Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church
(Romans 1:16-25; Luke 11:37-41)
May we call comfort and convenience contemporary gods? People certainly pay them much tribute. Drive-through services proliferate: bank deposits, fast food purchases, even prescription pick-ups may be done without getting out of the car. The downside of this convenience is that partakers deprive themselves of exercise and fossil fuel is being burnt. Certainly such partakers should ask themselves if they are doing God’s will. Paul in the selection from his letter to the Romans today states that some indeed choose to worship created things rather than the Creator.
For Paul the universe gives ample testimony to a Creator and to the Creator’s will. For millennia the latter was called natural law and well accepted in civilized societies. Paul also believes that God punishes those who do not abide by that law. Venereal disease is a typical example. Paul’s purpose is not to give a philosophical treatise on law, of course, but to introduce God’s plan of universal salvation through Jesus Christ. Humans, he will show, would not be able to break away from their tendency to infringe natural law except for the grace of Jesus.
St. Theresa of Jesus probably wondered if religious in her day were not ignoring God the Creator in favor of creaturely comforts. She reformed the Carmelite Order so that a purer worship might be given to God. So we might adjust our lifestyles to improve our worship of God.