23 Mar THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT 2014
It often seems that the world we live in is especially challenging to faith, and yet the world of St Teresa of Avila presented, perhaps, even greater challenges. In XVI century Europe the established order was changing dramatically; Christendom was breaking up, entire nations (including our own) were repudiating the Catholic faith, leading Teresa to cry out to God, in words we might well want to echo today, “Is it not enough, Lord, that the world has intimidated us, so that we may not do anything worthwhile for you in public or dare speak some truths…Don’t allow any more harm to come to Christianity, Lord. Give light now to these darknesses.”
St Teresa’s response to the confusion of her times was to gather around herself a group of women who shared her conviction that the interests of the Church were best defended by prayer, and that prayer itself was the deepest expression of faith. She communicated the same ideal to the friars, whose ministry was to be entirely grounded in prayer. Five hundred years later, our own times call for the same response. Our prayer for a world that is often hostile to faith is itself an affirmation of our faith, strengthening our own commitment while being a channel of God’s grace to others.