Today is the feast of St. Teresa of Avila, doctor of the church. She was an amazing woman and as most people know, she is one of the reformers (along with S. John of the Cross) of the Carmelite order. You can find out more about her here and here.
At first glance, we as married women, we might not think we have much in common with St. Teresa being that she was a contemplative and we generally lead (very!) active lives. The fact is, St. Teresa actually was very busy in reforming her order! She traveled a lot, had to deal with a lot of people and had to take care of many details in each of her convents.
All this was a heavy burden to Saint Teresa – a huge cross for her. She longed for solitude and yet was compelled to do the work she was called to do for God. She even lamented the fact that often went through a whole day not thinking about God! Can you relate to that? I can!
So, for those of us who are leading hectic lives, I offer this prayer for you:
“How is it God, that you have given me this hectic busy life when I have so little time to enjoy your presence? Throughout the day people are waiting to speak with me, and even at meals I have to continue talking to people about their needs and problems. During sleep itself I am still thinking and dreaming about the multitude of concerns that surround me. I do all this not for my own sake, but for yours.
To me my present pattern of life is a torment; I only hope that for you it is truly a sacrifice of love. I know that you are constantly beside me, yet I am usually so busy that I ignore you. If you want me to remain so busy, please force me to think about and love you even in the midst of such hectic activity. If you do not want me so busy, please release me from it, showing others how they can take over my responsibilities.” –Saint Teresa of Avila
(Hat tip to nicksenger.com where I found this prayer.)
Of course, as mothers, we can’t turn over our responsibilities to someone else, but I pray that we (I!) have the grace to remember the Lord throughout the day and remain in His presence amidst our various duties.