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Today is the feast of St. Teresa of Avila, an extraordinary woman known for her untiring work in the reform of her own religious community, the Carmelites, and in the Church of the 16th century, one of the few women given the title of “Doctor of the Church.” She is well-eulogized at http://www.franciscanmedia.org on their “Saint of the Day” page today. For me, however, Teresa has always been the author of a prayerful quote that I was given on a card the year before I entered the convent that has guided me through the past 54 years and that I trust will remain with me for the rest of my life. I share it here in the hope that I am not alone in knowing the strength that that this sainted woman offers as advice.

Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. All things are passing; God never changes. Patient endurance attains all things. The one who possesses God lacks nothing. God alone suffices.

*”Big Teresa” is a familiar way of distinguishing St. Teresa of Avila from St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, otherwise known as Therese of Lisieux, “the Little Flower.”