conventOn my first trip to Ávila, my buddy wasn’t so much St. Teresa- it was John of the Cross. For a couple of months I’ve been working my way through “The Impact of God” by Fr. Iain Matthew, in which I think I´ve found a “saint friend.” I haven´t been one of those people who has one super-favorite saint, but in the past few years I´ve come across one or two who I feel very identified with. They make me think, “YES! That’s exactly what happens to me, and WHEW! It’s okay!”

Walking around the little town of Ávila–which is a funny mixture between the ancient and the modern, still quaint and surrounded by its famous medieval wall, but with tourists everywhere—I was struck by the plaques that said “Here lived St. John of the Cross for x years” or “Here in this chair sat St. John as he heard the confessions of Carmelite sisters.” I had a little bit of that “Yes, me too!” feeling—“Look, he was human too!” He sat in chairs, wrote letters on paper, lived in a house, slept in a bed, read books…He’s not just a character in a book, or some distant author of a lot of great ideas. He was just as human as I am, and it’s precisely his holy humanity that inspires me. I think saints are the most human, down-to-earth people…at least, the holy people I know are very much so. That’s one of the things that really inspires me about sanctity- that it´s ME who is going to be made into a saint, the human ME, not some angelic-supernatural-impeccable me that I haven´t yet found.

Visit to a convent

conventDuring our visit to Ávila, we also spoke to a couple of the nuns at the turntable of the convent—the same convent where St. Teresa lived. It was my first experience visiting a cloistered nun, and it was one to remember. After a few minutes, the nun who we had started talking to told us she was going to get another of the sisters who wanted to say hi to us. When the second one arrived, we realized that she had been in Regnum Christi before she had entered the convent! We talked about our house Cerro del Coto, about consecrated women who had lived there, about the RC schools here, the RC section, San Damaso…it really moved me to experience the communion of our family of the church. Although we had never met, we shared an experience of Christ through the same spirituality, and now we also share a vocation as Spouses of Christ, offering our lives to Him side by side…pointing to heaven by living not of this world—whether in the midst of it or behind convent walls.

About Carol Dodd

Carol Dodd is a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi in her studies stage of formation. She is from Dallas, Texas, where she attended The Highlands, the Regnum Christi school there, for 11 years. After graduating, she was a Regnum Christi missionary in Chicago for one year. She made her first vows on March 14, 2015 after two years of candidacy at the formation center in Rhode Island. After three years at Mater Ecclesiae College, she is now part of the new studies stage community in Madrid, where she is studying Theology at the Universidad Eclesiástica San Dámaso.
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