My favorite saint, St. Teresa of Avila, doctor of the church, 1515-1582 has her feast day today, Oct. 15.
Charming, witty, determined, candid, outspoken, passionate (sounds like a New Yorker, no wonder I feel an affinity toward her), she experienced mystical visions and miraculous events, but she also talked with God in an almost conversational tone, frankly speaking her mind on everything. Her “Bookmark” is one of the most famous prayers written EVER. We don’t even know for SURE if she is the one who wrote it, but we DO know that it was found written on a bookmark that she kept in her breviary when she died, so she probably prayed it every day.
Let nothing disturb you
nothing frighten you,
all things are passing;
attains all things:
one whom God possesses
for God alone suffices.
If you ever wondered, this is the exact prayer where I got the words to the song “Only Today” (chorus and 2nd verse) that I sing on the “Prayers of the Great Saints” CD. Track 7.
Some other famous prayers by her are:
“Govern all by your wisdom, O Lord, so that my soul may always be serving you as you will and not as I choose. Do not punish me, I beseech, by granting that which I wish or ask, if it offend your love which would always live in me. Let me die to myself that I may serve you. Let me live to you who in yourself are the true life.”
And the humorous: “From silly devotions and sullen saints, deliver me, O Lord.”
St. Teresa, pray for us.