Teresa of Avila
Most people who know anything about Teresa of Avila know that she was a mystic, and spent much of her life in contemplation. Some people are aware that she was proclaimed a “doctor of the church” by the pope in 1970, the first woman to get that title. In Roman Catholic circles, that means that her writing is judged sound and good for teaching, and it means that this gospel is read on her feast day – you are salt of the earth. Teresa’s life was a good deal more complex than the popular image of a sickly nun shut up in her cell only to pray and write. One modern commentator calls her, “stubborn as an ox, thick-skinned as an elephant, and sly as a fox.” There’s a taste of the saltiness that Jesus charges us to be.