great writer whose theological works inspire the faithful to this day. If you have never read two of her greatest masterworks, The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, begin your journey of the soul here. You will be deeply rewarded. In recognition of her contribution to the Church’s teachings, St. Pope John Paul II named Teresa a Doctor of the Church, a rare distinction especially for a 16th century woman.
If peace is what you seek, spend some time this week with St. Teresa of Ávila. She says the deepest meditation possible is the conversation we have with God. Pray with your own words and hear God’s voice, not outside yourself but within your soul, the place she calls our “interior castle.”
Friend, understand that God dwells within us. Then know that all things are passing away but God never changes. That is the wisdom of our beloved St. Teresa of Ávila. May she help you find God’s promise of peace today and always.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 2nd Sunday
Patron of mission and of Maryknoll
the world was Your convent
and each human heart a cell
where God dwells in peace and light.
Help us to see God’s presence everywhere
especially in those we meet today and in those
who suffer poverty or persecution.
Give us a worldwide heart like Yours
that through our prayers and penances
we might extend God’s love and mercy to all.
Let nothing disturb us, nothing frighten us
for you, Lord, walk ever at our side.
From our hearts and homes, Lord, expel
all fear and doubt and fill us
with hope and joy
through Christ our Lord.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso