Today, we celebrate Saint Teresa of Avila, Spain. If you ever get the chance to visit Avila you will see the magnificence of two basilicas, one of Saint Teresa of Avila and the other, Saint John of Avila.
Saint Teresa of Avila was a strong, ambitious, and persuasive woman. Her writings are legendary. When Saint Edith Stein, also known as Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, was pondering her Jewish life with uncertainty, she once read books from Saint Teresa and exclaimed, “Eureka, I found it!” meaning she had finally discovered she wanted to become a Carmelite Nun. We’ll talk about Saint Edith in one of the 19 days of Lent still to come.
The story of Saint Teresa of Avila we like best, is also the reason why we say she is the patron of honest communication. It’s basically a message that talking to God, in itself, is a prayer. It’s not required that you sit in a pew and listen to a Homily to have colloquy with God. You can have a prayerful conversation with God, all and any day, regardless of where you’re standing, sitting, kneeling….
One day, Teresa was minding her own business, and trying to get her donkey across a river. All of a sudden something happened, and Teresa and the donkey wound up covered in cold, dirty, sticky, mud. Teresa was not too happy about it, so she yelled at God, saying “Jesus, if this is the way you treat your friends it’s no wonder you have so few!”
The message is simple. Your prayers with God can occur anytime, even on a random Friday afternoon, suffering traffic on your way home from work. It’s the conversation that’s important, not the whereabouts of its occurrence. You can have your chat with God in the shower or on the toilet. He doesn’t care!
What He does care about is that you have something to say so you say it.