“God walks among the pots and pans.”St. Teresa of Avila
Two years after converting to the Catholic Church at the age of forty-one I began my journey with an OCDS community in Dallas, Texas. OCDS means literally Order of Carmel Discalced Secular. The Discalced Carmelite Order was founded in the 16th century in Spain by St. Teresa of Jesus, also known as St. Teresa of Avila. You can read more about it here: Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites. I made my final profession in June of 2002 but several years later I had to withdraw from active membership due to health problems and the monthly drive thru Dallas to Oak Cliff became too much for me. During the years I was active I absorbed everything I could on the Discalced Carmelite Saints.
I love the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Thérèse of The Child Jesus. They were all very down-to-earth and took comfort in the ordinary things in life. St. Teresa of Avila was fond of saying that “God walks among the pots and pans” and that resonated with me. I learned to take joy in the mundane: cleaning, cooking, shopping, etc. because anything, even the most mundane of tasks and those things I particularly didn’t like (cleaning bathrooms) became a labor of love for Our Lord. If I remember to offer my chores to Jesus then it becomes more important to do a better job and I find that I don’t dislike doing them.
One of the regular chores that St. Teresa had was spinning. The Sisters spun their own wool, wove their own fabric, made their own habits. St. John of the Cross came from a family of weavers. It is very easy for me to connect with them and I often think of their writings while working away at my wheel or sitting at the loom.
I tend to be solitary by nature, leaning toward working with my hands, reading and so on. Living in a rural setting for so many years has been such a blessing in that I am away from the noise and bustle of city life. I grew up in a small town and that is all I knew until I met Brad at the age of sixteen and would spend time at his family’s farm. Then at the age of twenty Brad and I were married and came out here on our eighty-five acres to start our lives together and we’ve never looked back.
There is so much frantic activity in people’s lives these days and it never fails when anyone comes out to our house and steps out of their car for the first time, they stop and look around and comment on how quiet it is. People need peace and quiet in their lives and so many never have it, which I find very sad. Then again, I have met people who can’t stand quiet. They don’t want to be alone with their thoughts and prefer noise and chatter day in and day out. We can’t hear God if we don’t stop and listen for Him.
I have Vol 1 and Vol 2 of The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD downloaded on my Kobo e-reader. At one time I had them in hardback and paperback but passed them on to someone else who couldn’t afford to buy the books. I had both volumes on my old Kindle reader and it’s nice to have access to them again. I also have the Complete Works of St. John of the Cross and Story of a Soul by St. Thérèse.
I have so much to be thankful for in my life. St. Teresa’s feast day is the day before my birthday and I often think of her at that time of the year.