A Reflection on Teresa of Avila
In 1970, some 400 years after her death, Pope Paul VI declared Teresa of Avila a Doctor of the Church, the first woman to be so named. We know Teresa as both a great saint and a very human woman who backed into her vocation before pouring out her life’s energy on contemplative prayer and reform of her Carmelite Order.
Living in 16th century Spain at a time of profound change in Europe – with the rise of towns, cities and nation-states – and in Church (with the Protestant Reformation in northern Europe and Inquisition in Spain) – Teresa became a spiritual director for the ages. (See her Interior Castle.)
So it is that the Women of the Well seek out her wisdom with these questions:
1. How do I know I’m on the right track?
2. I know I’m drawn to contemplative life but not becoming a nun. What do I make of that?
3. My life is so busy. How can I absorb and live out the freedom, love and growth that you so deeply reveal?
4. As a woman in need of healing, how can I grow into the woman I long to become?
5. How can I become an agent of Grace, change, and transformation?
In conversation with Teresa (aka Penny Gardner), along with song and liturgical dance, the Women of the Well probe these questions for our lives today.