Meditation on the Life & Work of Teresa of Jesus
SERVICE OF LIGHT
We light the VESPER CANDLE and say or sing:
Light and Peace in Jesus Christ, our Love!
~Thanks be to God!
Stay with us O Christ for it is evening,
~And the day is almost over.
Hymn for the Feast of St. Teresa
This is the day, when, filled with love,
And shining like a heavn’ly dove,
The spirit of Teresa flies
To castles high above the skies.
And then she hears the bridegroom’s voice:
“The wedding of the Lamb, rejoice!
Come, sister, from Mount Carmel’s height.
Come to your crown of glory bright.”
May all the virgins blest adore
Our Bridegroom Jesus, evermore,
And sing Your wedding songs of praise
Throughout the everlasting days. Amen.
Text: Haec Dies (Roman Breviary) Tune: FEAST OF LOVE, L.M.
SERVICE OF THE WORD
‘Love begets love. Let us keep this always
before our eyes and waken ourselves to love.’
My soul, give thanks to Adonai,
all my being, bless the Holy Name.
My soul, give thanks to Adonai
and never forget all these blessings.
Bless God, who forgives all your sin,
who heals every one of your ills,
who snatches you free from death,
who enfolds you with tender compassion
who fills your life with goodness
and gives you the strength of an eagle.
Adonai does deeds of justice
and defends the poor and oppressed;
Teaches God’s ways to Moses
and God’s deeds to the children of Israel.
Adonai is compassion and love,
patient and rich in mercy.
God will not accuse us for long,
nor bring our sins to trial,
nor exact from us in kind
nor give us what our sins deserve.
As high as the heavens are above the Earth,
so great is God’s love for those who trust.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far does God remove our sins.
Glory to the ONE and to the WORD
And to the BREATH of Love;
as always before,
so now and evermore. Amen.
For love begets love. Let us strive to keep this always
before our eyes and to waken ourselves to love.’
READING Interior Castle by St. Teresa
This Beloved of ours is merciful and good. Besides, God so deeply longs for our love as to keep calling us to come closer. This voice of Love is so sweet that the poor soul falls apart in the face of her own inability to instantly do whatever is asked of her. And so you can see, hearing God hurts much more than not being able to hear… For now, God’s voice reaches us through words spoken by good people, through listening to spiritual talks, and reading sacred literature. God calls to us in countless little ways all the time. Through illnesses and suffering and through sorrow we are called. Through a truth glimpsed fleetingly in a state of prayer God calls to us. No matter how halfhearted such insights may be, God rejoices whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us.”
R. Let nothing trouble you, let nothing make you afraid. * God alone is enough. V. We need no wings to go in search of God, but have only to look upon God present within us. * God alone is enough. V. Glory to the Abba and to the Word and to the Holy Breath of Love.
Gospel Canticle of Mary
At midnight the cry was heard:
“Behold the bridegroom comes, go to meet him.”
It is customary to make the sign of the cross at the beginning of the Gospel Canticle.
My heart + is radiant with the Lord,
My whole being delights in God my Savior.
All people now will call me blessed
For God has loved this humble handmaid.
The Almighty has shown me great favor
Holy is the NAME,
Whose mercy embraces the faithful,
From one generation to the next.
The mighty arm of God,
Scatters the proud in their own conceit,
Pulls tyrants from their thrones
While lifting up the lowly:
Fills the famished with bounty,
And reveals the emptiness of riches.
Rescues lowly Israel,
Sharing such loving kindness,
As promised to our ancestors
To Abraham and Sarah, and their descendants forever.
Glory to the ONE and to WORD
And to the BREATH of Love!
As always before,
so now and evermore. Amen
At midnight the cry was heard:
“Behold the bridegroom comes, go to meet him.”
SERVICE OF PRAYER
Litany of Intercession
O Risen Love, you appeared first to women and made them the first apostles and evangelists of the Resurrection; ~may the many gifts you have given to women for leadership and service be recognized and affirmed in communities of faith and in civic and economic life.
O Risen Love, you appeared to the disciples huddled in fear and breathed on them the life-force of your loving Spirit; ~may each of us inhale your gift of forgiveness, permit it to transform our hearts, and then join you in breathing forgiveness and compassion into this world gasping for life.
O Risen Love, you revealed yourself to dejected and despondent disciples in the simple-yet-sacred act of breaking-and-sharing bread; ~may we recognize the sacred in every part of our lives and the power of your presence in the sharing of all your gifts that nourish and sustain life.
O Risen Love, you revealed yourself to St. Teresa as her Intimate Friend and filled her heart with divine love to become a Spiritual Mother, Doctor of the Church and Reformer of Society; ~may all who exercise spiritual motherhood, or work for peace and the common good be filled with your burning love and find your mercy and compassion manifest in everyone and everything.
Prayer of Jesus
Our Dear Abba in heaven…
We thank and praise you O God of Wisdom and Love
as we honor Saint Teresa, on whom you bestowed such gifts of nature and grace.
You espoused her to Jesus, her divine and intimate friend,
who taught her to be zealous in prayer and simplicity of life.
You endowed her with the wisdom of the saints
to be a guide on the way of perfection,
and the spiritual mother of the Carmelite family.
Nourish us with the food of her heavenly teaching
and kindle in our hearts her longing for intimate union with you now and forever.
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 that you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, danse, praise and love. It is there for each and everyone of you.
Let us bless Adonai.
~Thanks be to God.
Those who wish may end evening prayer with the Salve Regina
Mother of mercy, our Queen, we greet you! Our life, our hope, our happiness, we hail you.
We call to you as Eve’s own children, and exiles; To you we lift our heart in sorrow and fear, in this valley of tears. Turn then, our loving Advocate, and look with favor upon us. And after our life in exile, show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O gracious, O loving, O Virgin benign, our Mother Mary.
Hymn for the 5th Centenary of the Birth of Teresa of Jesus
To listen to this hymn in Spanish (no English recording is available) click here and then on the play button.
Teresa of Jesus, doctor of the Church,
teacher of light and flash of love,
teach us the path which your steps have taken
your soul ablaze,
seeking the Lord within you.
Prayer for you, Teresa, is the entrance to your home
a dwelling by walls secured,
a palace within,
a refuge for the humble who search for virtue,
castle of diamond,
sparkling with color.
Light continues to shine on your sandals
that trod through the moment to begin a new age
through cold and sun’s heat,
through rain and snow
thirsting for the wind and with love for freedom.
Your writings, Teresa, were wrought on your knees,
your phrases in flight, your celestial words,
are a throbbing fire, a living flame of love,
words that intone a universal hymn.
Sparks of pure light, Teresa, are your eyes
engrossed in the night, alight with brilliance.
Your soul rekindles and trembles
touched by the fingers of your beloved,
who clothes your soul with love.
Text: Maestra de la Luz; transl. altered by THE DAILY FEAST