Greetings! October 15th is the memorial of St. Teresa of Avila, virgin, religious and Doctor of the Church. She is one of my favorites. She was born in Avila, Spain in the year 1515 and died in 1582. We know that she was a beautiful young woman who gave up the prospects of marriage and became a Carmelite nun. Despite many difficulties and resistance, she helped reform the order and started numerous monasteries.
She was blessed with many spiritual and mystical experiences and visions. Most of her visions were of an intellectual nature. Visions can be sensory, with the eyes or intellectual, with the mind. She once had an intellectual vision of the Blessed Trinity and said afterward that although she understood the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity better, she could not put it into words.
She once had an intellectual vision of the soul. She saw seven ‘mansions.’ It was revealed to her that we can achieve spiritual union with God in this life, but we must reach the seventh mansion. She points out that there are numerous people who spend their time going in and out of the first mansion; that is in and out of mortal sin. Once a person, with the grace of God leaves the first mansion by entering the second, they are able to make rapid progress. But when they get closer to the seventh, they become bogged down.
How does one travel from the first to the seventh mansion? By becoming detached from the things of this world while becoming attached to God. She stated that although we all are called to reach the seventy mansion, few people do. Why? Because the reluctance of letting go of all of our attachments to the things of this world. Let us remind ourselves that becoming detached from the things of the world does not mean we do not enjoy them but that we do not desire them. We can enjoy a piece of apple pie, but not desire it.
If St. Giana was not detached from the things of the world and attached to God, she would not have been able to lay down her life for her baby Gianna. Let us ask St. Teresa for her prayers so we too may grow more attached to God and detached to the world. St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
Fr. Christopher Kubat