"There is no such thing as bad weather. All weather is good because it is God's." Saint Teresa of Avila
Since I've already posted several of the saints' stories, I've decided for this year (until next May) to write about their childhood and vocation story (before becoming ordained or entering convent). Part 2, which will be about...well, the next part, I will write next year. :-) If I haven't done a saint's childhood this year, I'll have to do it next time. (Like St. Faustina's feastday I missed:-( )
Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada (wow long name...) grew up in a family of ten. Six brothers and only one sister. :-S Not to mention several other servants... But her 'favorite' sibling was her older brother who was closest to her, Rodrigo. They would often hide away in the garden and have their own religious discussions. Most would be about becoming martyrs. They probably based their attraction of martyrdom on the fact that the finest church in Avila had the relics of three child martyrs of Rome: Vincent, Cristeta, and Sabina. When Teresa was seven, they even attempted to run away to North Africa were they were sure that the Moslems would kill them. After they were sadly taken away by their uncle home, Rodrigo, whose feet were already sore, blamed it all on little Teresa, "It was la nina (little girl) who dragged me into it." Both were soundly punished. :-(
Besides the great desire to be martyred, she also wanted to become a nun. She built her own cloister with stones from the garden. Unfortunately, it collapsed, leaving Teresa planning something else. Cloth began to disappear from the house as Teresa then decided to make her own habit. Her impatient desire for instant sanctity only resulted as more trouble.
After a while she got tired of it. By the time she was fifteen, she was considered as one of the most beautiful ladies in Avila. Her sweet 'piousness' turned into sour frivolous. Like many other vocation stories, this was the part right before setting out for Damascus. Her father, fed up with her flirtations, sent her off to a convent at the age of sixteen for an education and discipline. Teresa wasn't too happy about that. Once there, she managed to keep in contact with her worldly friends, feeling cooped or locked up.
But after some time, and ever so slowly, she began to realize what she had been doing. Teresa began to worry, "Should I be a nun, or a wife?" Nervous strains and exhaustions made her feel rather ill as she thought up reasons not to enter the convent. She couldn't take it anymore. She came back home, and while keeping the house for her family, thought and discerned what God wanted of her. But it began to be just too obvious. God was calling her, and who was she to stand against His Holy Will? Teresa stopped worrying and at the age of twenty, against her father's wishes, she ran off to the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation.
To be continued... ;-)
O my God! Source of all mercy! I acknowledge Your sovereign power. While recalling the wasted years that are past, I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant turn this loss to gain. Miserable as I am, yet I firmly believe that You can do all things. Please restore to me the time lost, giving me Your grace, both now and in the future, that I may appear before You in "wedding garments." Amen.
~Saint Teresa of Avila
Pic, prayer, and quote source & info from the book: Catholic World Culture, and yes, my history schoolbook.