Thoughts on St. Teresa of Jesus

 

For our beloved Spiritual Mother, Saint Teresa of Jesus on her Feast day, we offer (belatedly) some excerpts from the little devotional book, “St. Teresa’s Bookmark, a meditative commentary” by Blessed  Father Lucas de San Jose, 1919.

 

Saint Teresa’s Bookmark

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience endurance
attains all things,
Who God possesses,
In nothing is wanting
Alone God suffices.

This is one of the sweetest and most sublime songs that has ever resounded in this vale of sighs and tears, a canticle supremely beautiful and profoundly wise; it combines the greatest theological truths, the most lofty thoughts of philosophy, and the sweetest delights of poetry. It is the language of an angelic mind, the song of a soul who feels like a poet, prays like a Christian and loves like a Saint; and who weeps, moans and sighs as one exiled from heaven.

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;

Even though there rise up against thee, my soul, the powers of earth and of darkness, the hatred of men and the fury of hell, whilst the insane passions of the multitudes clamor with rage, and kingdoms plot vengeance against thee, although thou feelest violently the agitation of the senses whose temptations cause the very innocence of thy heart to shudder in terror, yet,

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;

For thy will, although seemingly so frail, is omnipotent and invincible because nothing nor anyone can overpower it, if it does not willfully allow itself to be conquered. Although thou art the plaything of thine own heart, which at one time feels with sublimest melancholy of the majesty of heaven, and yet soon is smirched by the petty things of earth; which now on the wings of its fairy dreams seems to swing over the confines of time into eternity, and now in adversity dashes itself against the dull, hard rocks of sadness,

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;

For God has been pleased to fashion the human heart in a very singular and noble manner; so small that a tiny flower delights it and so large that only the infinite can fill it; so frail that a single word perplexes it and a smile of love captivates it, and so powerful that neither the angels of heaven with their wisdom, nor men with their cunning, nor the demons with their artfulness, can penetrate its sanctuary nor read its thoughts, nor change its inclinations, if it does not of itself freely consent. God alone knows the secret of its strength.

If the seas become violently agitated, enveloping with their great waves the utmost limits of the earth and raising against the very heavens the foam of their billows, filling the abyss with the roar of their turbulent commotions; if empires fall and kingdoms perish and the moral, religious and political world becomes wrapped in the violent whirlwind of human passions that seem to drag in their wake all that is most sacred on earth: the innocence of the upright heart, the sanctity of marriage and the hearth, and threaten even to destroy God’s Holy Church and her sublime doctrine, yet,

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;

For all that happens in heaven and upon earth, the mutations of the physical world as well as the disturbances of men’s moral nature, the wreck of cities and the ruin of nations, all are foreseen by God, permitted or ordained by an all-wise Providence, Who knows how to direct all things to His greater honor and glory and to the welfare of His chosen ones.

And if individuals and nations possessed by an insane giddiness rush blindly on towards the precipice, carried, as it were, on the wings of frightful fatalism, yet,

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;

Because men and nations are carried in the arms of a provident God, Who is all justice, love and wisdom. As God is love, He directs all to the welfare of His elect and to show the splendor of His glory. As God is justice, He allows nations to be frequently bathed in blood so that they may be purified from their apostasies and rise afterwards rejuvenated and turn to the enjoyment of days full of peace and prosperity. As wisdom, God brings forth good from evil, order and harmony from chaos and confusion; He makes light to shine from darkness and from the depths of corruption He causes to spring forth great and heroic virtues.

My copy of this book is from the internet at archive.org., LINK.

If you would like to, we will post the remaining stanzas and commentary, which I’ve found pertinent to our sad times.

A biographical note on Blessed Father Lucas, a Discalced Carmelite: He was orphaned at an early age and entered the Carmel of Las Palma in 1890, made his solemn vows at the hands of his older brother, Father Ludovico in 1894 and was ordained a priest in 1899. He spent several years as a missionary in Mexico during the anti-Catholic Masonic upheaval of the early 20th century and then returned to Barcelona where he was elected provincial of the Catalonian province in 1924. During the Civil War, Father gave shelter in his monastery to anti-communist forces, turning the monastery into an infirmary. Father Lucas was martyred by the marxist forces, by being beaten with rifle butts and then shot in the back. His body was left in the street for hours until 8 in the evening when a Red Cross ambulance retrieved his body. 

For those of you who downloaded his little book from archive.org, you will note the beautiful, tender devotion which Father Lucas has for Saint Teresa. Some quotes from Blessed Father Lucas in his Prologue:

Of Saint Teresa:  “As the Saint is a poetess, not only on account of the divine love that inflamed her heart, but also because of the divine truth that so fully illumined her soul in contemplation and revealed to her infinite secrets so is she in all her writings no less tender than profound. In any of her pages might be found material enough to unfold most beautiful idyls of tenderness and for highest meditations on the most sublime of moral and religious truths. She speaks always no more to the understanding than to the heart.”

I am writing this note to clarify unfounded criticism I’ve received against Blessed Fr. Lucas, which charged him of making a mockery of St. Teresa. I wrote the post for my long-time readers who will recognise the value in the following quote:

“Because men and nations are carried in the arms of a provident God, Who is all justice, love and wisdom. As God is love, He directs all to the welfare of His elect and to show the splendor of His glory. As God is justice, He allows nations to be frequently bathed in blood so that they may be purified from their apostasies and rise afterwards rejuvenated and turn to the enjoyment of days full of peace and prosperity. As wisdom, God brings forth good from evil, order and harmony from chaos and confusion; He makes light to shine from darkness and from the depths of corruption He causes to spring forth great and heroic virtues.”

Father Lucas experienced the full hatred of the Masonic/Marxist forces in Mexico and in Spain and he wrote of St. Teresa,

“During days of trial and sadness, I sought (and found) solace for my spirit, and comfort for my soul, in meditation upon a celebrated poem of our Mother. According to authentic tradition, the saintly Mother carried it as a bookmark in her Breviary, no doubt frequently to comfort her spirit by reading it.”

Thus, his devotion to her was the cause of his little book, not an attempt to mock her. 

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!