In 1986 Rod, Kaze Gadway and I walked the narrow-cobbled streets of Avila, Spain. Every step immersed us in memories of St. Teresa.
We rambled through twists and turns of the narrow streets and located the Convent of St. Teresa near the Paseo del Rastro. Built over her birthplace, the convent contains relics of Teresa’s life for the public to view. We peered into her cell through a small grill. In one corner lies her narrow wooden bed with the wood block pillow. In another corner sits her wooden kneeler for prayers. As we looked around we wondered, “Did this sparseness enable her to know God?”
The tiny sole of one of her sandals surprised us. “How did she journey the length and width of Spain reforming old convents and founding new ones on such tiny feet?” We laughed and remembered that five centuries later the norm for us is much larger feet.
Avila’s 11th century walls are the most important and best preserved of Spain’s medieval walls. These walls fairly bristle with bastions, towers and battlements. We were overwhelmed as we strolled along the top of the walls.
St. Teresa’s prayer became Rodney Wilson’s motto for the rest of his life. He carried a copy in his wallet and had copies in many locations in the house…including a framed one in his office. We asked Jay McKell to read this prayer to close Rod’s Memorial Service before Wayne Bates played taps.