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Posted October 15, 2009

Book: God is All Joy: The Life of St. Teresa of the Andes
Author: Jennifer Moorcroft
ICS Publications, Washington, DC. 2009. Pp. 163

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, Chileís first canonized saint, was a vibrant young woman who loved sports and music and had a wide circle of friends. She entered Carmel and died only eleven months later at the age of nineteen. Each month more than 100,000 visitors flock to her shrine, many of them young people. What is it about this young woman, barely out of school, that draws so many people to her and that is so outstanding that she is now a canonized saint? Because she is one of them, her own people love her. Young people love her because she became a saint by living the same sort of life as they do, in school, playing sports, enjoying her friends, and through it all, living her faith to the full.

Teresaís schooling demonstrates a thorough grounding, not only in theology, but also in philosophy, logic and the humanities. Even more importantly, it was at the same time informed by a fervent and disciplined spiritual life centered on the sacraments and above all on the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Theologians, reading the writings of this nineteen year old girl, are amazed at the profound, reasoned and clear understanding she had of her faith that was alive, set on fire by her total love for God. Teresaís life bears witness.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Teresa had also meditated deeply on the presence and the self-giving of Our Lord in the tabernacle, seeing there examples for herself in her Carmelite life. She developed these thoughts in her long letter to Elisa:

Eli, a Carmelite is a host, as I told you. Jesus is a Host on the altar. He hides Himself. A host, apparently, does not see or hear, or speak, or complain. Isnít that true? In the same way, if we ourselves want to be hosts, we must hide from the gaze of others. Letís hide ourselves in God, that is, letís work always never to seek approval or receive sympathy and love from others but always have God as the witness and purpose of our actions. A host, Eli, has no will of her own. To obey without answering back and to obey even what seems contrary to our own judgement, to be silent for God. To obey Him. To obey without showing that it costs us, or that which is commanded is displeasing to us.

The Sacred Host is in a little ciborium. We, as hosts, should seek poverty, choosing the least appealing things for ourselves, without others noticing it. We must seek what is less comfortable for ourselves in all things and everywhere.

The Sacred Host is pure. We should flee from the affection of every creature. Our heart is for Him alone, Eli, it belongs only to Him. We should flee attachments to things vain, subdue our passions and when our body craves what is comforting or what spoils us, do just the opposite.

The Sacred Heart is given to human beings. We should give ourselves over entirely, or better still, offer ourselves ó for itís not suitable to be given ó to everyone around us. This will make us charitable, but always seeing Jesus in our neighbor. Letís resolve to do this, Isabel dear, my Carmelite sister; letís make this challenge to see who arrives at the goal first.

Table of Contents:

1. Born in the midst of riches

2. A cloudless day

3. I asked Him to take me

4. The happiest age to be

5. I want to be a Carmelite

6. Child of Mary

7. Dear old Algarrobo

8. Last days at school

9. Life at home

10. Los Andes Carmel

11. Preparing for Carmel

12. Last days at home

13. First days in Carmel

14. Cenacle retreat

15. Clothing day

16. Novitiate

17. Last days

18. First fruits