Monday, March 2, 2015


The image of water is used frequently by St. Teresa in her writings. This is because one of her favorite passages from the Bible is known to be the story of the Samaritan Woman, or the "Woman at the Well." Jesus said to the woman:

"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty; no, the water I give shall become a fountain within him, leaping up to provide eternal life." (John 4:13-14)

Then the woman said to him: "Give me this water sir, so that I shall not grow thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." (John 4:14)

In this excerpt from The Way of Perfection, St. Teresa directs her teaching to the soul that thirsts for God and seeks him in prayer.

The Three Properties of Water:


Water has three properties that I now recall as applicable to our subject for it must have many more. The first is that is refreshes; for, no matter how much heat we may experience, as soon as we approach the water the heat goes away. If there is a great fire, it is extinguished by water--unless the fire burns from pitch; then it is enkindled more...

Those of you, Sisters, who drink this water and you others, once the Lord brings you to drink, will enjoy it and understand how the true love of God-if it is strong, completely free of earthly things, and if it flies above them--is lord of all the elements and of the world...

There are other little fires of love of God that any event will extinguish. But extinguish this fire? No, not at all!


Another property of water is that it cleans dirty things. What would the world be like if there were no water for washing? Do you know how clean this water is, this heavenly water, this clear water, when it isn't cloudy, when it isn't muddy, but falls from heaven? Once this water has been drunk, I am certain that it leaves the soul bright and cleansed of all faults. Since this divine union is something very supernatural it is not a matter of our own choosing.


The other property of water is that is satisfies to the full and takes away thirst. To me it seems that thirst signifies the desire for something of which we are in great want, so that if the thing is completely lacking its absence will kill us. How strange that if water is lacking, this lack kills us; and if there is too much, we die, as is seen through the many who drown. O my Lord, and who will find himself so immersed in this living water that he will die! Yes, because the love of God and desire for Him can increase so much that the natural subject is unable to endure it, and so there have been persons who have died from love. I know of one who would have died if God hadn't succored her immediately with such an abundance of this living water, for she was almost carried out of herself with raptures. 

Behold, the Lord invites all. Since He is truth itself, there is no reason to doubt...

May the Lord, because of who He is, give us the grace to seek this living water as it should be sought, for He promises it.
The Way of Perfection Chap. 19-20

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, ocds

No comments: