Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Liturgical Tea Time for St. Teresa of Avila

This week we will be learning about St. Teresa of Avila, mystic and reformer, born March 28, 1515. Her feast day is October 15th.

From my reading about Teresa of Avila, here are my two favorite quotes for reflection: 

Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes through which He looks
compassion on this world
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

 --St. Teresa of Avila from the mission of st. clare

The following lines by St. Teresa were found on a bookmark in her prayer book:
Let nothing affright thee,
Nothing dismay thee.
All is passing,
God ever remains.
Patience obtains all.
Whoever possesses God
Cannot lack anything
God alone suffices.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch. 

Food for the Tea: St. Teresa Bread but for those who celebrate the church year during a family meal, perhaps a Spain-inspired meal would be more appropriate.
We are going to make semi-homemade donuts which don't fit thematically with the feast but with M's Alphabet Path Letter D

The Collect:
O God, by your Holy Spirit you moved Teresa of Avila to manifest to your Church the way of perfection: Grant us, we pray, to be nourished by her excellent teaching, and enkindle within us a keen and unquenchable longing for true holiness; through Jesus Christ, the joy of loving hearts, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Scripture:
Romans 8:22-27
Matthew 5:13-16
Psalm 42:1-7 or
Psalm 139:1-9

Learning about her life:
Biography for Children

Biography Notes by James Keifer
Biography from the Carmelite Sisters
Her book Way of Perfection
Her autobiography

My focus for the children's time will not be to glorify Teresa's life but to show how her life points to Jesus. I hope that they will see a women, who though beautiful, witty and popular, gave her life to God, desiring a vivid sense of His Presence in her life. If they were older, we would talk more about the complexities of her attempt to do this through a strict and perhaps extreme devotion, but for now I will just share the broader point that she was willing to live humbly and simply to avoid the distractions of the world. Although Teresa's spirituality is not my own, I hope my daughter will be especially captivated by Teresa's work in and for the church.

Activity Ideas:
Create your own bookmark with Teresa's words or the Scripture of the day. This would be good copywork for those who can write but for my little guy I will just write the words and he can decorate the bookmark.

Here is a coloring page from Waltzing Matilda

Hymn Study: We will continue to study, memorize, and sing the Sanctus.

Also note it can be difficult in researching Teresa online to not confuse her with St. Teresa the little flower, and Sister Teresa of Calcutta--Mother Teresa!

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