Teresian Charism: Radicality for God

Teresa de Jesus


St. Teresa of Jesus was a woman of total commitment and desire for God.  She founded Carmel so that God would be more fully known, loved and generously served.  If you have had the happy opportunity to come to know her, then you would recognize that her message is not a gentle one, nor a comfortable one.  It is, rather, one that challenges us to life through the earthy realism of selfless giving in imitation of Jesus who emptied Himself out of love for us.   She wrote, “Do not be frightened to begin the journey; the time will come when you will understand how trifling everything is next to such a precious reward.” (Way of Perfection)

St. Teresa founded Carmel as a contemplative Order and centers our entire day on prayer. Still, she teaches that to close oneself up in the serenity of prayer was not enough.  She wrote: “The Lord wants deeds…He wants good works!  Such is true union with Christ!” (cf Interior Castle)

She made a vow in her life to do the most perfect thing always.  Such was her burning desire to love God with all her heart, mind and soul and to surrender her life into his hands for the good of the Church and for the salvation of souls.

Such is our vocation in this Carmel of St. Joseph and such is the vocation of every Christian.  Are you given to generosity?  Are you looking to deepen your Christian call radically?  This was the desire of St. Teresa and continues to be the desire of all her Carmelite daughters throughout the world.  With St. Therese of Lisieux they strive to be love in the heart of the Church and in the world.

O My Lord, with all the millions of people you created, shouldn’t just a few of them give their complete attention to YOU?

-St.  Teresa of Jesus (attr.)

Carmel is a radical option for Jesus as the center of one’s existence, as the most important person in one’s life!

A vocation is an experience of Love so deep and so powerful that the person called senses the need to respond by unconditionally dedicating his or her life to God.

-Saint John Paul II, Vita Consecrata