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Rome Reports

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Saint Teresa of Avila, according to Benedict XVI

BENEDICT XVI“Our catechesis today deals with Saint Teresa of Avila, the great sixteenth-century Carmelite reformer proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI. Teresa entered the Carmel in Avila at the age of twenty. Maturing in the spiritual life, she embraced the ideal of a renewal of her Order and with the support of Saint John of the Cross she founded a chain of reformed Carmels throughout Spain. Her highly influential writings, which include the Autobiography, The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, reveal her profound christocentric spirituality and her breadth of human experience. Teresa considered the evangelical and human virtues the basis of an authentic Christian life. She identified deeply with Christ in his humanity and stressed the importance of contemplation of his Passion and of his real presence in the Eucharist. She presents prayer as an intimate friendship with Christ leading to an ever greater union of love with the Blessed Trinity. In her life and in her death Teresa embodied an unconditional love for the Church. May the example and prayers of Saint Teresa of Avila inspire us to greater fidelity to prayer and, through prayer, to greater love for the Lord and his Church, and more perfect charity towards our brothers and sisters."