Article: The Saint in a hurry

Newry Cathedral News

Ever run for a train or bus and just make it? It happened me this week when I raced through an airport to catch a train, doing the journey from gate to train in 6 minutes. I’m still in recovery but it got me thinking about why we hurry. It is usually the result of some compelling reason and because something matters to us very much – so much so that we overcome all obstacles to ensure we achieve it.

Pope Francis said that he wished the whole church would follow the example of St Teresa of Avila and be in a ‘holy hurry’ to bring the Gospel and God’s love to the world. St Teresa was a mystic, reformer of the Carmelite order and doctor of the church. She was born in 1515 and when she was 21, she joined the Carmelite order, in spite of poor health she was tireless in her work saying, ‘Rest I don’t need rest I need crosses’. During her lifetime she founded 13 monasteries and was canonised in March 1622. In 1970 Pope John Paul proclaimed her one of the doctors of the church along with St Catherine of Sienna. St Teresa is known as the patron of the sick and those who suffer from headaches. Her Feast Day is the 15th October. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church uses Teresa’s definition of prayer, she said, ‘Contemplative Prayer in my opinion is nothing else but than a close sharing of prayer between friends. It means we take the time to frequently be alone with Him who we know loves us’,  Teresa’s book, ‘The Interior Castle’ extolls the need for private prayer. 

Her best known prayer is, 

Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing make you afraid. 

All things are passing, God alone never changes. 

Patience gains all things. 

If you have God, you will want for nothing. 

God alone suffices. 

St Teresa of Avila

In a letter to the Bishop of Avila, Spain when the Diocese was observing the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa, Pope Francis said the saint teaches Catholics how to be pilgrims and how to live their lives as ‘a journey of perfection’, growing closer to the Lord each day. Joy, prayer, brotherhood and attentiveness to the needs of the people of her day were four things about St Teresa that stand out. She walked from convent to convent.  Pope Francis added, if only we all would be infected with this ‘holy hurry’ to go out preach the Good News. Instead, we seem to sit back and allow people to decide for themselves rather than share our faith. Is our passive approach to do with shyness or is it simply because we are not compelling to share our faith?

 Coastal Rosary for Faith and Life in Ireland 

On Sunday 9th October, the annual Coastal Rosary will take place at 2.30pm. As in previous years there will be a gathering at the Ramparts Walkway, Warrenpoint Dual Carriageway, Mother of The Hill Grotto, Windy Gap, Slievenaboley, Leitrim BT252HP and St Mary’s Glasdrumman, BT344QN. The prayer leaflet and other details can be found at