My husband took this photo of a large icon of St Teresa of Avila yesterday. It was at Corpus Christi parish at St Ives in Sydney’s north which is in the care of the Discalced Carmelite friars – the order that she founded with the help of St John of the Cross.
She lived by a maxim which was written on a bookmark she kept (see below). It’s not known whether she’s its author but it’s thought that she probably isn’t as there are no similar passages in any of her writings. I’m no expert of St Teresa by a long shot, but I am pretty familiar with her life and much of her writings. In one way it’s amazing to think that she was a medieval woman. She is such a strong and passionate person with a vibrant, I would say almost forcefully attractive personality, that she very much speaks to me today. In some ways our times are not so completely different as to make it difficult to draw parallels, but more to the point people are people; essentially we have the same needs, desires, and problems in life no matter what age we’re living in or state of life we’re following.
St Teresa’s books such as Interior Castle, Way of Perfection, and Life, are still popular with others all around the world as well. I doubt they will ever get ‘old’.
Let nothing disturb you
Let nothing frighten you
All things pass away,
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who lacks God finds he lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.
– St Teresa’s bookmark
We had another pretty full weekend. On Friday I went with one of the Catholic Weekly interns and a photographer to a community dinner hosted by the L’Arche community. L’Arche (French for ‘the ark’) is a community of people living together as small family groups, with and without intellectual disabilities. This time everyone was meeting up at the Burwood house. I’d actually been there once before around eight years ago and still remembered some of the people there. It’s a really special, little-known, feature of Sydney life and the night was lots of fun, sprinkled with very sweet, even eye-moistening moments. We were told dinner would be at 6pm, followed by an hour’s sharing/prayer time and maybe some singing and dancing. So we figured we’d be done around 8.30, but we didn’t get out of there until 10pm. I can’t wait to read the article when it comes out in the paper.
A friend was home having a dads’ nightcap with my husband when I got back, and we stayed up talking, mostly about the marriage postal survey, until after midnight.
Saturday was our eldest’s son’s first basketball game and I took our girls summer clothes shopping. Our eldest has just had another growth spurt which put her out of the girls’ range of clothes in the stores and into the smaller women’s sizes, and so a lot of it is just trying things on and seeing what fits her now and still looks appropriate for a 13-year-old. Any tips would be very much appreciated!
Sunday we drove to St Ives for Mass and chatted with friends there afterwards, then it was on to my mother’s for lunch and to continue getting spoilt for my birthday. I’m feeling a bit unsettled now actually, at this time of year the pace of things starts going into hyperdrive and I don’t feel ready for that, especially as I’m going to be working a bit more for the next three weeks, covering for a journalist while she is overseas. I’ll have to keep reading St Teresa’s maxim…