As we celebrate the Feast of Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) today, I can’t help but wonder what a mystic’s life is like. Mysticism often seems beyond reach, after all it involves a direct encounter with God! I’m reminded of various places in the Old Testament where we’re told that no one can see God and live.
Our Church celebrates the lives of various individuals whom we name “mystics.” Among others, Teresa of Avila seemed to have a special connection with God in prayer, moments when she was deeply united with God, prayer experiences that profoundly impacted the way she lived in the world.
The reality is this is not something beyond our reach. I know mystics, people who live their prayer and pray their life. I believe our Sister Mary Joseleen Hemker is one of these. Back in Toledo now after many years as an Adoration Sister at our Motherhouse in Rome, Sister’s life gives evidence of her intimate relationship with God. She, and many of our Sisters, spend many hours daily praying before the Blessed Sacrament. Her gentle and loving manner reflects Teresa’s words: “Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All things pass; God never changes. Patience attains all that it strives for. He who has God finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices.”
God certainly wants to reveal Himself to us in prayer and life. Who are the mystics you know? What “mystical” experiences have you had?