Our Crucified Lord speaks to Saint Teresa of Avila bleeding and broken
Around 1555, someone brought to the Convent, a painting of Our Lord and Savior in His Passion, bleeding, bruised and broken.
Saint Teresa of Avila was so touched by the anguish, the suffering of Our Lord Jesus on the Cross, she fell to her knees. She kept looking up at His visage there on the Cross, so real, so filled with pain.
It was not just a painting; it was Jesus on the Cross!
She prostrated herself before Him, begging Him to release her from the bondage of the liar and his lies, with his false gifts of the world and the flesh. All her many sins and transgressions appeared before her.
It was like her entire life was on a big picture screen.
Teresa asked His forgiveness for the many times she had foolishly been tempted and tricked by people and things of the world,"My Lord and my God, I will not get up from here until you grant me this favor."
This was to be the turning point in Teresa's life.
Her breathing became labored. Her heart pounded, as she waited for the Lord to speak to her, to forgive her. She would not back down. She could not possibly continue her life without having her soul cleansed.
She could see Jesus, broken and bleeding, on the Cross before her. She had passionately prayed with her heart and soul. The Savior lifted up His face, blood dripping from His beard, perspiration burning His eyes, His breathing strained and laborious. He looked at her intensely, but with so much love.
He lifted His Body up, exerting all the strength and energy He could summon, and spoke to her; "Your faith has saved you. Your sins are forgiven. Pick up your mat and walk."
She was free at last of the lure of the devil and his kingdom, the world. It would never control her again. God had conquered. Jesus disappeared, but she never forgot the Vision.
Teresa had a small statue of Jesus at the Pillar, Our Lord, blood dripping from the more than five thousand blows He received at the hands of the centurions, His Head hanging helplessly, His Hair matted with His Precious Blood, His back filled with mound-shaped welts from the brutal scourging, His Eyes piercing your very soul, speaking volumes, as He peers out at you and asks, "My child, what did I do to you? All I wanted was to love you."
He appears no older than a teen-ager, His Eyes innocent and loving.
This statue reminded Teresa of the Vision she had had of Jesus Crucified when He gave her the Miracle of Conversion.
She brought this small statue of Jesus to every house she founded. In the Church of Saint Teresa in Avila, there is a life-size statue of Jesus at the Pillar, where we have seen grown men cry, when they look up at Our Lord suffering.
St. Teresa's words are at times easy to write and read, but hard to live: "All who wish to follow Christ must walk the way He went, the Way of the Cross."
This church was built over the house where Teresa was born and she and her family lived.