Last Saturday, a meeting of the Diocesan Pastoral Council was held in Winchester. It was well attended with over 70 participants. There will be more about it in subsequent editions of e-News. The Council began with Mass and it was the Memorial of St. Teresa of Avila. Here is the short homily I preached.
We begin the Diocesan Pastoral Council with Mass. We are asking the Lord to nourish us with His Word and with the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. We ask the Holy Spirit to guide our deliberations. We do so today, the feast of one of the Church’s greatest saints, mystics and expert on the spiritual life, St. Teresa of Avila. She became a Carmelite at the age of 20 but began to find the convent lax, with lots of talking and constant visitors. So, she worked for reform and in her 40s, helped by St. John of the Cross, founded the first of several new convents of stricter observance, based on silence and contemplation. These new Discalced Carmelites were in time formally recognised by the Holy See. St. Teresa wrote three books on prayer, now spiritual classics, including her best-known book, The Interior Castle. The Interior Castle describes seven mansions or rooms, which are the seven different stages or steps on the soul’s journey to union with God through prayer and meditation. A truly holy woman who reached the heights of mystical contemplation, Teresa died in 1582. As she received the Last Sacraments, she said O my Lord, it’s now time for us to see each other.
Read more here.