Sisters in Scripture
The Poetry of Teresa of Avila    11/17/2021
Retreats for St Teresa of Avila
What a joy it was this morning to drive top down through rolling hills of autumn color. I found myself singing aloud to the open sky. It could have been the sheer beauty and gentle breeze of the day, but it was also, and mostly, because I was on my way to present a session on The Poetry of Teresa of Avila.
Teresa is one of my favorite topics and I had presented her poetry before, but for the last year and a half everything has been on zoom. This time it was in person with a vaccinated, small group at a nearby church. To see the smiles and to hear the laughter, I was happy! Here are some of the lines from Teresa that the women of United Lutheran chose to share:
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices

Remember, God, to love us in a way our souls can taste and rejoice in.

God is always there, if you feel wounded. He kneels
over the earth like
a divine medic,
and His love thaws
the holy in us.

He showed me His compassion
and spoke a divine truth,
"I made you, dear, and all I make is perfect.
Please come close,
for I desire you.

For it is true, together we live; and only
at that shrine where all are welcome will God sing
loud enough to be heard.

What is God's will for a wing?
Every bird knows that.

A woman's body, like the earth, has seasons

Our souls, dear, I will just say this forthright:
they are God Himself,
we will never perish
unless He does.

All concepts of God are like a jar we break,
because only the infinite can contain
our perfect love.
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God's Gift of Abundant Time    11/03/2021
God's Gift of Abundant TimeTime is not ours; it belongs to the Holy Spirit. We can neither speed time up nor slow it down. Heaven knows, we expend a considerable amount of energy—and time—trying to do both, but we cannot. And then when we look back on the timing of events, we often note a rightness there that we could not have orchestrated were we able. Beyond our control--perhaps thankfully.
This is good news, though we may not, at first, greet it as such. It rises out of the foundational belief that God can be trusted to provide. We may have learned, over the years, to accept that when God asks us to do something, God will also provide us the means to do so. Oddly, we often find it hard to believe God will be as generous with time as with ability. 
Discernment is key to this arrangement. If we are saying "yes,” to something God asks us to do, we will be given the time, as well as the means, to do it. But often we make decisions about time without regard to focusing on God’s invitation first. There is both humility and wisdom in praying at the start of each day, "Lord, give me the time to do all that you ask of me today—nothing more, nothing less (nothing else)—and help me to know the difference.” 
When I find myself "forcing" things because of a felt need to meet a timeline or control an outcome, I have learned to let go and surrender that significant detail to the Holy Spirit. There is a peace that comes with that, especially with a lot of practice.
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