For you I was born

The motto of the 5th Centenary of the Birth of St Teresa, Para Vos Nací, is taken from one of her poems, which opens with the lines:

Yours I am, for You I was born:
What do you order of me?

This poem is the expression of a life that is understood as a gift of God's love and an offering for Him; the life of St Teresa of Jesus. She experienced the truths of faith: in Christ, the human being created by God in His own image, is redeemed; by Him, each person is called and expected; with Him, we are led to salvation; in His image, the life of the human being is lived according to the Father's plan.

However, that spiritual experience of Mother Teresa of Jesus is not reduced to a personal event that only involved her. After a wealthy life, she explained what had happened in her interior in a number of literary masterpieces, which have become part of the history of universal literature, with the main aim of enticing (to use her own words) readers, inviting them to complete their own road to correction, freedom, plenitude and devotion.

Bearing all this in mind, the celebration of the Centenary can only invite all of us to a profound encounter with Teresa. Not turning to her out of mere interest or obligation, but rather from the awareness of the fact that she involves us, that she tells us things we feel as our own in one way or another; what she tells us is somehow inside us and happens to us.

Mother Teresa has proposed her personal story as an experience for others. How she has led her life or, rather, how it has been led is a good guide for the interior examination that takes us to the full encounter with God.

St Teresa is the mediator of an active presence, the presence of God, and she encourages the personal encounter not only with her, but also with her divine contact, for when Teresa speaks about God, she does so before Him in a way that He appears and manifests Himself on His own.

It is an encounter that is therefore receptive and vibrant, like that of her first publisher, Fray Luis de León: "Thus, whenever I read them [the writings of St Teresa], I am always surprised again, and in many parts of them, I believe it is not the genius of man that I hear; and I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit spoke through her in many places, and that her pen and her hand were guided, as can be seen in the light that is shed on darkness and the fire that burns with her words in the heart of her readers".