Discalced Carmelite Friars

Semi Province of St. Therese

This blog is being kept as a memorial to Fr. John Michael Payne, OCD, who was a Friar of the Discalced Carmelite Province of St. Therese in the United States and who wrote the posts on this blog. No further items will be posted on this blog.

~Discalced Carmelite Friars
Province of St. Therrese

Teresa, the Writer

Teresa of Avila knew how to write. She knew how to get the reader’s attention. It was all born of experience. As an adolescent she was addicted to adventure stories. She could not get enough of knights in shining armor rescuing damsels in distress. She could not rest until she found a new book to read. So she knew from personal experience what it took to get a reader’s attention. She was asked to write about favors she received from God. What she’d prefer to write about was how she abused those favors. But that was not the assignment. Nevertheless after each favor she recalls, she manages to throw in a disclaimer about how she either took advantage of the favor, used it to manipulate, or (at the very least) milked it for all it was worth.

In 1921, as Edith Stein, an agnostic Jew, was in the process of discerning whether to join the Lutherans or the Catholics, she found a book in Hedwig Conrad-Martius’ home. It was The Book of Her Life written by Saint Teresa de Jesús. When Edith finished reading this book, the doctor of philosophy declared, “This is truth,” and within a year, Edith was baptized a Catholic. She added to her Christian name “Hedwig,” the Lutheran philosopher who introduced her to Saint Teresa of Jesus.

Written by Fr. John Michael Payne, OCD
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