Teresa of Avila by Francois Gerard

“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 you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.” Teresa of Avila

O God, my God- will I ever be as brave and true as Teresa? Her words are meant to be a blessing and encouragement, but they feel more like a dare. Can I trust that I’m in the right place, doing the right things? Can I feel content to simply be your child and not fret over what the world might want me to be? Help my heart to sense the love that you have given me in all its fullness. Settle into my bones Lord. Guide my soul to be ready to sing and dance at a moment’s notice.

Heidi Rodrick-Schnaath currently serves as the Interim Pastor at Christ’s Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA and also serves United Lutheran Seminary as the Coordinator for Community Life. She finds this portrait of St. Teresa to be particularly striking with her penetrating glance. Teresa’s saint’s day is on October 8th but as she died when the church was moving from the Julian to Gregorian calendar, nobody is quite sure of the exact date. (RevHRod particularly enjoys this kind of trivia.)

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