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St. Teresa's Carmelite reforms are applicable today, Pope says

July 16, 2012

In a July 16 message celebrating the 450th anniversary of the reform of the Carmelite order, Pope Benedict XVI said that the initiatives begun by St. Teresa of Avila offer a valuable model for our own times.

At the time of St. Teresa, the Pope observed, the Church was facing a crisis, and the words of the great reformer sound familiar to today’s Catholics. St. Teresa, the Pope recalled, worte that “the world is on fire. Men try to condemn Christ once again. They would raze his Church to the ground.”

Referring to St. Teresa as a “Mistress of the spirit,” the Pope said that she firmly grasped the fundamental point that “all authentic personal and ecclesial reform involves an ever more faithful reproduction of the 'form' of Christ in our own selves.” Today’s faithful should recognize the same truth, he said, and “recover their vigor in the only way possible: by finding space within ourselves for the feelings of the Lord Jesus, and in all circumstances seeking to live His Gospel to the full.”


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