Psalm 98: The Lord Remembers

Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

October 15, 2020

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, on this feast of the great St. Teresa of Avila, we pray with Psalm 98.

Our psalm is the exultant song of a joyful and triumphant people – a people grateful and blessed by the Lord’s Presence among them.

Sing to the LORD a new song,
Who has done wondrous deeds;
Whose right hand has won for us
the victory of peace.

Psalm 98:1-2

We have all experienced these types of moments when we feel “delivered”.

  • We might have been praying for someone’s health, or our own.
  • We might have been caught in a difficult decision.
  • We might have been waiting for an acceptance letter or call.
  • We might have been hoping our apology would be accepted, or that one would be given.
  • We might have been aching for an inspiration, a thread of hope, or a new understanding.

And then —- Light!

We know what it feels like when the Light comes. But often, it is not the light we had expected. True “deliverance” comes not from shedding a worrisome circumstance. Instead, it comes from being incorporated into an unshakable faith and trust, as St. Teresa of Ávila describes it:

May today there be peace within. 
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. 
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. 
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. 
May you be content knowing you are a child of God. 
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. 
It is there for each and every one of us.


Poem: Nada Te Turbe – Teresa of Ávila

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing:
God alone is changeless.
Patience
obtains all things.
Whoever has God
lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Nada te turbe,
Nada te espante.
Todo se pasa.
Dios no se muda.
La paciencia 
Todo lo alcanza.
Quien a Dios tiene,
Nada le falta.
Solo Dios basta.


Music: Voice in My Heart – Iris Koh


A beautiful reflection in Spanish from the Discalced Carmelite Sisters

Psalm 16: The Secret

Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

June 10, 2020

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psalm16

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 16.  This Psalm is introduced as “A Michtam of David”. “Michtam” can be interpreted as either “golden” or “secret” by various translators. 

For prayer this morning, I focused on “secret” because, in the psalm, David expresses what he considers the secret to a joyful, holy life even in difficulty.

O LORD, my allotted portion and cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

The last line of this verse immediately brought to mind St. Teresa of Avila’s transcendent advice:

Nada te turbe
nada te espante
Todo se pasa
Dios no we muda.
La paciencia todo alcanza.
Quien a Dios tiene
nada le falta
Solo Dios basta.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing.
God alone is changeless.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Repeating this Psalm slowly and intentionally, let us pray for that kind of peace today:

  • for ourselves
  • our beloveds
  • our world, especially those from whom peace has been stolen by injustice, war, greed, and hate.

Music: Psalm 16 – Shane and Shane

There is fullness
Of joy
Of joy
At Your right hand
There are pleasures
Forevermore
Forevermore

My heart is glad and my soul rejoices
My flesh it dwells secure
Because You put on flesh
Lived a blameless life
My curse on the cross You bore

Then You ripped the doors off the City of Death
And the chains fell to the floor
Now the serpent’s crushed
It has been finished
And You reign forevermore

You are my portion
My cup and you make my lot secure
The lines have fallen
For me in pleasant places
A beautiful inheritance

God Alone

Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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Today, in Mercy, we celebrate the feast of the great Saint Teresa of Avila. 

Teresa prayer

Teresa was a Spanish noblewoman who became a Carmelite nun, mystic, religious reformer, author, theologian, and one of the 36 Doctors of the Church.

(Until 1970, no woman had been named a Doctor in the Church, but since then four women have been designated: Saints Teresa of Àvila, Catherine of Siena, Therese of the Child Jesus, and Hildegard of Bingen)

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Our reading today from Romans is a good one for Teresa’s feast. In it, Paul expresses his complete trust in and devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By this, Paul means more than the written words of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He means the entire gift of the Incarnation, Life, Passion, Death and Resurrection, continuing among us in the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Teresa understood and lived this same trust and devotion. She said:

Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world.

Like Paul, Teresa was not ashamed to proclaim and live the Gospel. May these two strong and amazing saints help us to do the same.

Music: Christ Has No Body Now But Yours – David Ogden

Yes, I’m Talkin’ to YOU!

Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter 

June 8, 2019

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Today, in Mercy, our Gospel reveals a lot about the relationships and personalities among Jesus and his disciples.

John is described as “the one whom Jesus loved”, indicating that there was a unique affection shared between them. What was that like? John was younger than most of the other men. Perhaps he needed more overt direction and care from Jesus. We know from John’s later extensive contributions to scripture that he was a poet and a visionary, someone with heightened sensitivities. Perhaps John expressed his love for Jesus more openly, triggering a similar response in Jesus.

Peter, once again, appears as the questioner. Throughout the Gospels, he is always asking Jesus to explain, to define, to assure. In today’s reading, Jesus has given Peter the prime call to follow him. But Peter wants more. Looking at John, Peter wants to know, “What about him… will he follow?”

Maybe Peter is a lot like some of us, a little unsure of where we are in God’s love. Maybe he wants to know how he compares to John, the obvious “Beloved Disciple”.

Jesus doesn’t coddle Peter. He wants Peter to “man up”. Peter has immense leadership responsibilities ahead of him. He needs to rely totally on Jesus’s promise to him.

John21_22

So Jesus tells him not to worry about how others are loved and called by God. He tells Peter, “ You follow me!” – that’s all you have to be concerned about.

Everybody’s call to follow is personal and different. It comes dressed in our particular life circumstances, gifts and awarenesses. God wants Peter and God wants John. He doesn’t want clones of either.

And God wants and calls each one of us in our uniqueness. By entering deeply into our own spirit, we will find our answer to God’s call.

Teresa of Avila said this:

It is foolish to think that we will enter heaven
without entering into ourselves.

May dear, questioning Peter inspire us today to be brave, confident and complete in our own response to God’s call.

Music:  Follow Me – Ray Repp