Teresa of Ávila: Defect

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Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

“Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds.”

Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) as recounted by William J. Elenchin in Happy Without the Meal (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2013) 65.

Fasting teaches us that we don’t really need all the things we think we need. We must learn this because our flesh confuses luxuries with necessities.

We like something once. Then we want it all the time. The more we get it, the more we become a slave to it. The only thing we need is Christ.

The tricky thing that trips up even committed followers of Christ is money. They think they need money to sustain themselves and their families.

This is why the writer of Hebrews reminded us to keep ourselves free of the love of money, which means “I need money to sustain me.” Money does not sustain us. Christ does!

This is why fasting, when combined with giving and prayer during Lent, shapes us into people whose generosity, rooted in contentment, shows the world that having Christ is having all you need.

He heals our defect. We realize we don’t need care and comforts. Though it’s great to enjoy them occasionally. He is all we have ever needed, all we need, and all we will ever need.

Live in this reality in life after Lent.