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Vespers for the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila[i]

 

 

 

ANTIPHON          Psalm 42:2-3

Quemadmodum desiderat cervus ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus.
Sitivit anima mea ad Deum fortem, vivum
.

As the deer yearns for running streams,
so my soul yearns for you, my God;
my soul thirsts for God, the living God.

 

COLLECT

Deus, qui per Spiritum tuum beatam Teresiam suscitasti, ut requirendae perfectionis semitam manifestaret,
da nobis et caelestis eius doctrinae pabulo semper nutriri, et verae sanctitatis desiderio accendi
.

O God, who through your Spirit
raised up Saint Teresa to show the way to seek perfection,
grant that we may always be nourished
by the food of her heavenly teaching
and aflame with longing for the true and the holy,
through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

FIRST READING          Romans 8:22-27

Brothers and Sisters:
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the first fruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will.

 

PSALM          19:8-11

Iudicia Domini vera, iusta omnia simul

The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.

The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.

More precious are they than gold,
yea, than the finest gold,
Sweeter also than honey,
even honey from the comb.

 

SECOND READING

Saint Teresa of Avila
(Opusc. De libro vitae, cap 22,6-7.14)

Let us always be mindful of Christ’s love

If Christ Jesus dwells in a person as that person’s friend and noble leader, that person can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. Christ is a true friend. If we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.

Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.

What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they took no other path: Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God’s hands. If God should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, we ought to accept this gladly.

Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favors, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.

 

COLLECT

O God, who through your Spirit
raised up Saint Teresa to show the way to seek perfection,
grant that we may always be nourished
by the food of her heavenly teaching
and aflame with longing for the true and the holy,
through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

Resources (available for free online)

These resources contain the prayers and worship services used in The Episcopal Church and by Episcopalians in their daily devotions.

This source shows the readings assigned for use in Sunday worship and for daily office use for each day of the year, with links to online biblical texts.

The Revised Common Lectionary and Daily Office, https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/

Links to church websites – National, Diocesan and our church’s website.

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org

Episcopal News Service: www.episcopalnewsservice.org

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington: www.edow.org

St. Mark’s, Fairland: www.stmarks-silverspring.org

 

[i] Source: The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours © 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. This service is adapted for Episcopal Church use. Used with permission. http://www.liturgies.net/saints/francis/readings.htm

 

Image credits: Alonso de Arco, La obra representa a la mística española Santa Teresa de Jesús (1700); Peter Paul Rubens, St. Teresa of Avila (1615); François Gérard, St. Theresa (1827); Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, 1647-52 (Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome).