Topic 7: Prayer toward Union: Lessons from St. Teresa of Avila
With St. Teresa of Avila, we are encountering for the first time a method of prayer that is intertwined with a clear expression of stages of contemplative prayer. The image of the watering of a garden is shorthand for the volumes written regarding the growth of the spiritual life. What is your reaction to her image? Would you be able to transform the key elements of her image into a more contemporary image?
Kathryn Hermes said in the presentation: ―Jesus was inviting the rich young man to a new relationship with him. A relationship in which he would find his identity re-formed, almost re-rooted, for relationships never leave us untouched. Jesus was inviting him to leave behind a servile relationship with God marked by fear, and to take on a deeper partnership with God, to experience intimacy. For those who accept this invitation there is a new human-divine potential to explore. For those who don‘t they remain among the many good people who keep the commandments, pray, guard against sin, and practice charity. Although this is good, although virtue is already something very great, there is certainly much more to the spiritual life than this. The pursuit of love, the commitment to love, leads to a mystical relationship with God in which we are entirely transformed into him.‖ How does this challenge you?
What happens when you spent some time in prayer simply talking with Jesus as with a friend?