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St. Teresa of Avila
The Teresian Carmel In Austria ^ | October 15, 2001 | staff

Posted on 10/15/2001 1:01:31 PM PDT by Lady In Blue

The Teresian Carmel

St. Teresa of Avila



St. Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa was born in Avila, Spain, March 28, 1515. She died in Alba, October 4, 1582. Her family origins have been traced to Toledo and Olmedo. Her father, Alonso de Cepeda, was a son of a Toledan merchant, Juan Sanchez de Toledo and Ines de Cepeda, originally from Tordesillas. Juan transferred his business to Avila, where he succeeded in having his children marry into families of the nobility. In 1505 Alonso married Catalina del Peso, who bore him two children and died in 1507. Two years later Alonso married the 15-year-old Beatriz de Ahumada of whom Teresa was born.

Early Life. In 1528, when Teresa was 15, her mother died, leaving behind 10 children. Teresa was the "most beloved of them all." She was of medium height, large rather than small, and generally well proportioned. In her youth she had the reputation of being quite beautiful, and she retained her fine appearance until her last years (Maria de S. Jose, Libro de recreaciones, 8). Her personality was extroverted, her manner affectionately buoyant, and she had the ability to adapt herself easily to all kinds of persons and circumstances. She was skillful in the use of the pen, in needlework, and in household duties. Her courage and enthusiasm were readily kindled, an early example of which trait occurred when at the age of 7 she left home with her brother Rodrigo with the intention of going to Moorish territory to be beheaded for Christ, but they were frustrated by their uncle, who met the children as they were leaving the city and brought them home (Ephrem de la Madre de Dios, Tiempo y Vida de Sta. Teresa--hereafter abbrev. TV--142-143).
At about 12 the fervor of her piety waned somewhat. She began to take an interest in the development of her natural attractions and in books of chivalry. Her affections were directed especially to her cousins, the Mejias, children of her aunt Dona Elvira, and she gave some thought to marriage. Her father was disturbed by these fancies and opposed them. While she was in this crisis, her mother died. Afflicted and lonely, Teresa appealed to the Blessed Virgin to be her mother. Seeing his daughter's need of prudent guidance, her father entrusted her to the Augustinian nuns at Santa Maria de Gracia in 1531.

Vocation. The influence of Dona Maria de Brinceno, who was in charge of the lay students at the convent school, helped Teresa to recover her piety. She began to wonder whether she had a vocation to be a nun. Toward the end of the year 1532 she returned home to regain her health and stayed with her sister, who lived in Castellanos. Reading the letters of St. Jerome led her to the decision to enter a convent, but her father refused to give his consent. Her brother and confidant, Rodrigo, had just set sail for the war on the Rio de la Plata. She decided to run away from home and persuaded another brother to flee with her in order that both might receive the religious habit. On Nov. 2, 1535, she entered the Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation at Avila, where she had a friend, Juana Suarez; and her father resigned himself to this development. The following year she received the habit and began wholeheartedly to give herself to prayer and penance. Shortly after her profession she became seriously ill and failed to respond to medical treatment. As a last resort her father took her to Becedas, a small village, to seek the help of a woman healer famous throughout Castile, but Teresa's health did not improve. Leaving Becedas in the fall of 1538, she stayed in Hortigosa at the home of her uncle Pedro de Cepeda, who gave her the Tercer Abecedario of Francis of Osuna to read.

"I did not know," she said, "how to proceed in prayer or how to become recollected, and so I took much pleasure in it and decided to follow that path with all my strength" (Libro de la Vida, the autobiography of St. Teresa--hereafter abbrev. V--4.6).

Instead of regaining her health, Teresa grew even more ill, and her father brought her back to Avila in July 1539. On August 15 she fell into a coma so profound that she was thought to be dead. After 4 days she revived, but she remained paralyzed in her legs for 3 years. After her cure, which she attributed to St. Joseph (V. 6.6-8), she entered a period of mediocrity in her spiritual life, but she did not at any time give up praying. Her trouble came of not understanding that the use of the imagination could be dispensed with and that her soul could give itself directly to contemplation. During this stage, which lasted 18 years, she had transitory mystical experiences. She was held back by a strong desire to be appreciated by others, but this finally left her in an experience of conversion in the presence of an image of "the sorely wounded Christ" (V 9.2). This conversion dislodged the egoism that had hindered her spiritual development. Thus, at the age of 39, she began to enjoy a vivid experience of God's presence within her.
However, the contrast between these favors and her conduct, which was more relaxed than was thought proper according to the ascetical standards of the time, caused some misunderstanding. Some of her friends, such as Francisco de Salcedo and Gaspar Daza, thought her favors were the work of the devil (V 23.14). Diego de Cetina, SJ, brought her comfort by encouraging her to continue in mental prayer and to think upon the humanity of Christ. Francis Borgia in 1555 heard her confession and told her that the spirit of God was working in her, that she should concentrate upon Christ's Passion and not resist the ecstatic experience that came to her in prayer. Nevertheless she had to endure the distrust even of her friends as the divine favors increased. When Pradanos left Avila in 1558 his place as Teresa's director was taken by Baltasar Alvarez, SJ, who, either from caution or with the intention of probing her spirit, caused her great distress by telling her that others were convinced that her raptures and visions were the work of the devil and that she should not communicate so often (V 25.4). Another priest acting temporarily as her confessor, on hearing her report of a vision she had repeatedly had of Christ, told her it was clearly the devil and commanded her to make the sign of the cross and laugh at the vision (V 29.5). But God did not fail to comfort her, and she received the favor of the transverberation (V 29.13-14). In August 1560 St. Peter of Alcantara counseled her: "Keep on as you are doing, daughter; we all suffer such trials."

Reformer. Her great work of reform began with herself. She made a vow always to follow the more perfect course, and resolved to keep the rule as perfectly as she could (V 32.9). However, the atmosphere prevailing at the Incarnation monastery was less than favorable to the more perfect type of life to which Teresa aspired. A group assembled in her cell one September evening in 1560, taking their inspiration from the primitive tradition of Carmel and the discalced reform of St. Peter of Alcantara, proposed the foundation of a monastery of an eremitical type. At first her confessor, the provincial of the Carmelites, and other advisers encouraged her in the plan (TV 478-482); but when the proposal became known among the townsfolk, there was a great outcry against it. The provincial changed his mind, her confessor dissociated himself from the project, and her advisers ranged themselves with the opposition. Six months later, however, when there was a change of rectors at the Jesuit college, her confessor, Father Alvarez, gave his approval. Without delay Teresa had her sister Juana and her husband Juan de Ovalle buy a house in Avila and occupy it as though it were for themselves (V 33.11). This stratagem was necessary to obviate difficulties with nuns at the Incarnation while the building was being adapted and made ready to serve as a convent. At Toledo, where she was sent by the Carmelite provincial at the importunate request of a wealthy and noble lady, she received a visit from St. Peter of Alcantara, who offered to act as mediator in obtaining from Rome the permissions needed for the foundation. While there she also received a visit from the holy Carmelite Maria de Yepes, who had just returned from Rome with permission to establish a reformed convent and who provided Teresa with a new light on the question of the type of poverty to be adopted by her own community. At Toledo she also completed in reluctant obedience to her confessor the first version of her Vida.
She returned to Avila at the end of June 1562 (TV 506-507), and shortly thereafter the apostolic rescript, dated Feb. 7, 1562, for the foundation of the new convent arrived. The following August 24 the new monastery dedicated to S. Jose was founded; Maestro Daza, the bishop's delegate, officiated at the ceremony. Four novices received the habit of the Discalced Carmelites. There was strong opposition among the townspeople and at the Incarnation. The prioress at the Incarnation summoned Teresa back to her monastery, where the Carmelite provincial Angel de Salazar, indignant at her having put her new establishment under the jurisdiction of the bishop, rebuked her, but after hearing her account of things, was mollified and even promised to help quiet the popular disturbance and to give her permission to return to S. Jose when calm had been restored. On August 25 the council at Avila met to discuss the matter of the new foundation, and on August 30 a great assembly of the leading townspeople gathered. The only one in the assembly to raise his voice against the popular indignation was Domingo Banez, OP. A lawsuit followed in the royal court, but before the end of 1562 the foundress, as Teresa of Jesus, was authorized by the provincial to return to the new convent. There followed the 5 most peaceful years of her life, during which she wrote the Way of Perfection and the Meditations on the Canticle.

Foundations. In April 1567 the Carmelite general, Giovanni Battista Rossi (Rubeo), made a visitation, approved Teresa's work, and commanded her to establish other convents with some of the nuns from the convent of the Incarnation at Avila. He also gave her permission to establish two houses for men who wished to adopt the reform. The extension of Teresa's work began with the foundation of a convent at Medina del Campo, Aug. 15, 1567. Then followed other foundations: at Malagon in 1568; at Valladolid (Rio de Olinos) in 1568; at Toledo and at Pastrana in 1569; at Salamanca in 1570; and at Alba de Tormes in 1571. As she journeyed to Toledo in 1569 she passed through Duruelo, where John of the Cross and Anthony of Jesus had established the first convent of Discalced Brethren in November 1568, and in July 1569 she established the second monastery of Discalced Brethren in Pastrana.
These foundations were followed by an interval during which Teresa served as prioress at the Incarnation monastery in Avila, an office to which she was appointed by the apostolic visitator, Pedro Fernandez, OP. This duty she was loath to assume, and she had much opposition to face on the part of the community. However, with the help of St. John of the Cross, who served as a confessor for the nuns, she was able to bring about a great improvement in the spiritual condition of the community. On Nov. 18, 1572, while receiving Communion from the hands of John of the Cross, she received the favor of the "spiritual marriage." At the request of the Duchess of Alba she spent the first days of 1573 in Alba, and then went to Salamanca to put things in order at the foundation there. At the command of Jerome Ripalda, SJ, she started her Book of the Foundations the following August. On March 19, 1574, she established a foundation at Segovia, where the Pastrana nuns had been transferred because of conflicts with the Princess of Eboli. This marked the beginning of a second series of fonndations. The next was made at Beas de Segura in February 1575. There Teresa met Jerome Gratian, apostolic visitator of the order in Andalucia, who ordered a foundation in Seville. The bishop objected, however, and Teresa sent Ana de S. Alberto to Caravaca to make a foundation there in her name on Jan. 1, 1576, and that of the Seville convent was delayed until June 3 of the same year.

Crisis Between the Calced and Discalced. The entry of the Discalced Brethren into Andalusia was forbidden by Rossi, the general of the order, who opposed Teresa and Jerome Gratian in this matter. The general chapter at Piacenza in 1575 ordered the Discalced Brethren to withdraw from Andalusia, and Teresa herself was ordered to retire to a convent. The general put Jerome Tostado at the head of the Discalced Brethren. While the conflict raged between the Calced and Discalced Brethren, Teresa wrote the Visitation of the Discalced Nuns, a part of The Foundations, and her greatest book, The Interior Castle. The nuncio Nicholas Ormaneto, a defender of the Discalced Brethren, died June 18, 1578, and his successor, Felipe Sega, was less favorably disposed toward them. John of the Cross was imprisoned in Toledo. Against Teresa's will the Discalced Brethren held a chapter in Almodovar on Oct. 9, 1578. The nuncio annulled the chapter and by a decree put the Discalced Brethren under the authority of the Calced provincials who subjected them to some harassment. The King intervened, and four were named to advise the nuncio, among them Pedro Fernandez, OP. Angel de Salazar was made vicar-general of the Discalced Brethren while negotiations were afoot for the separation of the Discalced from the Calced Brethren and the erection of a Discalced province.
Teresa then turned to visiting her convents and resumed the founding of new ones. On Feb. 25, 1580, she gave the habit to foundresses of the convent in Villaneuva de la Jara. The brief Pia consideratione, dated June 22, 1580, ordered the erection of a distinct province for the Discalced. On March 3, 1581, the chapter of the Discalced was held in Alcala, and Jerome Gratian, who was favored by Teresa, was elected the first provincial. Teresa's last foundations were: at Palencia and Soria in 1581, at Burgos in 1582; the most difficult of all, Granada (1582), was entrusted to the Venerable Anne of Jesus.
Teresa's body was interred in Alba. Paul V declared her a blessed April 24, 1614, and in 1617 the Spanish parliament proclaimed her the Patroness of Spain. Gregory XV canonized her in 1622 together with SS. Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Isidore, and Philip Neri.

[O. STEGGINK]

Spiritual Doctrine. Among the writings of St. Teresa, three can be indicated as the depositories of her spiritual teaching: her autobiography, the Way of Perfection, and the Interior Castle. Readers must exercise some caution, however, and resist the temptation to hastily synthesize the doctrine in these books, because St. Teresa wrote from her personal experience at different stages of the spiritual life. For example, the doctrine of prayer found in the autobiography is not identical with that in the Interior Castle; more than a decade had elapsed between their composition, and Teresa had meanwhile attained a higher degree of spiritual maturity with its simultaneous expansion of experience. The autobiography, written primarily as a manifestation of her spiritual state for her directors, was later enlarged in scope and in audience. Chapters 11 to 22 inclusive--a later addition--are devoted exclusively to the discussion of prayer, although additional comments and examples are scattered throughout the remaining 28 chapters. Teresa depicts different stages of the life of prayer in metaphorical terms taken from the manner of securing water to irrigate a garden. The "first water" is laboriously obtained from a well and carried in a bucket to the garden; this is in reference to beginners who, liberated from the more flagrant mortal sins, apply themselves to discursive prayer of meditation, although they experience fatigue and aridity from time to time. After speaking at length of meditation in its stricter meaning, Teresa made a brief reference to "acquired" contemplation before beginning her discussion of the "second water." In this second stage, the gardener secures water through use of a windlass and bucket; here Teresa refers to the "prayef of quiet, a gift of God through which the individual begins to have a passive experience of prayer. The third method of irrigation is the employment of water from a stream or river; the application made by Teresa is to the "sleep of the faculties." Although Teresa considered this an important stage in the evolution of prayer when she wrote her autobiography, she later relegated it to a simple intensification of the "prayer of quiet" in the Interior Castle. The fourth method of irrigation is God given: the rain; Teresa employs this metaphor to describe a state of union in prayer in which the soul is apparently passive.
Her Way of Perfection Teresa addressed to her nuns, teaching them therein the major virtues that demand their solicitude, casting further light on the practice of prayer, and using the Pater Noster as a vehicle for teaching prayer at greater depth. This book is sometimes referred to as the apex of Teresa's ascetical doctrine. The Interior Castle is the principal source of mature Teresian thought on the spiritual life in its integrity. Chief emphasis is laid on the life of prayer, but other elements (the apostolate, for example) are also treated. The interior castle is the soul, in the center of which dwells the Trinity. Growth in prayer enables the individual to enter into deeper intimacy with God--signified by a progressive journey through the apartments (or mansions) of the castle from the outermost to the luminous center. When a man has attained union with God in the degree permitted to him in this world, he is "at the center" of himself; in other words, he has integrity as a child of God and as a human being. Each of the apartments of the castle is distinguished by a different stage in the evolution of prayer, with its consequent effects upon every other phase of the life of the individual.


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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
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FYI and DISCUSSION.
1 posted on 10/15/2001 1:01:32 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
Thank you for this post.

St. Teresa is so impressive because (1) she was clearly a very intelligent woman and a highly capable and savvy administrator yet (2) she combined these qualities with a childlike love of Christ.

2 posted on 10/15/2001 1:07:12 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Lady In Blue
I bet she wielded a mean yardstick.
3 posted on 10/15/2001 1:08:15 PM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: Lady In Blue
Thanks, Lady in Blue, for posting this.

You forgot to mention that today is her feast day and that's the significance of the post (although I suspect the Catholics around here were probably already aware of it).

She should be an inspiration to ALL of us fighting for righteousness and piety in an unrighteous and impious world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

4 posted on 10/15/2001 1:10:03 PM PDT by Dominus Vobiscum
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bttt
5 posted on 10/15/2001 1:11:12 PM PDT by JMJ333
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Lady In Blue
Thank you for posting it. I wish we could develop a repellent spray to keep the 'biblical Christian evangelists' from dropping in to tell us how pagan we are. And finally, speaking for myself, having the text of the article in all bold makes it harder for me to read.
7 posted on 10/15/2001 1:12:10 PM PDT by Petronski
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To: Lady In Blue
I'm sorry that the links don't work.I thought I put the right address in.I'm going to try it again.


LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE>

I hope this link works.If it does, use it to check out links in post.

8 posted on 10/15/2001 1:19:52 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
Remember everyone, don't reply to the disrupters, Catholic bashers and anti-Catholics. Let's just enjoy this thread and ignore them. Even if they taunt...

By the way, thanks for the post!

9 posted on 10/15/2001 1:28:10 PM PDT by It's me
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To: Lady In Blue
Totally cool movie by some Frenchy.

Movie called Therese.

Very cool, I tried to get it on Amazon.

10 posted on 10/15/2001 1:28:32 PM PDT by caddie
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To: Lady In Blue
Nice posting.

From the Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings 15 October 01.

From a work by Saint Teresa of Avila, virgin.....Let us always be mindful of Christ's love

If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.

Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.

What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they took no other path: Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God's hands. If God should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, we ought to accept this gladly.

Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favors, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.

11 posted on 10/15/2001 1:33:09 PM PDT by johniegrad
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To: Lady In Blue
bttt
12 posted on 10/15/2001 1:52:16 PM PDT by johniegrad
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To: Lady In Blue
St. Teresa bump.
13 posted on 10/15/2001 3:25:00 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: Petronski
'biblical Christian evangelists'

Should read 'abridged biblical Christian evangelists' A fact they conveniently omit.

Douay-Rheims bump!

14 posted on 10/15/2001 3:30:05 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: Lady In Blue
Thank You. My mother was named after St. Teresa.
15 posted on 10/15/2001 3:30:08 PM PDT by StolarStorm
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Some years ago,when Pope John Paul 11 visited Southern California,there were some fundamentalist christians picketing his visit.A young man walked,not with any group,said smiling,"they're Shiite Christians!"I've never forgotten that term.The guy looked like he was from somewhere in the Middle East,so I guess 'Shiite'had a special meaning for him! lol!
16 posted on 10/15/2001 6:56:48 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: wideawake
You're welcome wideawake.I apologize again for the bad links.I'm usually very careful in getting the address right but for some reason,they don' work.
17 posted on 10/15/2001 6:58:43 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: AppyPappy
hehehe! I've always thought St.Teresa was one tough lady which is why Mother Angelica likes her!
18 posted on 10/15/2001 6:59:52 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Dominus Vobiscum
You're welcome! Yes, I forgot to mention it at the top that it's her feast day. I'm sitting here trying to remember what St.Therese,the Little Flower use to call her.Does anybody remember? It was kind of enduring term.
19 posted on 10/15/2001 7:02:11 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Easy_Shark
Amen.
20 posted on 10/15/2001 7:02:53 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Petronski
You're welcome Petronski.Sorry that you have trouble reading the bold print.I usually do that for long posts and my eyes are not what they used to be!(smile)
21 posted on 10/15/2001 7:04:29 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: It's me
Thank you for reminding us.It's kind of hard not to respond in kind so the best thing to do is just to ignore them.
22 posted on 10/15/2001 7:09:56 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: caddie
I've heard about that film.I've never had the chance to see it.Is it really good? Would "Blockbuster" have it? Thanks.
23 posted on 10/15/2001 7:16:29 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: johniegrad
A beautiful reading!Thanks for posting it.
24 posted on 10/15/2001 7:26:26 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
You're welcome!
25 posted on 10/15/2001 7:27:25 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
bttt
26 posted on 10/15/2001 7:28:52 PM PDT by tiki
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To: Petronski
"I wish we could develop a repellent spray to keep the 'biblical Christian evangelists' from dropping in to tell us how pagan we are. "

I wasn't going to say anything. Really, I wasn't, but this is a taunt. This is like little girls thumbing their noses at the little boys. And then the little boys have to stick the little girl's pigtails into the inkwell. Do you little girls want your pigtails pushed into the inkwell now or later?

27 posted on 10/15/2001 7:35:27 PM PDT by Don Myers
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To: Don Myers
but this is a taunt.

Boy, when you said that was a taunt, you weren't kidding? Little girls? Bwa ha ha ha ha ha

28 posted on 10/15/2001 7:43:42 PM PDT by Petronski
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To: StolarStorm
You're welcome.
29 posted on 10/15/2001 7:59:41 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Petronski
"Boy, when you said that was a taunt, you weren't kidding? Little girls? Bwa ha ha ha ha ha"

They are huddling together now trying to figure out how to keep away from the inkwell.

30 posted on 10/15/2001 8:11:18 PM PDT by Don Myers
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To: Lady In Blue
That's a good term. I'll definitely use it in the future.
31 posted on 10/15/2001 8:27:19 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: Lady In Blue
I have looked there, and on reel.com, and several other places.

Have not been able to locate it, but that was several months ago.

Come to think of it, however, I'm thinking the movie may be of Theresa of Lisieux;

At any rate, it is worth seeing.

32 posted on 10/16/2001 6:05:55 AM PDT by caddie
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
I thought so too.Everytime I come across someone like that,it's the first thing that comes to mind! lol!
33 posted on 10/16/2001 4:47:20 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: caddie
Thanks.I'll look for it at "Blockbuster".
34 posted on 10/16/2001 4:48:08 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
Such a great and remarkable saint. Teresa of Avila, who looked for God "amidst the pots and pans" of her daily work, also had a series of remarkable supernatural experiences. My favorite is the following.

One afternoon, St. Teresa saw a small boy playing in the cloister. Wondering how the child could have gotten into the monastery, she approached the boy. The boy turned to her and asked, "What's your name?" She replied, "I am Teresa of Jesus." St. Teresa then asked, "What is your name?" The child's reply:

"I am Jesus of Teresa."

35 posted on 10/16/2001 5:01:23 PM PDT by Squire
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To: Squire
Thank you,Squire.I don't think I've heard of that mystical experience! How beautiful!
36 posted on 10/16/2001 8:05:00 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
The article makes reference to the fact that St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and St. Philip Neri were all canonized the same day at the same ceremony. What an amazing celebration in heaven (and on earth) that must have been.
37 posted on 10/16/2001 8:25:35 PM PDT by Squire
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To: Lady In Blue
Bump for St.Teresa and her friend, the magnificent John of the Cross, from an evangelical protestant.
38 posted on 10/16/2001 8:38:44 PM PDT by Taliesan
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To: Lady In Blue
Wasn't it Teresa who was weeping in prayer one day from her great trials, when Jesus appeared and said "My child, why are you weeping? Don't you know I treat all my friands this way?"

To which Teresa responded "Then it is no wonder you have so few."

39 posted on 10/16/2001 8:41:10 PM PDT by Taliesan
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To: Taliesan
friends, too.
40 posted on 10/16/2001 8:41:55 PM PDT by Taliesan
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To: Taliesan
She did make that remark to Our Lord, but I think it was in the context of one of her wagons being washed away by a flood when she was travelling cross-country to found a new Carmel. She said something to Our Lord like, "if this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few."

She had some great lines. On one foundational trip she was forced to stay one night in a pretty rough "hotel." She took the experience to her prayer and decided that that night was an allegory for life on earth -- "a bad night in a bad inn."

Then there was a time when she and some other nuns were travelling to found yet another Carmel, and were invited to stay with a wealthy lady who served them a delicacy, roast partridge. The old lady took a little scandal at the nuns gobbling up the partridge with such gusto. St. Teresa's line was, "Madam, penance is penance. But partridge is partridge."

41 posted on 10/16/2001 9:28:42 PM PDT by Squire
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To: Lady In Blue

BTTT on the Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus [St. Teresa of Avila], 10-15-05!


42 posted on 10/15/2005 8:52:10 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue
American Catholic’s Saint of the Day



October 15, 2005
St. Teresa of Avila
(1515-1582)

Teresa lived in an age of exploration as well as political, social and religious upheaval. It was the 16th century, a time of turmoil and reform. Her life began with the culmination of the Protestant Reformation, and ended shortly after the Council of Trent.

The gift of God to Teresa in and through which she became holy and left her mark on the Church and the world is threefold: She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.

As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man's world of her time. She was "her own woman," entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; a mystic, yet an energetic reformer. A holy woman, a womanly woman.

Teresa was a woman "for God," a woman of prayer, discipline and compassion. Her heart belonged to God. Her own conversion was no overnight affair; it was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification and suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous and faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to God in life and in prayer. Her writings on prayer and contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical and graceful. A woman of prayer; a woman for God.

Teresa was a woman "for others." Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time and energy seeking to reform herself and the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought—always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired and gave life.

In 1970 the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: Doctor of the Church. She and St. Catherine of Siena were the first women so honored.

Comment:

Today we live in a time of turmoil, a time of reform and a time of liberation. Modern women have in Teresa a challenging example. Promoters of renewal, promoters of prayer, all have in Teresa a woman to reckon with, one whom they can admire and imitate.

Quote:

Teresa knew well the continued presence and value of suffering (physical illness, opposition to reform, difficulties in prayer), but she grew to be able to embrace suffering, even desire it: "Lord, either to suffer or to die." Toward the end of her life she exclaimed: "Oh, my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for you is paid in troubles! And what a precious price to those who love you if we understand its value."



43 posted on 10/15/2005 7:12:57 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue
St. Teresa of Jesus/Avila

St. Teresa of Avila
Feast Day: October 15, 2007
(1515-1582)

Teresa lived in an age of exploration as well as political, social and religious upheaval. It was the 16th century, a time of turmoil and reform. Her life began with the culmination of the Protestant Reformation, and ended shortly after the Council of Trent.
The gift of God to Teresa in and through which she became holy and left her mark on the Church and the world is threefold: She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.
     As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man's world of her time. She was "her own woman," entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; a mystic, yet an energetic reformer. A holy woman, a womanly woman.
     Teresa was a woman "for God," a woman of prayer, discipline and compassion. Her heart belonged to God. Her own conversion was no overnight affair; it was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification and suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous and faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to God in life and in prayer. Her writings on prayer and contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical and graceful. A woman of prayer; a woman for God.
     Teresa was a woman "for others." Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time and energy seeking to reform herself and the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought—always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired and gave life.
     In 1970 the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: Doctor of the Church. She and St. Catherine of Siena were the first women so honored.

Comment:

Today we live in a time of turmoil, a time of reform and a time of liberation. Modern women have in Teresa a challenging example. Promoters of renewal, promoters of prayer, all have in Teresa a woman to reckon with, one whom they can admire and imitate.

Quote:


Teresa knew well the continued presence and value of suffering (physical illness, opposition to reform, difficulties in prayer), but she grew to be able to embrace suffering, even desire it: "Lord, either to suffer or to die." Toward the end of her life she exclaimed: "Oh, my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for you is paid in troubles! And what a precious price to those who love you if we understand its value."


44 posted on 10/15/2007 9:29:18 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue
St. Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Saint Theresa of Jesus
Saint Teresa of Avila
Virgin and Doctor of the Church
Memorial
October 15th

Biography | Readings

 

Biography

Saint Teresa of Avila (Saint Theresa of Jesus)
Born in Avila, Spain March 28, 1515; died in Alba de Tormes, October 4 [15], 1582
Foundress of the Discalced Carmelites, 1560-62.
Canonized by Gregory XV, 1622; declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970.

One of the most charismatic of the Church's counter-reformation saints, Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada was born the daughter of a saintly and literate father, Don Alonso, and a pious mother. At fifteen, after her mother's death and the marriage of her oldest sister, Teresa was sent to be educated with Augustinian nuns, but after an illness she returned to live with her father and other relatives. An uncle acquainted her with the Letters of Saint Jerome, which led her to pursue religious life. At the age of 20 Teresa joined the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation at Avila.

During the sixteenth century the early austerity and religious enthusiasm that had characterized religious orders when they were founded, had been lost, and "worldliness" of all kinds, and even moral corruption was widespread. (The Protestant Reformation began in 1519 in Germany, at first as a reaction to the pervasive corruption and lack of governance by Church authorities.)

Teresa's convent at Avila was no exception. Although she had been devout at first, she lost this fervor and embraced the lax life of her convent. After the death of her father, and several serious illnesses, however, she was led to reform herself through intense prayer, and began to have religious experiences which she, and the priests she consulted, thought were delusions.

Two Jesuit confessors, however, believed Teresa's experiences were genuine graces, and advised her to lay a firm spiritual foundation through private prayer and the profound practice of virtue. During this time, she had even more intense and extraordinary experiences of "heavenly communications" -- including "mystical marriage", or the "espousal" of her soul to the person of Christ -- and even bodily manifestations of her spiritual elevation.

Her confessors ordered her to write her experiences of the spiritual necessity for prayer, the practice of contemplative prayer, and its fruits. She wrote the Way of Perfection and Foundations for her nuns, and The Interior Castle, as a guide for all. It was principally for these writings that she was declared a Doctor of the Church four centuries later. Her writings are intensely personal spiritual autobiographies, based on her own experiences and insights, and are remarkably clearly written. They remain spiritual classics -- along with Saint Augustine's Confessions.

Inspired by a niece, who was also a Carmelite at Avila, she decided to undertake the establishment of a reformed convent that would be restored to the austerity and devotion of earlier times. This effort met strong opposition from several quarters. In 1562, Teresa received approval for a new foundation, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Primitive Rule of Saint Joseph, at Avila, which she began with with her niece and three other nuns. Several years later, while she was establishing a new convent in Toledo, she met John Yepes (later John of the Cross), and soon after made new foundations for men that were eventually placed under his care. Difficulties and opposition to the newly established reformed Discalced Carmelite foundations persisted. ("Discalced", literally "shoeless", refers to the austerity of the new foundations. The nuns and friars wore sandals instead of shoes).

Finally, in 1580, the separation of the Discalced Carmelites from the other Carmelites was recognized by the Holy See -- when Teresa was sixty-five years old, and in poor health. Teresa made seventeen foundations of the Discalced Carmelites, her last at Burgos in July, 1582. Instead of returning to Avila from Burgos, she set out for Alba de Tormes. It was a difficult trip and she was ill. Three days after reaching Alba, she died -- on October 4, 1582, and was buried there. The next day the Gregorian reform of the calendar was effected, which resulted in dropping ten days. Thus her feast is fixed on October 15.

 St. Theresa’s most popularly known writing is a brief poem is known as her “Bookmark”, because it was found in her prayer book after her death in 1582. It has been variously translated into English, and has been very widely circulated.

Original Spanish:

Nada te turbe,
nada te espante;
todo se pasa,
Dios no se muda.
La pacientia todo lo alcanza.
Quien a Dios tiene nada la falta:
solo Dios basta.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Readings

Collect:
Lord, by your Spirit you raised up Saint Teresa of Jesus to show your Church the way to perfection. May her inspired teaching awaken in us a longing for true holiness.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading: Romans 8:22-27
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Gospel Reading: John 15:1-8
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.



St. Teresa's Bread
Pan De Santa Teresa

This dish, which makes a tasty breakfast or branch, is a first cousin to French toast, but with a flavor and texture all its own.

 

2 cups milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 good piece of lemon peel
12 slices Italian/French bread (a little stale) 1/2-3/4 inch thick
3 eggs
Pinch of salt
Cinnamon-sugar for sprinkling on the toast
Olive oil for frying

Combine the milk with the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon peel. Simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes, until the milk has become well flavored. Place the bread in a large flat dish or pan, and strain the milk over it.

Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl with a pinch of salt. With a spatula, lay the slices of bread in the egg, turning them to coat both sides. Beat additional eggs and salt together if necessary to finish coating bread slices. Fry the bread in the olive oil until it is browned and crusty on both sides.

Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

Yield: 4-6 servings

from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz, originally published by Harper & Row in 1995, now available in paperback from Ignatius Press.


45 posted on 10/15/2008 12:44:50 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue
Doctors of the Catholic Church





Saint Teresa is the Doctor of Prayer. Her writings on this subject are unsurpassed. One of her favorite prayers for many years was the Our Father Prayer and through it she was raised to the heights of contemplation despite numerous distractions, traveling, and diversified duties in her reform efforts with the Order of Mount Carmel called the Discalced Carmelites. However, despite major disappointments, setbacks, and discouragements, nothing prevented her from staying focused in doing God's holy will in all manners. She was mainly responsible for the renewal, reform, and the expansion of the Carmelites throughout Spain for many years despite poor health and a host of spiritual challenges. Her patience in organizing, continual prayer, and goodwill helped her acheive major expansions and the rebuilding of the Order at a time when laxity and a easy lifestyle permeated into the contemplative life for religious living.

Complacency and lack of disciple prevailed and Teresa felt a call by the Lord for more dedicated and consecrated efforts to live out one's religious vows with prayer and sacrifice and for the building up of the holiness of the church and individual sanctity.

Not without reason did the church proclaimed Sts Teresa and St Catherine of Siena the first women Doctors of the Church in 1970. Teresa was a wise and practical woman who was extraordinarily kind and charitable, and greatly gifted in the explanations of the highest degrees of prayer and union with God, and love of neighbor.

Teresa assures us that those who practice prayer faithfully will receive all they ask beyond their greatest expectations and hope. God used her to rebuild and expand many convents and monasteries as she radiated smiles, humor, and goodwill amidst heavy crosses and conflicts. She wrote: "Anyone who has not begun to pray,(regularly and daily ) I beg, for the love of the Lord, not to miss so great a blessing. There is no place here (in the convent) for fear, but only desire."

This extraordinary Hispanic woman was beset with numerous challenges both within the church and in her own religious order. Despite the insurmountable hardships she faced, her obedience to authority, faithfulness to prayer, and docility to the Holy Spirit to carry out her call and mission, never wavered despite great controversies and sufferings. Her trust in God and Jesus Christ, her Beloved, was what she treasured and what she held onto with her whole being. She confessed that "...I know from experience-namely that no one who has begun this practice (of daily prayer) however many sins he may commit, should never forsake it."


St Teresa of Avila, 1515-1582. Doctor of Prayer, Feast Oct 15th.


46 posted on 10/15/2009 8:08:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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