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Today is the feast of Saint Teresa of Avila (“Sister Teresa of Jesus”), remembered for her tireless effort as a founder of many religious houses and her theological scholarship. Honored as one of the few women to be named “Doctor of the Church” in the history of Catholicism, she was not above sweeping floors and other household tasks undertaken for the good of her community.

When I was 17 years old, a senior in high school, I sought out one of our teachers, a Sister of St. Joseph, to speak of my desire to enter the convent. I had grown up with the Sisters of St. Joseph and was blessed with good examples of the religious life so it seemed right to me to deepen that relationship as a member. It was a momentous decision and one that I remember as a blessing to this day. The best gift of that encounter, however, was the prayer card that Sister Inez gave me that day. The words were those of Saint Teresa of Avila. They have guided my life and seem most appropriate at this time of trial in the world.

Here is St. Teresa’s advice that I have found worthy of a lifetime of prayer.

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.