Saint Teresa of Jesus

15th October
Saint Teresa of Jesus
Virgin and Doctor of the Church

OC: Feast
OCD: Solemnity

Teresa was born at Avila (Spain) in 1515. She is better known in the English-speaking world as Teresa of Avila. As a member of the Carmelite Order she made great progress in perfection and received mystical revelations. As reformer of her Order she underwent many trials which she intrepidly overcame. She also wrote books of the greatest spiritual value which reflect her own experiences. She died at Alba in 1582.

Entrance Antiphon - Ps 41:2-3
Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God. My soul is thirsting for the living God.

Opening Prayer
by your Spirit you raised up [our Mother] Saint Teresa of Jesus to show your Church the way to perfection. May her inspired teaching awaken in us a longing for true holiness. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The three readings are used where today is celebrated as a Solemnity.  Elsewhere a choice may be made between the first and second reading.

A reading from the book of Wisdom.  Wis 7:7-8; 10-14; 8:2-3 
She it was I loved and searched for from my youth.

I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I entreated, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.
I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones;
compared with her, I held riches as nothing.
I reckoned no priceless stone to be her peer,
for compared with her, all gold is a pinch of sand,
and beside her silver ranks as mud.
I loved her more than health or beauty,
preferred her to the light,
since her radiance never sleeps.
In her company all good things came to me,
at her hands riches not to be numbered.
All these I delighted in, since Wisdom brings them,
but as yet I did not know she was their mother.
What I learned without self-interest, I pass on without reserve;
I do not intend to hide her riches.
For she is an inexhaustible treasure to men,
and those who acquire it win God's friendship,
commended as they are to him by the benefits of her teaching.

Responsorial Psalm  Ps.  83:2-2, 4-5, 11, 12-13 (R.3b)
R/. My heart sings with joy to the living God.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord, God of hosts.
My soul is longing and yearning,
is yearning for the courts of the Lord.   R/. 
The sparrow herself finds a home
and the swallow a nest for her brood;
she lays her young by your altars,
Lord of hosts, my king and my God.
They are happy, who dwell in your home,
for ever singing your praise.   R/.

One day within your courts
is better than a thousand elsewhere.
The threshold of the house of God
I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked.   R/.

For the Lord God is a rampart, a shield;
he will give us his favour and glory.
The Lord will not refuse any good
to those who walk without blame.
Lord, God of hosts,
happy the one who trusts in you!   R/.

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 8:14-17, 26-27
The Spirit himself expresses our plea.

Everyone moved by the Spirit is a child of God.  The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, 'Abba, Father!' The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God.  And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.

The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness.  For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God

Gospel Acclamation John 14,23
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him
and make our dwelling-place within him.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 7:14-18, 37-39a
My teaching is not from myself: it comes from the one who sent me.

When the festival was half over, Jesus went to the Temple and began to teach.  
The Jews were astonished and said, 'How did he learn to read? He has not been taught'.  
Jesus answered them:
'My teaching is not from myself:
it comes from the one who sent me;
and if anyone is prepared to do his will,
he will know whether my teaching is from God
or whether my doctrine is my own.
When a man's doctrine is his own
he is hoping to get honour for himself;
but when he is working for the honour of one who sent him,
then he is sincere
and by no means an impostor'.
On the last and greatest day of the festival, 
Jesus stood there and cried out:
'If any man is thirsty, let him come to me!
Let the man come and drink who believes in me!
As scripture says: "From his breast shall flow fountains of living water."'
He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive.

Alternative Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 4:5-15a
'Sir, give me some of that water'.
Jesus came to the Samaritan town of Sychar, near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  Jacob's well is there and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat straight down by the well.  It was about the sixth hour.  When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Give me a drink'.  His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.  The Samaritan woman said to him, 'What?  You are a Jew and you ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?'- Jews, in fact, do not associate with Samaritans.  Jesus replied:
'If you only knew what God is offering
and who it is that is saying to you:
Give me a drink,
you would have been the one to ask,
and he would have given you living water'.
'You have no bucket, sir,' she answered 'and the well is deep: how could you get this living water?  Are you a greater man than our father Jacob who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle?' Jesus replied:
'Whoever drinks this water
will get thirsty again;
but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give
will never be thirsty again:
the water that I shall give
will turn into a spring inside him, welling up to eternal life'.
'Sir,' said the woman 'give me some of that water'.

Prayer over the Gifts
King of heaven,
accept the gifts we bring in your praise, as you were pleased with [our Mother] Saint Teresa's offering of her life in your service. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

The Lord be with you.
R/. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
R/. We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R/. It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Christ, Source Of All Holiness

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
and to praise you for your gifts
as we contemplate your saints in glory.
In celebrating the memory of St Teresa
it is our special joy to sing with her
the praises of your mercy.
You are the true and living God:
in your goodness and wisdom
you fill with your presence all things created;
and your grace brings you to dwell in our hearts.
Christ, assuming flesh, has shown us
that your love is unbounded.
He has made himself our companion in weakness
and our light in darkness;
he has taught us to speak with you, our Father,
as your children;
he has become for our souls a friend and a bridegroom,
and for your Church an everlasting spring of holiness.
Earth unites with heaven to sing 
the new song of creation
as we adore and praise you for ever:

Saint Teresa's Charism in the Church

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
as we honour Saint Teresa,
on whom you bestowed such gifts of nature and grace.
You espoused her to Christ, her divine friend,
who taught her to be zealous in prayer and penance
for the unity and the holiness of the Church.
You endowed her with the wisdom of the saints
to be our guide on the way of perfection,
and the spiritual mother of a new family in Carmel.
In our joy we sing to your glory
with all the choirs of angels:

Communion Antiphon - Ps 88:2
For ever I will sing the mercies of the Lord; I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
watch over the family you nourish with the bread of heaven, help us to follow [our Mother] Saint Teresa's example and sing your merciful love for ever. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Solemn blessing or Prayer over the People
Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing.

God has given [Our Mother] Saint Teresa to his Church
to guide us on the way of prayer and recollection.
May he grant you also his divine friendship.
R/. Amen.

He has made her a teacher
of loving self-sacrifice.
May he grant you also
generosity in his service.
R/. Amen.

He has made her a model
of fraternal charity.
May he fill you also
with love for your brothers and sisters.
R/. Amen.

May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.
R/. Amen.