Christians will celebrate the feast of Sister Teresa of Avila
With a solemn Eucharistic celebration and a day of Adoration, the Mumbai Carmelites will celebrate the feast of St. Teresa of Avila, which falls on 15 October. "A very special day - Sister Gemma, mother prioress of the monastery told AsiaNews - for two reasons: because we are in the Year of Faith, because this year we celebrate the 450th anniversary of the monastery of St. Joseph and the beginning of reform of the Carmelite order. " This anniversary falls on August 24, when Teresa opened the first cloistered convent in 1562.
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Sister Gemma says: "Santa Teresa's desire t for the fullness of life is embodied in the founding of the monastery of St. Joseph. She presented a new way of being a Carmelite: this 'newness' is the same spirit that today we find in the Synod and for the Year of Faith, to reach the fullness of God. "
"The reform of the Carmelite order - said the mother prioress - is born of prayer and moves towards prayer. St. Teresa of Jesus has been trying to create a way of life that is a personal encounter with the Lord, finding a place where to be alone and look to Him within us. This is the desire of today's world, and in the Year of Faith, through the spirit of St. Teresa, we hope this can become a reality."
On the occasion of this 450th anniversary, Benedict XVI sent a message to Msgr. Jesus Garcia Burillo, bishop of Avila. In it, the pope recalls: "The ultimate goal of Teresa's reform and the creation of new monasteries in a world lacking spiritual values was to protect apostolic work with prayer, proposing a form of evangelical life that would act as a model for people seeking the path of perfection, on the basis of the conviction that all authentic personal and ecclesial reform involves an ever more faithful reproduction of the 'form' of Christ in our own selves."
"The example of St. Teresa of Avila - he continues - is of great help to us in this exhilarating task. In her time the saint evangelised unhesitatingly, showing tireless ardour, employing methods free from inertia and using expressions bathed in light. This remains important in the current time, when there is a pressing need for the baptised to renew their hearts through individual prayer in which, following the guidance of St. Teresa, they also focus on contemplation of Christ's blessed humanity as the only way to reach the glory of God. Thus those around us will perceive the joy that arises from our adherence to the Lord; they will see that we put nothing before His love, and that we are always ready to give reasons for our hope. "