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Novena to St. Teresa of Avila

(October 6th to 14th)

Read the Word of God slowly
Give a silent pause of a minute or two
Read the reflection meditatively
Leave a few minutes of silence for interiorization and personalization before the novena prayer

Day 1

Today we begin the novena to St. Teresa of Avila, a great Carmelite saint and a woman doctor of the Church. She made tremendous progress in perfection and received mystical revelations. Pope John XXIII referred to her as the most illustrious religious woman and peerless luminary of the Church, an experienced teacher and guide in the extraordinary and mysterious ways through which God leads the elect to an intimate union with him.

Reading: prov. 23: 26

Reflection: Give me your heart. The closer we get to God the more intense are the demands made on us. God needs nothing but our hearts.


Lord through the intercession of St. Teresa, we ask you to give us the wisdom to know that all things pass away, you are unchanging, with patience we can attain all things and if you have you in our life, we have everything. Amen.

Hymn: Victim of Charity

Day 2

Reading: Psalm 1

‘God’s words are true and cannot fail’, says St. Teresa. For her, The Word of God was truly the physical presence of God and consequently it demanded deep reverence, submission and self-giving. She affirmed that she would die a thousand deaths for any truth of Scripture and was ready to use all her strength to carry out very word.

How eager am I to hear God’s Word and be a doer?

Prayer as above

Hymn: Hail Flower of Carmel Hail

Day 3

Reading: Lk. 22: 39-45

St. Teresa tells that she was particularly attracted to Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemani, where she would go to keep him company. She would think of the sweat and the affliction he endured there. She wished she could wipe that sweat from his face but never dared to do so, her sins stood in the way.

Prayer as above

Hymn: Victim of Charity

Day 4

Reading: Psalm 141:1-5

Prayer, explains Teresa, is a mystical garden. Plucking weeds and putting good plants in their place is the work of the Divine Master. We make the plants grow, water them with care. They will bear flowers, the perfume of which attracts the Divine Gardener. He will then visit the garden and take his delight amidst the virtues, which are the flowers.

Prayer as above

Hymn: Hail Flower of Carmel Hail

Day 5

Reading 1 Jn: 1: 1-3

To contemplate is to enjoy God in a love relationship. To enjoy God is to give and receive love. The person who is at ease with God, is at ease with other people too. She radiates peace and joy.

Prayer as above

Hymn- D 115

Day 6

Reading: Eph. 5: 18-20

St. Teresa is often depicted with a dove, with a pen and a book. Many testify that her wisdom was divinely infused. “He will fill her with the spirit of wisdom and understanding.” (Eccl.39)

How should we express our commitment to obedience and compassion in the socio-cultural context in which we live?

Prayer as above

Hymn: Victim of Charity

Day 7

Reading: Jn 4: 5-14

The Samaritan woman took the words of Jesus literally which was meant spiritually. It was the living water of which Jesus spoke. The Jews often spoke of the thirst of the soul for God and quenching that thirst with living water. St. Teresa drank deeply of this water and longed for more.

Prayer as above

Hymn: Hail Flower of Carmel Hail

Day 8

Reading: Lk. 10: 38-42

When Jesus came to the home of Martha and Mary, it was a great day and Martha was eager to celebrate it as best as she could. So she rushed through and fussed over the preparations which Jesus did not care much about. His heart cried out for quiet and said, “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken away from her.”

Am I transparent in my dealings, accounts, rules, etc.?

Prayer as above

Hymn: Victim of Charity

Day 9

Where the treasure is, there will the heart be! St. Teresa says, all things pass away and God alone suffices.

Concluding Prayer

Father, by your Spirit you raised St. Teresa of Avila to show the Church the way of perfection. May her inspired teaching awaken in us a longing for true holiness! We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Hymn: The midnight chimes



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