As we listen to the voice of Teresa urging us forward and reminding us that the point of entry as we go is a deepening relationship with God, we may need more encouragement in how to allow, through reflection, the growth in wisdom that we and our world need. Here again, is Teresa’s wise counsel:
You cannot begin to recollect yourself by force but only by gentleness, if your recollection is going to be continual.
We have to trust the gentleness of God and learn, from that gentleness, to be a little gentler on ourselves, especially with regard to making spiritual progress. There is discipline, of course; it may take a lot of commitment to engage a regular practice of meditative prayer, especially if that is new to us. But rigidity in prayer and in relationship does not make for a very deep intersubjective experience. Our souls are shy and often resist a full spotlight focused on them. Indeed, there is no showiness about a genuine spirituality. Catherine LaCugna once observed that “the Spirit is, by nature, self-effacing.” Loving spiritual encounter with God will bring out the best in us by teaching us a gentler, more just, more humane way of being ourselves.
Turn gently within and allow some kind of simple encounter with the holy to shape your day.