September 6 Service: Teresa of Avila

It is the evening of Labor Day and once again it was a beautiful day here in Maine. We have turned the calendar and another month is in the history books. We were out for a ride today and I saw some bright red leaves reminding us that Fall is near. This means that the Fall Equinox is right around the corner. 

As you know, I look for who I can highlight for their service. This week I want to give a high five to Jeff Plumer and his crew and Chris Purinton for keeping our lawn mowed and the grounds looking beautiful. Thank you for serving; we are very grateful for you!

Teresa of Avila, or also known as Teresa of Jesus, was the Middle Ages mystic we learned about on Sunday. She is the last of the women mystics that I will be sharing with you at this time.

What I love about Teresa is the struggle she had with balancing her physical life with her spiritual life. This is something many of us can relate to. She was vivacious, witty, and loved to be the center of attention and how that caused her much heartache in the early days of her life and in the convent. It was at the age of forty when she had her spiritual awakening.

Here are a couple of quotes and poems from Teresa:

‘You know, I no longer govern in the way I used to. Love does everything. I am not sure if that is because no one gives me cause to reprove her, or because I have discovered that things go better in that way.”

‘The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.”

God alone is enough.
Let nothing upset you,
let nothing startle you.
All things pass;
God does not change.
Patience wins
all it seeks.
Whoever has God
lacks nothing:
God alone is enough.

Let nothing trouble you
Let nothing trouble you.
Let nothing scare you.
All is fleeting.
God alone is unchanging.
Everything obtains.
Who possesses God
Nothing wants.
God alone suffices.

In the talk, I use Mirabai Starr’s words from the book Saint Teresa of Avila, Passionate Mystic to give you a taste of Teresa. Well, you can hear more about Teresa from Mirabai herself. At exactly 11 a.m. on Sunday I received an email with the heading “Teresa of Avila as a Guide to a Radically Authentic Life. Mirabai is going to do a free 90-minute talk on September 21 from 1:30 – 3 p.m. This is sponsored by the Rowe Center in Rowe, MA.

This coming Sunday I will be starting a new series on the book by Valarie Kaur, See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love.

Lastly, the Friday evening dinners provided by Dee Capoldo will no longer happen as he is now back to work full time…Thank you, Dee, for these wonderful few weeks of a great meal and great community!!! 

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey


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