OUR LIFE OF PRAYER
Prayer is at the center of all that we are and all that we do. We strive to become women of prayer and teachers of prayer, just as St. Teresa was. She taught us to share with Jesus in a deeply personal way, as with an intimate friend; it is in this sharing with Jesus that we come to know ourselves and the Lord, and it is through this friendship with Him that we are gradually transformed. In prayer we come to share Jesus’ feelings, his passion for the Reign of God, and his compassion for all – especially for the oppressed, the weary, and all who suffer. In this way, our life becomes prayer and our prayer becomes life.
In order to live our relationship with Jesus, we need extended times of being alone with Him. We set aside at least one hour for personal prayer each day. In addition, we come together daily as a community to praise, give thanks, intercede, and celebrate, uniting ourselves to the prayer of the Church in the Liturgy of the Hours . We also share the Word of God, especially through the Sunday readings. Our personal and community prayer and our participation in daily Eucharist nourish and strengthen us while giving us motivation and hunger for the mission. The mission, in turn, brings us back to prayer as we seek God’s help for a world suffering from pain and injustice, and we ask our loving God to show us the way to bring that love to others.
TERESIAN PRAYER IS:
Since prayer is a friendly conversation with God, we give Him our attention. As St. Teresa said: “I am not asking you to do more than look at Him. For who can keep you from turning the eyes of your soul toward this Lord, even if you do so for a moment?”
The essence of all our effectivity should be the desire for God, which opens the way for communion and union. St. Teresa, again: “Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends: it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. … Prayer is simply being alone with Him, looking at Him, sharing His friendship, loving Him and allowing oneself to be loved.”
True contemplation is a gift from God, and cannot be produced by our own effort. But we try to prepare our hearts for this gift by entering into each moment of our lives, centering ourselves in that moment, noting our own inner movements. We try to allow noisy distractions to slip away, not worrying about them or giving our minds over to them. We simply observe quietly. St. Teresa: “God can make you a contemplative through His goodness and mercy, but you need to prepare yourself so that God may lead you along this path if He so desires.”
Even for St. Teresa, intimacy with Christ doesn’t stop there. The friend of Christ wants more friends for Christ, and we are called out of our comfort zones to bring the Good News to others, through our lives and our words. As she said: “It seems to me I would have given a thousand lives to save one soul out of the many that were being lost. All my longing was and still is that since He has so many enemies and so few friends, that these be good ones.”