(Avila, Spain, specifically.)

So,  what would you do if you looked around you and you saw a need to reform your church or your nation or your corporation — or even just something in your own family?

Most of us influenced by Western Civilization have heard a little about St. Teresa of Avila, whom we recognize  today on the Liturgical calendar.

teresa looking up

Those who are minimally educated know that St. Teresa  effected reforms for the Carmelite tradition which had, in the 16th century,  fallen into a bit of loose discipline, leading to a weakening of the faith and sometimes scandal to the surrounding culture.   She and her reformed    (or “Discalced Carmelites”)  contributed to the revival of faith and sobriety and civility in the culture of Western Europe.   That’s merely a sociological observation and somewhat of a historical turniing pont for our civilization.

But even greater was her influence on the reform of religion and the development of a greater, deeper,  more genuine spirituality.   Through her,  God was able to bring about a reform for Christianity that can still today increase our faith and love for God — providing we avail ourselves of her insights and her writings.

That is,  our Christian faith today can still be improved (“reformed”) if we at least read what she wrote.

But here’s an interesting point that came to mind this morning:    From the little I know of St. Teresa,  I see that she sought to restore “all things in Christ”;  that is true.   But she did NOT look back to the previous generation, nor to any previous century, to model her reforms after.   In other words,  although she used the wisdom and teachings handed down to her generation,  she did not try to rebuild any society that came before her.

This is an issue for those who would like to “reform” the Church today.

Teresa looked squarely at her convent and her society and what its problems were.   She took a realistic look at the problems of her own generation, and then sought to solve those problems, offering ideas and practices that would eliminate those problems, and – in the process – build a better society.

And for us today?   Church or State?  (God works in both arenas.)   It is an earth-shaking necessity to examine the erroneous statements and practices  that have crept into both Christianity and into America.

We need to make a square, courageous,  open-minded examination of the problems that are really there.   Then we need to encounter those problems and choose ways that will turn us away from error.  (This is not personal,  it does no good to encounter “people” in this way.  I’d propose an act of our intellects, not of our emotions.  What do you understand, not “how do you feel about….”   We need to reject the idea that Disagreement is Hate. )  

After examination, then we need to introduce ideas and practices that will take Church or State back to its initial directive.

Neither the corrected Church nor our corrected country will look like “the good ol’ days.”    They are gone.  They had their issues to deal with.    We need to look around us today and discover what our issues are.   There are plenty of issues for each one of us to choose from!!

Use your intellect.  Use your ability to do some research.  Use your own inclinations and talents and preferences which is, after all, the way God works through us.

Reform Church?   Reform our nation?   Again, God works in both arenas.  Our duty is to let Him work through us.  Our duty is … to do our duty for a greater good.

(Pardon the unedited wordiness;  I’m writing in broad outlines, not specifics. . . But I’m not sure which point I’d want to eliminate.)

Duty?   For a little “fun” reading to consider whether or not there is something we should be doing….click on  ” Gnats”.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2013 Conflicts, Christendom, Christian Analysis, Citizen of this world, Current Events, Holy Days

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