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27 May 2021

Extracts from the video-message of Pope Francis at the closing of the Congress “Mujer excepcional”

(…) Teresa of Jesus is exceptional, first of all, because she is holy. Her docility to the Spirit united her to Christ and she remained “all afire with the love of God”. She expressed her experience with beautiful words, saying: “Already I gave myself completely, and have changed in such a way, That my Beloved is for me, and I am for my Beloved.”. Jesus had taught that “out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks” (Lk 6:45). The audacity, creativity and excellence of Saint Teresa as a reformer are the fruit of the inner presence of the Lord.

(…) Holiness is not only for some “specialists of the divine”, but rather it is the vocation of all believers. It is through Baptism that we receive the union with Christ, which mystics like Saint Teresa experience in a special way by pure grace. The saints stimulate and motivate us, but they are not there for us to literally try to copy them. Holiness is not copied, “for that could even lead us astray from the one specific path that the Lord has in mind for us. The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path”, each of us has his or her own journey of holiness, of encounter with the Lord.

(…) Saint Teresa teaches us that the path that made her an exceptional woman and a person of reference throughout the centuries, the path of prayer, is open to all those who humbly open themselves to the action of the Spirit in their lives, and that the sign that we are advancing on this path is to be ever more humble, more attentive to the needs of our brothers and sisters, better children of the holy People of God. Such a path is not open to those who consider themselves to be pure and perfect, the Cathars of all the centuries, but to those who, aware of their sins, discover the beauty of the mercy of God who welcomes and redeems everyone, and invites everyone to friendship. It is interesting that the consciousness of one’s own condition as a sinner is what opens the door to the path of holiness.

(…) Prayer made Saint Teresa an exceptional woman, a creative and innovative woman. Starting from prayer, she discovered the ideal of fraternity that she wanted to make a reality in the convents she founded. (…) In prayer she felt treated as a bride and friend of the risen Christ. Through prayer she opened herself to hope.

 

Source : Osservatore romano, 54 year, n.17 (2.694), 23 April 2021