Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: carmelite spirituality, estates ministry, teresa of avila
As regular readers will know, I’ve spent some time recently reflecting on the connections between estate ministry and the Spanish Carmelite Mystics – St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross.
I have been skirting around and crossing paths with them for many years. There’s is a spirituality and way of living that I find deeply attractive and which has grounded me through some tough and challenging times. I am relishing the chance now to explore them more deeply, to go – as it were – through an open door.
Next year is the fifth hundredth anniversary of Teresa’s birth. Among other celebrations is this major Conference in London. I am lucky enough to be going. I hope also to be giving a short paper on some of the connections between Teresa and ministry in English outer council estate parishes (white working class housing projects for US readers).
I will be exploring the following:
Teresa shows the potential grandeur and dignity of human beings. Structural injustices in society mean that it can be difficult for people living in my parishes to live this out.
My paper proposes to explore some of the ways in which people have been helped to grow and embody their gifts and potential from a Teresian perspective. It reflects on:
the roots of this transformation in the relationship of the person to God in prayer
the essentially corporate nature of this life (which counters the dangers of self-absorption)
how this way of living is underpinned by a spirituality of the long haul which enables a ministry to flourish in the face of the dangers of burn out and discouragement.
I will be drawing particularly on The Interior Castle and, initially, on some of the thought of Vilma Seelaus and Maximiliano Herraiz Garcia.
I would be really interested if anyone has any insights or thoughts on this.
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