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Monday, October 15, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : MONDAY OCT. 15, 2012

VATICAN : POPE : LIVING FLAME OF FAITH - AND OTHER NEWS
 AMERICA : CANADA : CARDINAL NOTES LACK OF FREEDOM IN EDUCATION
AFRICA : DEM. REP. OF CONGO : ONGOING VIOLENCE
AUSTRALIA : OLDEST WORKING TEACHER - JESUIT - GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS
ASIA : PAKISTAN : GIRL SHOT BY TALIBAN TO BE SENT TO BRITAIN  
EUROPE : BISHOP SPEAKS ON YEAR OF FAITH

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : MONDAY OCT. 15, 2012

TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 15: ST. TERESA OF AVILA: DIED 1582

ANGELUS: THE RICH MUST ENTER INTO THE LOGIC OF GOD (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
Vatican City, 14 October 2012 (VIS) - "God can conquer the heart of a person with many possessions and lead him towards solidarity and sharing with the poor and needy, so that he can enter into the logic of giving", said the Pope commenting on today's Gospel reading which narrates Jesus' meeting with a rich young man.
"Jesus teaches that it is very difficult but not impossible for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God", said the Holy Father in his remarks before praying the Angelus. "Indeed, through the 'the logic of giving', a person may follow the path of Jesus Christ Who, as the Apostle Paul wrote, 'for your sake ... became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich'".
Benedict XVI went on to remind faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square that the young man in question had scrupulously observed all the commandments of God's Law, but "had not found true happiness. For this reason, he asked Jesus 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' On the one hand he was attracted, like everyone else, to the fullness of life; on the other, being used to his wealth, he thought he could somehow 'buy' eternal life, perhaps by observing some special commandment".
Christ was aware of the man's desires but also of his weakness, "his sense of attachment to his great riches". Therefore He suggested giving everything to the poor so that "his treasure - and therefore his heart - should be in heaven and not on earth. Jesus told the man: 'Come, follow me!' However, instead of welcoming Jesus' invitation with joy, he went away sadly because he could not give up his possessions, which could never give him happiness and eternal life".
It was at this point that Jesus pronounced the famous phrase: "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God". However, seeing His disciples' perplexity he added: "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God". Commenting on this parable, St. Clement of Alexandria wrote: "Let it teach the prosperous that they are not to neglect their own salvation, as if they had been already condemned, nor, on the other hand, to cast wealth into the sea, or condemn it as a traitor and an enemy to life, but learn in what way and how to use wealth and obtain life".
"The history of the Church", the Pope concluded, "is full of examples of rich people who have used their wealth evangelically, even attaining sainthood. Suffice to mention St. Francis, St. Elisabeth of Hungary and St. Charles Borromeo".
After praying the Angelus the Pope mentioned yesterday's beatification in Prague, Czech Republic, of Frederic Bachstein and thirteen companions of the Order of Friars Minor, who died for their faith in 1611. "They are the first blesseds of the Year of Faith, and martyrs", he said. "They remind us that believing in Christ also means being ready to suffer with Him and for Him".
Finally, the Holy Father concluded by noting that "today Poland and Polish parishes throughout the world are celebrating the 'Day of the Pope', with the theme: 'John Paul II - the Pope of the Family'. ... It is my hope that all Polish families may burn with the living flame of faith, goodness and evangelical love".
RELIGION REMINDS SOCIETY OF OBJECTIVE MORAL NORMS
Vatican City, 15 October 2012 (VIS) - On 14 October, Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, addressed the Istanbul World Forum, dedicated to the theme: "Justice and the Construction of a New Global Order". In his remarks during the meeting, which took place from 13 to 14 October, Fr. Ayuso examined the essential contribution that social justice and religious freedom make to peace, and the indispensable role religions have in promoting peace and justice in global society.
"Religion", said Fr. Ayuso speaking English, "has a role in contributing to the national conversation of any given society. That conversation needs to engage with all the complexities that societies face in the modem world. Concepts such as 'justice' and 'social justice' are an integral part of that conversation. Thus, we ask ourselves, what is the contribution of religion to the national conversation about 'justice' and 'social justice'? Justice is a divine attribute, and religious teaching certainly contributes to the reflection on the right ordering of relationships, in other words, social justice. Catholic tradition, however, maintains that justice is accessible by means of human reason, to all men and women of goodwill, both religious and non religious".
"Both believer and non believer can subscribe to the innate dignity of the human person, and agree that such dignity is the reason for the inalienable rights of each individual, the protection of which is the objective of justice. ... These rights are antecedent and independent of the State, and the measure of the justice of the State is the extent by which it respects and vindicates these antecedent rights, for justice requires that all persons should be left in the free enjoyment of their rights. ... When the State fails to administer justice or, indeed, acts unjustly, it no longer has any moral authority or legitimacy. This implies that the State is subject to judgement, that it does not have absolute power, that it can, and indeed, must be held to account. Our question is, therefore, who or what can hold the State to account, to ensure that it acts justly? The question is not political but moral, although the answer will require political choices".
"Since the ultimate question is moral in nature then it follows that the hallmark of a civil and just society is the proper and due space afforded to religion, which has a unique contribution in being the voice for the voiceless, a voice for the downtrodden, a voice for the oppressed, a voice for the persecuted, a prophetic voice calling all to act in peace and justice. Religion calls forth the conscience of society to act genuinely in favour of the common good. Religion, therefore, has a role in political debate, not in providing concrete political solutions, which lies outside the competence of religion, but to recall to society the objective moral norms at the basis of justice and the just society".
DURING THE SYNOD WE AND OUR CONTEMPORARIES JOURNEY TOGETHER
Vatican City, 13 October 2012 (VIS) - Before lunching yesterday with Synod Fathers, the Council Fathers of Vatican II and presidents of the world's episcopal conferences, Benedict XVI greeted those present with some brief remarks.
"It was a fine tradition begun by Blessed Pope John Paul II to include a communal luncheon as part of the Synod. And it is a great honour for me to be sitting between His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and Archbishop Rowan Williams from the Anglican Communion", the Holy Father said.
He continued: "For me this communion is a sign that we are on the journey towards unity and that we are progressing in our hearts; the Lord will help is to progress externally too. This joy, I believe, also gives us strength in the mandate to evangelise. 'Synodos' means 'shared journey', 'journeying together', and thus the word 'synodus' makes me think of the famous journey the Lord made with the two disciples of Emmaus who, to some extent, represent today's agnostic world. Jesus, their hope, had died; the world was empty; it truly seemed either that God did not exist or that He was not interested in us. With this desperation in their hearts and, nonetheless, with a small flame of faith, they walked on. The Lord walked mysteriously with them, and helped them to a better understanding of the mystery of God, of His presence in history, of his silent presence at our side. In the end, at dinner, when the words of the Lord had inflamed their hearts and illuminated their minds, they recognised Him and finally their hearts began to see.
"In the same way, during the Synod we and our contemporaries journey together", the Pope added. "We pray to the Lord to enlighten us, to inflame our hearts that they might see, to illuminate our minds. And we pray that, at dinner, at Eucharistic communion, we may truly be opened and see Him, and thus inflame our world with His light".
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE HOLY SEE AND EQUATORIAL GUINEA
Vatican City, 13 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea today signed an agreement regulating relations between the Catholic Church and the State. The signing ceremony took place in the city of Mongomo in the presence of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, president of Equatorial Guinea, and many other leading government figures.
The Agreement was signed on the part of the Holy See by Archbishop Piero Pioppo, apostolic nuncio to the country and, on the part of Equatorial Guinea, by Agapito Mba Mokuy, foreign minister.
The Agreement, which is made up of nineteen articles and an additional protocol, will come into effect with the exchange of the instruments of ratification.
"Within the context of the independence and autonomy of Church and State, and in order to further their shared desire to collaborate", reads an explanatory note released today, the Agreement "establishes a juridical framework for reciprocal relations recognising, in particular, the juridical status of the Church and her institutions. The Agreement also covers canonical marriage, places of worship, educational institutions, and spiritual assistance to Catholic faithful in hospitals and prisons".
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 15 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Duitama-Sogamoso, Colombia, presented by Bishop Carlos Prada Sanmiguel, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
On Saturday 13 October it was made public that the Pope appointed Cardinal Gaudencio B. Rosales, archbishop emeritus of Manila, Philippines, as his special envoy to the tenth plenary assembly of FABC (Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences). The event is to be held at the Xuan Loc Diocese Pastoral Centre from 19 to 25 November, and the concluding ceremony will take place in the cathedral of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


AMERICA : CANADA : CARDINAL NOTES LACK OF FREEDOM IN EDUCATION

Since this speech by the Cardinal the Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty has resigned.
ARCHDIOCESE OF TORONTO REPORT

Cardinal’s Dinner – October 11, 2012
Address by His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins
As has been the tradition in our Archdiocese for the last 33 years, we come together this evening for the annual Cardinal’s Dinner, to break bread, to enjoy fellowship, and to raise important funds for charity.
I am grateful to Mr. Patrick Keenan for chairing this year’s dinner, and for his guidance and leadership in preparing for this evening. We are also grateful for the leadership of Joe Barnicke, who with Cardinal Carter founded the Cardinal’s Dinner, and has devotedly fostered its growth over the years.
I also extend my gratitude to our head table guests and, in a special way, to the representatives from the many levels of political leadership in our Archdiocese and beyond. Be assured of my prayers for all of those who hold political office. It is a sacred trust. We should all pray for our politicians, that they may always act with wisdom and concern for the common good, in the imitation of their patron Saint Thomas More, as they make the difficult decisions which are inherent in their vocation.
We are also honoured to have with us many representatives of others faiths. Welcome. As we face the challenges of a world that so often seems to be hesitant about the light of faith – and at this moment a Synod of Bishops is gathered in Rome to address this very issue – we work together, and pray together, joined in a bond of love and mutual respect.
This evening, as at every Cardinal’s Dinner, the clergy and religious of the Archdiocese of Toronto, and lay representatives of our parishes, come together as an archdiocesan family of faith. You serve faithfully and vigilantly, bringing the Gospel to life in more than 220 parishes throughout our Archdiocese. I am continually inspired by what I see in my constant travels throughout the archdiocese. Thank you for your witness to the Gospel.
For the leaders from the world of business who join us each year at the dinner, thank you for your presence. I know that for so many of you the thread of faith is woven through your work and I am grateful that we have the ability to share this time together.

Thanksgiving
This past week we celebrated thanksgiving day. While that is not a church holiday or feast, the theme of thanksgiving is one that appears often throughout the Bible.
I am personally thankful to the Holy Father for calling me to enter the College of Cardinals, as the Cardinal Priest of the parish of Saint Patrick in Rome. I will be formally installed in my Roman parish on October 23rd. The naming of the Archbishop of Toronto to the College of Cardinals is a recognition of the key role played by our Archdiocese and our country in the life of the universal Church. The experience of being made a cardinal is truly inspiring, and I was grateful to be joined by many pilgrims from Canada for the ceremony.
Visually, the scarlet robes of a cardinal are quite spectacular, but they speak of something more profound which I also experience very much as Archbishop of Toronto. They are bright red to represent the blood of martyrs which is the seed of the Church, and great Cardinals, including one of my heroes, Saint John Fisher, have shed their blood for Christ. In my office I regularly meet people from around the world who are courageously witnessing to their faith. I have on my desk a relic of the Syriac Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, where many were martyred not long ago. We should be thankful for their witness, and made more resolute as we face the various challenges, less dramatic but also severe, which we confront in our own situation as we seek to be faithful.
We are always thankful for the example and for the prayers of the saints. On October 21st I will participate in Rome in the Canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks, great saint of the first nations people of Canada and the United States. On the 21st in Midland, at Martyrs’ Shrine, there will be a celebration of this great model of holiness for us all.
We should also be thankful for those who serve the most vulnerable among us, imitating Christ who called His disciples to recognize His face in those who suffer. This evening, Catholic Charities commence their 100th anniversary celebrations. Throughout the coming year, there will several events to recognize this anniversary, culminating in a special Mass next September.
One year prior to the outbreak of World War I, Archbishop Archbishop Neil McNeil saw the gaps and overlaps in the assistance being offered to the needy of the Archdiocese. In response, he established Catholic Charities in 1913 to provide guidance and oversight. Today there are 29 member agencies, many of which will be recipients of the proceeds of tonight’s dinner. They are truly making a difference.
We live in difficult economic times, with corporations, families and parishes all under great strain in many different areas. That is why I was so heartened to see this year’s ShareLife appeal raise close to $15 million, a record amount. It is testimony to the generosity of our Catholic community, and we are mindful that these funds will help people of all faiths or no faith at all.
When it comes to helping others, whether it is those suffering from a natural disaster across the ocean, or those closer to home, faith based organizations are the first in and last out. Just this past week, we have seen media reports of the Good Shepherd Refuge serving more than 1,600 thanksgiving meals. Their doors are open to all, every day of the year, the face of Christ to Toronto’s homeless.
The faithful of the Archdiocese of Toronto have responded with incredible generosity as more than 160 parishes have committed to welcoming a refugee family from the Middle East. For those seeking a new home after fleeing violence and persecution, it is only through the collaboration of people willing to welcome the stranger that a new beginning is possible.
Stop and think of the essential role which people of all faiths play in the wellbeing of our society. That should give pause to those who complain about the voice of people of faith in our democratic society, and who seek to sterilize public discourse and publicly funded institutions from religious influence. They should realize that apart from the strangely forgotten fact that people of faith pay taxes, Ontario would be a colder, harsher, darker, more cruel place without the generous action of people of faith motivated by their faith.
As always, we give thanks for Catholic Education, which from the earliest days of our province, even before the formation of our Country in 1867, has been an integral part of the educational system of Ontario. We are so richly blessed with a system in which the French and English, and the non-religious and Catholic dimensions of our whole education system work together in co-operation to make education a treasure for which all Ontarians may truly be thankful. There is more beauty in the variety of a garden than in the uniform, undifferentiated, monotony of the dull flat surface of a parking lot. The complementary variety in our educational system is an advantage for all, producing not only a healthy competition from which all benefit, but also a fruitful collaboration, and the richness of different approaches to the key issues of life. That diversity reflects the reality of the differences that exist in our province. The system works. For that we should be thankful.
Essential to the fruitfulness of that diverse educational system that is such a benefit to our province is a recognition of the legitimate identity of each partner. As for the Catholic dimension, with which I am most engaged as Cardinal Archbishop of Toronto, that identity is recognized and protected both by section 93 of our Canadian constitution – for without recognition of that identity the agreement that created Canada would not have proceeded – but also by section 1 of the Education Act of Ontario.
Both the constitution and the Education Act make it clear that the Catholic identity of the school must be respected.
This is true when it comes to the establishment of anti-bullying groups designed to make the school a better place for all, and in Catholic schools that means following the method outlined in the document Respecting Difference, of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association. It is our mission to speak up for all those who suffer, and especially those who are voiceless, for those who are forgotten.
It is also true when it comes to protecting the freedom of all in the school community to engage in pro-life activities in order to foster a culture of life in which the most vulnerable and voiceless among us are protected and honoured throughout their whole life on earth from the moment of conception to natural death. Defending the voiceless is our mission.
We all have a stake in assuring that the faith identity of Catholic schools is respected – not just Catholics, but also the countless people of other faiths who freely choose to send their children to Catholic Schools. In a healthy civil society it is vital that the deeply held principles that guide the lives of our neighbours are respected. Indeed, all citizens have a stake in that.
For all the difficulties we face, there is truly much for which we can be thankful, and the hope that comes from that allows us together to confront and to seek to overcome the problems that, sadly, are also part of our life.
This evening we give special thanks to God for the greatest religious event of the 20th Century, the Second Vatican Council, which began fifty years ago today, on October 11th, 1962. The Council ran from 1962 to1965, and produced 16 documents over the course of four sessions with more than 2,000 bishops worldwide participating in the deliberations.
As we begin today the Year of Faith which Pope Benedict has proclaimed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Council, and to lead us to reflect deeply on how our faith can be strengthened by meditating on the way in which the Holy Spirit guided the Church through the Council, and how we can be revitalized in our faith, we should prayerfully study and be nourished by the fruits of the Council, including the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that great sourcebook of faith, and the shorter Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
But, especially in this year of Faith, we should systematically and prayerfully study the 16 Council documents, and especially the key ones, the four great constitutions:
1) The Constitution on the Liturgy

2) The Constitution on the Church,

3) The Constitution on the Word of God, and

4) The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, which opens with the marvellous line that challenges us to engage in this world in which we live, with compassion and with a passion for justice: “The joys and hopes and the sorrows and anxieties of people today, especially of those who are poor and afflicted, are also the joys and hopes, sorrows and anxieties of the disciples of Christ, and there is nothing truly human which does not also affect them.”
The Constitution on the Church, in each of its sections, offers us clear guidance about how we should live according to our particular missions as disciples living within the community of the Church.
It speaks of the Church as the People of God, with all of its members - clergy, religious, and laity - having a specific mission, but all equally called to holiness. The chapter on the universal call to holiness is a good place to start, when reading the Council documents.
Many of the other 16 documents take a section of the Constitution on the Church, and expand upon it: and so there is a separate document on the mission of lay people, on that of religious, and of priests, and of bishops.
Particularly important is what the Council says about the role of lay people. Although lay people provide invaluable support within the structure of Church organizations, and in various internal ministries, their main role, according to Vatican II, is to make the presence of God known in this world through the way in which they fulfil their lay vocation in the secular world, in their family life, in their work, and in their engagement in the life of the community. They do this as individuals, who give example through personal holiness, and sometimes through their participation in the various lay movements which flourished to some degree before the Council, but which have truly been a gift of the Holy Spirit since the Council.
The main role of clergy and religious is to provide the spiritual support which the lay people need to fulfil their mission, by preaching the Word of God, by celebrating the sacraments, and by providing the pastoral care and guidance needed by the whole community of faith.
Of course worship is essential, and the Constitution on the Liturgy helps us to appreciate the sacred liturgy more profoundly.
The Constitution on the Word of God opened up for us a clearer sense of God’s presence amongst us, in Scripture and in the living faith of the Church.
In so many ways, the Council has been a blessing for which we should be thankful. It guides the Catholic Church in its relations with our brothers and sisters in Christ, with whom we share a common baptism, but from whom we have sadly been separated over the years. It helps us to build bridges of love and respect to Jews and Muslims, and to others who are not Christians. We have seen this dialogue among believers led by the Popes themselves, most recently Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI visiting, praying and in dialogue with our friends of other faith traditions.

The Call To Holiness
Fifty years after the Council, we need to be guided by its spiritual wisdom, especially in a society that has become disconnected from the vision of faith.
This revitalization is sometimes called “the new evangelization”, and presently a gathering of bishops and of others is underway in Rome to reflect upon this theme, and to suggest ways to proceed.
As I mentioned a few days ago in a pastoral letter on the Feast of St Michael, our patron saint, we will release a Pastoral Plan in the New Year that helps map out some of our key priorities, guiding the way in our own journey of evangelization in this archdiocese.
For each of us gathered here this evening, perhaps a few short suggestions on how we can bring the new evangelization to our everyday experiences:
1) Prayer – start and end your day with prayer to thank God for everything that He has blessed you with. On the subway, before an important meeting or most importantly, when you’re frustrated: give thanks, seek strength, wisdom and patience.

2) Witness – do not be afraid to discuss your faith in the public square. You may be surprised at how many others wish they could do the same. It doesn’t have to be as organized as bible study over lunch hour; but talking about how important faith is in one’s life is something that our world is thirsting for, and that we can do any time. Our world is ripe for authentic witness – let us fill that void.

3) Invitation – consider inviting someone to join you for a moment of prayer, to rediscover the Church, or to attend a spiritual service with you. I will do that now: I invite you to join me at the cathedral on the first or second Sunday of each month (look at the schedule) for evening prayer, and for the prayerful reading of the Word of God, known as Lectio Divina.

4) Forgiveness – enter into the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confession allows us to begin again, refreshed by the forgiveness that comes from our Loving Father. We need to let go of the baggage that weighs us down. Forgive others but first seek forgiveness yourself.
Conclusion

Tonight has been about breaking bread with friends, helping those in need, and coming to realize more fully all of the gifts for which we should give thanks. It is no surprise that the greatest act of worship in the Church is called “The Eucharist”, which means, to give thanks.
Particularly, in this Year of Faith, we give thanks for the gift of faith, and for the way in which faith leads to hope, which gives us the energy to love, and especially to show our love for those who are most in need through acts of practical service.
We give special thanks for the gift of the Second Vatican Council, which helps us to grow more deeply in faith, hope, and love.
The words with which good Pope John began the Council fifty years ago today were: “Holy Mother Church rejoices…” It is for us to bring that joyful message of hope, peace and love to the world. Thank you for your presence here this evening and may God continue to bless you now and always.
SHARED FROM OFFICIAL BLOG OF ARCHDIOCESE OF TORONTO

EUROPE : BISHOP SPEAKS ON YEAR OF FAITH

CATHOLIC HERALD REPORT
By Ligita Kneitaite on Friday, 12 October 2012
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury (Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury (Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)
The Year of Faith offers Catholics the chance to profess “the faith in fullness and with new conviction, confidence and hope”, Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury has said.
The bishop was speaking at a Mass marking the opening of the year at the Cathedral Church of Our Lady, Help of Christians and St Peter of Alcantara, in Shrewsbury yesterday.
He recalled that the Rt Rev William Grasar, the then Bishop of Shrewsbury, set off to the Second Vatican Council in 1962 to join more 2,000 bishops for an event that would last over three years.
“It was a sobering moment,” Bishop Davies said. “The world stood on the brink of nuclear destruction. The Cuban nuclear crisis was described as the most dangerous moment in human history.”
He said the bishops gathered in St Peter’s Basilica under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to “explore the will of Christ in these extremely challenging times”.
Bishop Davies said Pope John XXIII did not ignore or despair at the modern world, like his predecessors, but called the Council to rediscover the faith at that difficult time.
Now, on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Council, “the Pope wishes to highlight again the Council’s debates and mission, inviting the dioceses to open up the Catechism of the Catholic Church”, the bishop said.
He urged Catholics in his diocese to witness to their faith in daily life.
SHARED FROM CATHOLIC HERALD

AFRICA : DEM. REP. OF CONGO : ONGOING VIOLENCE

CISA REPORT
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NORTH KIVU, October 12, 2012 (CISA) -There is ongoing violence against civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Four days ago, rebels attacked the village of Bilulu, after overcoming the local military garrison, as reported by local media. Sources from the civil society told Fides that this is the fourth village to be occupied by the rebels in North Kivu and in the neighbouring Eastern Province where there has been reports of looting, burning of houses with fire and torture. “There is much talk, concerning the violence of the M23 (group of military deserters that is said to be backed…
SHARED FROM CISA

ASIA : PAKISTAN : GIRL SHOT BY TALIBAN TO BE SENT TO BRITAIN

ASIA NEWS REPORT
by Jibran Khan
The 14 year old Pakistani activist needs more specific medical treatment. Fears for her life, after an initial cautious optimism. Nation gathers around the girl. A candlelight vigil in the Cathedral of Lahore. Bishop of Islamabad: the attack against her, a cowardly act, and sign of profound weakness and fear.


Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Malala Yousafzai, the 14 year old Pakistani activist victim of a Taliban attack in recent days is going to be transferred to Britain for more specific medical treatment, according to army sources said in Islamabad. The young girl needs of treatment "integrated care" in order to heal. After an emergency surgery to limit the damage from the bullet to the head, following which doctors considered her condition "stable", she was admitted to a military hospital in Rawalpindi where her situation has, however, become increasingly "critical ". Hence the decision to send her to Europe, thanks to the financial contribution of the Government of the United Arab Emirates, where she will be welcomed in a specialized center; meanwhile the nation - and the entire international community - continue to pray for her, for a prompt and complete recovery.

On 9 October Malala Yousafzai - who has won national awards for her social commitment in favor of female education - was the victim of a Taliban attack in the Swat Valley, a mountainous area in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on the border with Afghanistan, stronghold of Islamic extremists opposed to the education of women. The girl was shot while on board the school bus that was taking her home, after morning lessons. So far, investigators have detained four persons held responsible for having taken part in various capacities in the attack. In all nearly 100 people have been stopped, most of them released after the payment of bail.

Meanwhile, support is building across Pakistan for the girl, whose life is still in danger, with prayers for a full recovery. Human rights activists, members of civil society and professional organizations, including Masihi Foundation and Life for All have condemned the attack, describing her as a "symbol of resistance" against the folly of extremists despite her young age. Even the local Catholic community has been mobilized, promoting a candlelight vigil - in the Cathedral of Lahore - and prayer vigils in several parts of the country. Speaking to AsiaNews, the bishop of Islamabad Msgr. Rufin Anthony said that "targeting a child is the most vile and cowardly act" and is a sign of "profound weakness and fear" of a 14 year old girl. The prelate held a special prayer vigil for the "brave" teenager and noted "the irony" that the attack against her took place in the week that celebrated the International Day for Women and Girls.


The girl became famous in 2009 at the age of 11, with her blog on the BBC's Urdu site in which she denounced the attacks by Pakistani Islamists against girls and women's educational institutions, to prevent them from studying and emancipation. Within her virtual diary, Malala bore witness to the cruelty of the Taliban and the violence through which they maintain power, terrorizing the local population.

The northwestern border is considered a stronghold of the Taliban, so that in some areas Shariah and the Islamic Courts are active, called in to judge disputes, as well as social behaviors and morality. There are hundreds of schools - even Christian - that have been closed in the Swat Valley, jeopardizing the education of tens of thousands of students and the work of about 8 thousand female teachers.

The education of the new generations is one of the key ways for the government to overcome poverty and to ensure genuine development in the nation, as outlined in a special AsiaNews dossier (see Education can stop the Taliban in Pakistan). Among the few realities in the area for some time, a group of Sinhalese Carmelite nuns women dedicated to education (see AsiaNews 22/06/2012 Sinhalese Carmelites educate girls in Pakistan), however, the sisters had to leave after a year and a half because of threats from Islamic fundamentalists.



SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

AUSTRALIA : OLDEST WORKING TEACHER - JESUIT - GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

Australian Jesuit sets record as world’s oldest schoolteacher | Fr Geoffrey Schneider SJ, world's oldest working teacher, Guinness World Records, Sydney’s St Aloysius’ College,

Fr Geoffrey Schneider
IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT
Australian Fr Geoffrey Schneider SJ, has been declared the world's oldest working teacher, by Guinness World Records.
Father Geoffrey Schneider, who has been teacher and chaplai at Sydney’s St Aloysius’ College's Junior School for 47 years, said he has no intention of retiring, as he approaches his 100th birthday in December.
The secret of his success, he said, is “a mountain of patience”. “If things are going wrong, don’t start shouting. Just proceed quietly and things will settle down eventually. Their books will eventually open.”
Fr Schneider has taught at schools in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, shaping the intellects and values of leading figures of Australian government, business, academia and sport, including Tony Abbott.
Retirement doesn't appeal to him. Why retire, he said, “So I can read the paper every morning and then forget what’s in it? That’s what a retired friend told me happens to him...At 3pm there’s afternoon tea and if you don’t turn up in the first minute they come knock on your door and say, ‘It’s tea time now’.
“Really, I shouldn’t be frightened of it, but it just doesn’t appeal to me. I just feel I can be more useful here.”
Father Schneider enjoys a fierce popularity at St Aloysius’. In the early 1990s, Year 3 students were asked to name a new building after their favourite Jesuit saint. Innocently, they chose “Saint” Schneider.
“I didn’t worry about it at the time, really, but after that we received a direction that the Jesuits were not to have any buildings named after them while they are alive,” he said.
“I don’t believe it wasn’t a direct consequence of what happened, but they managed to name the building before that order came down.”
Father Schneider is also the namesake of the annual Schneider Cup, which recognises excellence in soccer and rugby.
Source: UCAN/The Australian

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : MONDAY OCT. 15, 2012

Luke 11: 29 - 32
29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
30 For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nin'eveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.
31 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
32 The men of Nin'eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.


TODAY'S SAINT: OCT. 15: ST. TERESA OF AVILA: DIED 1582




St. Teresa of Avila
DISCALCED CARMELITE MYSTIC, FOUNDRESS, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: October 15
Information:
Feast Day:
October 15
Born:
28 March 1515, Ávila, Old Castile, Spain
Died:
October 15, 1582, Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Spain
Canonized:
12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV
Major Shrine:
Shrine of St. Teresa of Ávila, Ávila, Spain
Patron of:
bodily ills; headaches; lacemakers; laceworkers; loss of parents; people in need of grace; people in religious orders; people ridiculed for their piety; sick people; sickness; Spain

In the Autobiography which she completed towards the end of her life, Saint Teresa of Avila gives us a description of her parents, along with a disparaging estimate of her own character. "The possession of virtuous parents who lived in the fear of God, together with those favors which I received from his Divine Majesty, might have made me good, if I had not been so very wicked." A heavy consciousness of sin was prevalent in sixteenth-century Spain, and we can readily discount this avowal of guilt. What we are told of Teresa's early life does not sound in the least wicked, but it is plain that she was an unusually active, imaginative, and sensitive child. Her parents, Don Alfonso Sanchez de Capeda and Dona Beatriz Davila y Ahumada, his second wife, were people of position in Avila, a city of Old Castile, where Teresa was born on March 28, 1515. There were nine children of this marriage, of whom Teresa was the third, and three children of her father's first marriage.
Piously reared as she was, Teresa became completely fascinated by stories of the saints and martyrs, as was her brother Roderigo, who was near her own age and her partner in youthful adventures. Once, when Teresa was seven, they made a plan to run away to Africa, where they might be beheaded by the infidel Moors and so achieve martyrdom. They set out secretly, expecting to beg their way like the poor friars, but had gone only a short distance from home when they were met by an uncle and brought back to their anxious mother, who had sent servants into the streets to search for them. She and her brother now thought they would like to become hermits, and tried to build themselves little cells from stones they found in the garden. Thus we see that religious thoughts and influences dominated the mind of the future saint in childhood.
Teresa was only fourteen when her mother died, and she later wrote of her sorrow in these words: "As soon as I began to understand how great a loss I had sustained by losing her, I was very much afflicted; and so I went before an image of our Blessed Lady and besought her with many tears that she would vouchsafe to be my mother." Visits from a girl cousin were most welcome at this time, but they had the effect of stimulating her interest in superficial things. Reading tales of chivalry was one of their diversions, and Teresa even tried to write romantic stories. "These tales," she says in her Autobiography, "did not fail to cool my good desires, and were the cause of my falling insensibly into other defects. I was so enchanted that I could not be happy without some new tale in my hands. I began to imitate the fashions, to enjoy being well dressed, to take great care of my hands, to use perfumes, and wear all the vain ornaments which my position in the world allowed." Noting this sudden change in his daughter's personality, Teresa's father decided to place her in a convent of Augustinian nuns in Avila, where other young women of her class were being educated. This action made Teresa aware that her danger had been greater than she knew. After a year and a half in the convent she fell ill with what seems to have been a malignant type of malaria, and Don Alfonso brought her home. After recovering, she went to stay with her eldest sister, who had married and gone to live in the country. Then she visited an uncle, Peter Sanchez de Capeda, a very sober and pious man. At home once more, and fearing that an uncongenial marriage would be forced upon her, she began to deliberate whether or not she should undertake the religious life. Reading the , helped her to reach a decision. St. Jerome's realism and ardor were akin to her own Castilian spirit, with its mixture of the practical and the idealistic. She now announced to her father her desire to become a nun, but he withheld consent, saying that after his death she might do as she pleased
This reaction caused a new conflict, for Teresa loved her father devotedly. Feeling that delay might weaken her resolve, she went secretly to the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation outside the town of Avila, where her dear friend Sister Jane Suarez was living, and applied for admission. Of this painful step, she wrote: "I remember . . . while I was going out of my father's house—the sharpness of sense will not be greater, I believe, in the very instant of agony of my death, than it was then. It seemed as if all the bones in my body were wrenched asunder.... There was no such love of God in me then as was able to quench the love I felt for my father and my friends." A year later Teresa made her profession, but when there was a recurrence of her illness, Don Alfonso had her removed from the convent, as the rule of enclosure was not then in effect. After a period of intense suffering, during which, on one occasion, at least, her life was despaired of, she gradually began to improve. She was helped by certain prayers she had begun to use. Her devout Uncle Peter had given her a little book called the , by Father Francis de Osuna, which dealt with "prayers of recollection and quiet." Taking this book as her guide, she began to concentrate on mental prayer, and progressed towards the "prayer of quiet," with the soul resting in divine contemplation, all earthly things forgotten. Occasionally, for brief moments, she attained the "prayer of union," in which all the powers of the soul are absorbed in God. She persuaded her father to apply himself to this form of prayer.
After three years Teresa went back to the convent. Her intelligence, warmth, and charm made her a favorite, and she found pleasure in being with people. It was the custom in Spain in those days for the young nuns to receive their acquaintances in the convent parlor, and Teresa spent much time there, chatting with friends. She was attracted to one of the visitors whose company was disturbing to her, although she told herself that there could be no question of sin, since she was only doing what so many others, better than she, were doing. During this relaxed period, she gave up her habit of mental prayer, using as a pretext the poor state of her health. "This excuse of bodily weakness," she wrote afterwards, "was not a sufficient reason why I should abandon so good a thing, which required no physical strength, but only love and habit. In the midst of sickness the best prayer may be offered, and it is a mistake to think it can only be offered in solitude." She returned to the practice of mental prayer and never again abandoned it, although she had not yet the courage to follow God completely, or to stop wasting her time and talents. But during these years of apparent wavering, her spirit was being forged. When depressed by her own unworthiness, she turned to those two great penitents, St. Mary Magdalen and St. Augustine, and through them came experiences that helped to steady her will. One was the reading of St. Augustine's ; another was an overpowering impulse to penitence before a picture of the suffering Lord, in which, she writes, "I felt Mary Magdalen come to my assistance.... From that day I have gone on improving in my spiritual life."
When finally Teresa withdrew from the pleasures of social intercourse, she found herself able once more to pray the "prayer of quiet," and also the "prayer of union." She began to have intellectual visions of divine things and to hear inner voices. Though she was persuaded these manifestations came from God, she was at times fearful and troubled. She consulted many persons, binding all to secrecy, but her perplexities nevertheless were spread abroad, to her great mortification. Among those she talked to was Father Gaspar Daza, a learned priest, who, after listening, reported that she was deluded, for such divine favors were not consistent with a life as full of imperfections as hers was, as she herself admitted. A friend, Don Francis de Salsedo, suggested that she talk to a priest of the newly formed Society of Jesus. To one of them, accordingly, she made a general Confession, recounting her manner of prayer and extraordinary visions. He assured her that she experienced divine graces, but warned her that she had failed to lay the foundations of a true spiritual life by practices of mortification. He advised her to try to resist the visions and voices for two months; resistance proved useless. Francis Borgia, commissary-general of the Society in Spain, then advised her not to resist further, but also not to seek such experiences.
Another Jesuit, Father Balthasar Alvarez, who now became her director, pointed out certain traits that were incompatible with perfect grace. He told her that she would do well to beg God to direct her to what was most pleasing to Him, and to recite daily the hymn of St. Gregory the Great, "!" One day, as she repeated the stanzas, she was seized with a rapture in which she heard the words, "I will not have you hold conversation with men, but with angels." For three years, while Father Balthasar was her director, she suffered from the disapproval of those around her; and for two years, from extreme desolation of soul. She was censured for her austerities and ridiculed as a victim of delusion or a hypocrite. A confessor to whom she went during Father Balthasar's absence said that her very prayer was an illusion, and commanded her, when she saw any vision, to make the sign of the cross and repel it as if it were an evil spirit. But Teresa tells us that the visions now brought with them their own evidence of ,authenticity, so that it was impossible to doubt they were from God. Nevertheless, she obeyed this order of her confessor. Pope Gregory XV, in his bull of canonization, commends her obedience in these words: "She was wont to say that she might be deceived in discerning visions and revelations, but could not be in obeying superiors."
In 1557 Peter of Alcantara, a Franciscan of the Observance, came to Avila. Few saints have been more experienced in the inner life, and he found in Teresa unmistakable evidence of the Holy Spirit. He openly expressed compassion for what she endured from slander and predicted that she was not at the end of her tribulations. However, as her mystical experiences continued, the greatness and goodness of God, the sweetness of His service, became more and more manifest to her. She was sometimes lifted from the ground, an experience other saints have known. "God," she says, "seems not content with drawing the soul to Himself, but he must needs draw up the very body too, even while it is mortal and compounded of so unclean a clay as we have made it by our sins."
It was at this time, she tells us, that her most singular experience took place, her mystical marriage to Christ, and the piercing of her heart. Of the latter she writes: "I saw an angel very near me, towards my left side, in bodily form, which is not usual with me; for though angels are often represented to me, it is only in my mental vision. This angel appeared rather small than large, and very beautiful. His face was so shining that he seemed to be one of those highest angels called seraphs, who look as if all on fire with divine love. He had in his hands a long golden dart; at the end of the point methought there was a little fire. And I felt him thrust it several times through my heart in such a way that it passed through my very bowels. And when he drew it out, methought it pulled them out with it and left me wholly on fire with a great love of God." The pain in her soul spread to her body, but it was accompanied by great delight too; she was like one transported, caring neither to see nor to speak but only to be consumed with the mingled pain and happiness.
Teresa's longing to die that she might be united with God was tempered by her desire to suffer for Him on earth. The account which the gives of her revelations is marked by sincerity, genuine simplicity of style, and scrupulous precision. An unlettered woman, she wrote in the Castilian vernacular, setting down her experiences reluctantly, out of obedience to her confessor, and submitting everything to his judgment and that of the Church, merely complaining that the task kept her from spinning. Teresa wrote of herself without self-love or pride. Towards her persecutors she was respectful, representing them as honest servants of God.
Teresa's other literary works came later, during the fifteen years when she was actively engaged in founding new convents of reformed Carmelite nuns. They are proof of her industry and her power of memory, as well as of a real talent for expression. she composed for the special guidance of her nuns, and the for their further edification. was perhaps meant for all Catholics; in it she writes with authority on the spiritual life. One admiring critic says: "She lays bare in her writings the most impenetrable secrets of true wisdom in what we call mystical theology, of which God has given the key to a small number of his favored servants. This thought may somewhat lessen our surprise that an unlearned woman should have expounded what the greatest doctors never attained, for God employs in His works what instruments He wills."
We have seen how undisciplined the Carmelite nuns had become, how the convent parlor at Avila was a social gathering place, and how easily nuns might leave their enclosure. Any woman, in fact, who wanted a sheltered life without much responsibility could find it in a convent in sixteenth-century Spain. The religious themselves, for the most part, were not even aware of how far they fell short of what their profession demanded. So when one of the nuns at the House of the Incarnation began talking of the possibility of founding a new and stricter community, the idea struck Teresa as an inspiration from Heaven. She determined to undertake its establishment herself and received a promise of help from a wealthy widow, Dona Guiomar de Ulloa. The project was approved by Peter of Alcantara and Father Angelo de Salazar, provincial of the Carmelite Order. The latter was soon compelled to withdraw his permission, for Teresa's fellow nuns, the local nobility, the magistrates, and others united to thwart the project. Father Ibanez, a Dominican, secretly encouraged Teresa and urged Dona Guiomar to continue to lend her support. One of Teresa's married sisters began with her husband to erect a small convent at Avila in 1561 to shelter the new establishment; outsiders took it for a house intended for the use of her family.
An episode famous in Teresa's life occurred at this time. Her little nephew was crushed by a wall of the new structure which fell on him as he was playing, and he was carried, apparently lifeless, to Teresa. She held the child in her arms and prayed. After some minutes she restored him alive and sound to his mother. The miracle was presented at the process for Teresa's canonization. Another seemingly solid wall of the convent collapsed during the night. Teresa's brother-in-law was going to refuse to pay the masons, but Teresa assured him that it was all the work of evil spirits and insisted that the men be paid.
A wealthy woman of Toledo, Countess Louise de la Cerda, happened at the time to be mourning the recent death of her husband, and asked the Carmelite provincial to order Teresa, whose goodness she had heard praised, to come to her. Teresa was accordingly sent to the woman, and stayed with her for six months, using a part of the time, at the request of Father Ibanez, to write, and to develop further her ideas for the convent. While at Toledo she met Maria of Jesus, of the Carmelite convent at Granada, who had had revelations concerning a reform of the order, and this meeting strengthened Teresa's own desires. Back in Avila, on the very evening of her arrival, the Pope's letter authorizing the new reformed convent was brought to her. Teresa's adherents now persuaded the bishop of Avila to concur, and the convent, dedicated to St. Joseph, was quietly opened. On St. Bartholomew's day, 1562 the Blessed Sacrament was placed in the little chapel, and four novices took the habit.
The news soon spread in the town and opposition flared into the open. The prioress of the Incarnation convent sent for Teresa, who was required to explain her conduct. Detained almost as a prisoner, Teresa did not lose her poise. The prioress was joined in her disapproval by the mayor and magistrates, always fearful that an unendowed convent would be a burden on the townspeople. Some were for demolishing the building forthwith. Meanwhile Don Francis sent a priest to Madrid, to plead for the new establishment before the King's Council. Teresa was allowed to go back to her convent and shortly afterward the bishop officially appointed her prioress. The hubbub now quickly subsided. Teresa was hence. forth known simply as Teresa of Jesus, mother of the reform of Carmel. The nuns were strictly cloistered, under a rule of poverty and almost complete silence; the constant chatter of women's voices was one of the things that Teresa had most deplored at the Incarnation. They were poor, without regular revenues; they wore habits of coarse serge and sandals instead of shoes, and for this reason were called the "discalced" or shoeless Carmelites. Although the prioress was now in her late forties, and frail, her great achievement still lay in the future.
Convinced that too many women under one roof made for relaxation of discipline, Teresa limited the number of nuns to thirteen; later, when houses were being founded with endowments and hence were not wholly dependent on alms, the number was increased to twenty-one. The prior general of the Carmelites, John Baptist Rubeo of Ravenna, visiting Avila in 1567, carried away a fine impression of Teresa's sincerity and prudent rule. He gave her full authority to found other convents on the same plan, in spite of the fact that St. Joseph's had been established without his knowledge.
Five peaceful years were spent with the thirteen nuns in the little convent of St. Joseph. Teresa trained the sisters in every kind of useful work and in all religious observances, but whether at spinning or at prayer, she herself was always first and most diligent. In August, 1567, she founded a second convent at Medina del Campo. The Countess de la Cerda was anxious to found a similar house in her native town of Malagon, and Teresa went to advise her about it. When this third community had been launched, the intrepid nun moved on to Valladolid, and there founded a fourth; then a fifth at Toledo. On beginning this work, she had no more than four or five ducats (approximately ten dollars), but she said, "Teresa and this money are nothing; but God, Teresa, and these ducats suffice." At Medina del Campo she encountered two friars who had heard of her reform and wished to adopt it: Antony de Heredia, prior of the Carmelite monastery there, and John of the Cross. With their aid, in 1568, and the authority given her by the prior general, she established a reformed house for men at Durelo, and in 1569 a second one at Pastrana, both on a pattern of extreme poverty and austerity. She left to John of the Cross, who at this time was in his late twenties, the direction of these and other reformed communities that might be started for men. Refusing to obey the order of his provincial to return to Medina, he was imprisoned at Toledo for nine months. After his escape he became vicar-general of Andalusia, and strove for papal recognition of the order. John, later to attain fame as a poet, mystic confessor, and finally saint, became Teresa's friend; a close spiritual bond developed between the young friar and the aging prioress, and he was made director and confessor in the mother house at Avila.
The hardships and dangers involved in Teresa's labors are indicated by a little episode of the founding of a new convent at Salamanca. She and another nun took over a house which had been occupied by students. It was a large, dirty, desolate place, without furnishings, and when night came the two nuns lay down on their piles of straw, for, Teresa tells us, "the first furniture I provided wherever I founded convents was straw, for, having that, I reckoned I had beds." On this occasion, the other nun seemed very nervous, and Teresa asked her the reason. "I was wondering," was the reply, "what you would do alone with a corpse if I were to die here now." Teresa was startled, but only said, "I shall think of that when it happens, Sister. For the present, let us go to sleep."
At about this time Pope Pius V appointed a number of apostolic visitors to inquire into the relaxations of discipline in religious orders everywhere. The visitor to the Carmelites of Castile found great fault with the Incarnation convent and sent for Teresa, bidding her to assume its direction and remedy the abuses there. It was hard to be separated from her own daughters, and even more distasteful to be brought in as head of the old house which had long opposed her with bitterness and jealousy. The nuns at first refused to obey her; some of them fell into hysterics at the very idea. She told them that she came not to coerce or instruct but to serve and to learn from the least among them. By gentleness and tact she won the affection of the community, and was able to reestablish discipline. Frequent callers were forbidden, the finances of the house were set in order, and a more truly religious spirit reigned. At the end of three years, although the nuns wished to keep her longer, she was directed to return to her own convent.
Teresa organized a nunnery at Veas and while there met Father Jerome Gratian, a reformed Carmelite, and was persuaded by him to extend her work to Seville. With the exception of her first convent, none proved so hard to establish as this. Among her problems there was a disgruntled novice, who reported the nuns to the Inquisition, charging them with being Illuminati.
The Italian Carmelite friars had meanwhile been growing alarmed at the progress of the reform in Spain, lest, as one of their number said, they might one day be compelled to set about reforming themselves, a fear shared by their still unreformed Spanish brothers. At a general chapter at Piacenza several decrees were passed restricting the reform. The new apostolic nuncio dismissed Father Gratian from his office as visitor to the reformed Carmelites. Teresa was told to choose one of her convents and retire to it, and abstain from founding others. At this point she turned to her friends in the world, who were able to interest King Philip II in her behalf, and he personally espoused her cause. He summoned the nuncio to rebuke him for his severity towards the discalced friars and nuns. In 1580 came an order from Rome exempting the reformed from the jurisdiction of the unreformed Carmelites, and giving each party its own provincial. Father Gratian was elected provincial of the reformed branch. The separation, although painful to many, brought an end to dissension.
Teresa was a person of great natural gifts. Her ardor and lively wit was balanced by her sound judgment and psychological insight. It was no mere flight of fancy when the English Catholic poet, Richard Crashaw, called her "the eagle" and "the dove." She could stand up boldly and bravely for what she thought was right; she could also be severe with a prioress who by excessive austerity had made herself unfit for her duties. Yet she could be gentle as a dove, as when she writes to an erring, irresponsible nephew, "God's mercy is great in that you have been enabled to make so good a choice and marry so soon, for you began to be dissipated when you were so young that we might have had much sorrow on your account." Love, with Teresa, meant constructive action, and she had the young man's daughter, born out of wedlock, brought to the convent, and took charge of her upbringing and that of his young sister.
One of Teresa's charms was a sense of humor. In the early years, when an indiscreet male visitor to the convent once praised the beauty of her bare feet, she laughed and told him to take a good look at them for he would never see them again-implying that in the future he would not be admitted. Her method of selecting novices was characteristic. The first requirement, even before piety, was intelligence. A woman could attain to piety, but scarcely to intelligence, by which she meant common sense as well as brains. "An intelligent mind," she wrote, "is simple and teachable; it sees its faults and allows itself to be guided. A mind that is dull and narrow never sees its faults even when shown them. It is always pleased with itself and never learns to do right." Pretentiousness and pride annoyed her. Once a young woman of high reputation for virtue asked to be admitted to a convent in Teresa's charge, and added, as if to emphasize her intellect, "I shall bring my Bible with me." "What," exclaimed Teresa, "your Bible? Do not come to us. We are only poor women who know nothing but how to spin and do as we are told."
In spite of a naturally sturdy constitution, Teresa continued throughout her life to suffer from ailments which physicians found baffling. It would seem that sheer will power kept her alive. At the time of the definitive division of the Carmelite Order she had reached the age of sixty-five and was broken in health. Yet during the last two years of her life she somehow found strength to establish three more convents. They were at Granada, in the far south, at Burgos, in the north, and at Soria, in Portugal. The total was now sixteen. What an astounding achievement this was for one small, enfeebled woman may be better appreciated if we recall the hardships of travel. Most of this extensive journeying was done in a curtained carriage or cart drawn by mules over the extremely poor roads; her trips took her from the northern provinces down to the Mediterranean, and west into Portugal, across mountains, rivers, and arid plateaus. She and the nun who accompanied her endured all the rigors of a harsh climate as well as the steady discomfort of rude lodgings and scanty food.
In the autumn of 1582, Teresa, although ill, set out for Alva de Tormez, where an old friend was expecting a visit from her. Her companion of later years, Anne-of-St. Bartholomew, describes the journey. Teresa grew worse on the road, along which there were few habitations. They could get no food save figs, and when they arrived at the convent, Teresa went to bed in a state of exhaustion. She never recovered, and three days later, she remarked to Anne, "At last, my daughter, I have reached the house of death," a reference to her book, . Extreme Unction was administered by Father Antony de Heredia, a friar of the Reform, and when he asked her where she wished to be buried. she plaintively replied, "Will they deny me a little ground for my body here?" She sat up as she received the Sacrament, exclaiming, "O my Lord, now is the time that we shall see each other! " and died in Anne's arms. It was the evening of October 4. The next day, as it happened, the Gregorian calendar came into use. The readjustment made it necessary to drop ten days, so that October 5 was counted as October 15, and this latter date became Teresa's feast day. She was buried at Alva; three years later, following the decree of a. provincial chapter of Reformed Carmelites, the body was secretly removed to Avila. The next year the Duke of Alva procured an order from Rome to return it to Alva de Tormez, and there it has remained.
Teresa was canonized in 1662. Shortly after her death, Philip II, keenly aware of the Carmelite nun's contribution to Catholicism, had her manuscripts collected and brought to his great palace of the Escorial, and there placed in a rich case, the key of which he carried on his person. These writings were edited for publication by two Dominican scholars and brought out in 1587. Subsequently her works have appeared in uncounted Spanish editions, and have been translated into many languages. An ever-spreading circle of readers through the centuries have found understanding and courage in the life and works of this nun of Castile, who is one of the glories of Spain and of the Church. Teresa's emblems are a heart, an arrow, and a book.


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