Did I mention that it’s a Carmelite Week? And we have been talking about children, so here are some childhood memories from today’s saint, Teresa of Avila:
I used to discuss with this brother of mine how we could become martyrs. We agreed to go off to the country of the Moors, begging our bread for the love of God, so that they might behead us there; and, even at so tender an age, I believe the Lord had given us sufficient courage for this, if we could have found a way to do it; but our greatest hindrance seemed to be that we had a father and a mother…
When I saw that it was impossible for me to go to any place where they would put me to death for God’s sake, we decided to become hermits, and we used to build hermitages, as well as we could, in an orchard which we had at home. We would make heaps of small stones, but they at once fell down again, so we found no way of accomplishing our desires. But even now it gives me a feeling of devotion to remember how early God granted me what I lost by my own fault.
A martyr is a witness, a witness to the end. It can be a bit of a slog, witnessing to Christ in a world that seems indifferent. Perhaps we need the young Teresa’s playful spirit, which seems to have encouraged her older self!
I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it. Mark 10.15
The Life of St Teresa in translation is at http://www.turnbacktogod.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/The-Life-of-Teresa-of-Jesus.pdf