Friday, September 26, 2008

Teresa Marie

Unless the Holy Spirit inspires us differently in the next five months, we will give our little girl the name Teresa Marie. Here's why:

In naming her Teresa we invoke three very holy women as her special patron saints: St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (who is bound to be canonized soon). St. Therese's Story of a Soul is one of my favorite spiritual classics (and David is enjoying it, too, as he reads it for the first time). In her autobiography, this childlike Doctor of the Church shares her sweet and simple experience of faith, devotion, and selfless service. Although this champion of the "Little Way of Love" lived very briefly on Earth (only 23 years), she's spent her "time" in heaven showering those who seek her intercession with roses - figurative and literal!

St. Teresa of Avila also left us with some inspirational writings (we've written about Interior Castle before) but it's what she did that really impresses me. This Doctor of the Church labored for the reform of the Carmelite order alongside her friend St. John of the Cross. Impelled by ecstatic visions of Christ (she was truly a mystic), Teresa sought perfect obedience and self-discipline in adherence to the Carmelite Rule - first for herself, and then for others. She governed and nurtured her sisters as a prioress and founded several convents.

Mother Teresa needs little introduction, as she has been admired by modern people of every religion. Her life speaks volumes without words, but I've always loved the way Mother Teresa got to heart of the matter in her pithy quotes. One of my favorites: “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”

We have chosen the Spanish/Italian spelling of Teresa because it is simpler. It also goes well with our last name. According to at least one dictionary, Teresa means "harvester." We hope our Teresa will participate in God's great harvesting of souls and faithfully answer Jesus' request: "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." (Matt. 9:37-38)

Marie is a Stone family tradition. In honor of their mother (my paternal grandmother), my father and his siblings have all given their firstborn daughter the middle name Marie. Since I am the firstborn daughter of my family, my middle name is Marie. My sisters and I intend to continue the tradition - that is why my sister (who is now 26 weeks along) has chosen the name Arianna Marie for her baby girl. Of course, David and I are delighted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and place our daughter in her loving care.


*carrie* said...

Hooray! It's a girl, how wonderful especially since you just got all those cute pink clothes. =)

I love the name you've chosen, and the meaning that goes with it. Excited for you!

You did get to have yours "early" (before 20 wks)--we have to wait 5 more weeks to find out!

Diane said...

And I think the tradition continued on the Chapdelaine side, too. Frances Marie, Theresa Marie, and Tasha Marie. Not sure about Becca, I think her middle name is Anne. Nice naming story!

David said...

I'm love my wife and I'm grateful for my her words. As an addition to what she wrote, Teresa was an easy pick for both of us as well as Marie. While family tradition is an important honor to continue, for her family as well as my own, I want to further emphasize how much we wish to honor our Heavenly Mother with our daughter's middle name. I can safely and confidently say that without Our Lady's guidance, Frances and I would not be married and our daughter would not be here. Thank you, Blessed Virgin, for leading me to your Son and for always leading us to the Holy Trinity. You, as the Mother of God, do not mind when we give all glory to the Lord, and He smiles when we honor and show our love for you.

Peter Shaw said...

I could not be happier for the three of you! Know that you're in my prayers and I look forward to possibly seeing you guys at the Eucharistic Congress!!!

The Heart of Things said...

fantastic name choice! Beauty and blessings to you three!