Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - Discussion of Prologue - St. Teresa of Avila - Teresa of Jesus

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           PROLOGUE 

 1. Obedience.  
 2. The Saint is bidden to write.  
 3. She will be truthful.  
 4. Her plan. 
 5. The Saint makes excuses for herself. 
 6. Takes pains to be exact. 

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       Discussion of  the Prologue
       of the Book of the Foundations
 
St. Teresa praise the virtue of   Obedience"
       "in which...the will is definitely given up 
               to the will of God
        through that subjection of self to him 
               who stands in His place."
        (the Confessor / Superior is a         
                representative of God)
                         
  "the great treasure hidden 
          in this priceless virtue..."
  "the great blessing it is 
          for a soul never to withdraw 
      from under obedience"
     
      She  described the blessings of Obedience:
      "growth in  Goodness... 
                       
        gaining of  Humility...
        Security 
                  amidst the doubts 
                  whether we are not straying 
                        from the heavenly road
                  ▪ that rest 
                        which is so dear to souls 
                     desirous of pleasing God...
                  ▪ for, if they...
                         - have made 
                               their understanding captive 
                               ...to holy obedience...
                         - seeking no other will 
                               but that of their confessor, 
                  Satan refrains from assailing them... 
                    
                     
                  ▪ our restless movements (impuses) cease
                       ...fond of having their own way, 
                       ...making the reason subject to them 
                          in those things 
                           which can give us pleasure…"
                             [ Foundations: Prologue #1 ]
  
     Strength
          St. Teresa  said of herself:
          "I seem very often, and
            I am naturally worthless, 
                  unable to bear my burden, 
           Our Lord said to me, 
                 'Child, obedience gives strength.' "
                        [ Foundations: Prologue #2 ]
      

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 The intended contents of this book:
 1).  Monastery of  S. Joseph in Avila:
        In 1562, while at the Monastery 
           of  S. Joseph in Avila, 
        Father Garcia of Toledo, her Confessor,
           asked her to write an account 
         of the establishment of this Monastery
        "I was ordered ... by my confessor, 
           the Dominican friar,  Father Garcia of Toledo, 
         to write the history of the foundation 
           of the monastery"
 2).  The  Successive Monasteries:
         Later, in 1573,  her Confessor, 
           the Master Ripalda
         Father Rector of the Society, 
           asked her to write regarding:
  a)  the 7 other monasteries that were founded 
           for nuns after that first monastery
             
  b)  the monasteries founded for the friars
         "— eleven years have passed since then —"
        "I am now
           in Salamanca, 
           in the year 1573 and
         my Confessor, the Master Ripalda
           Father Rector of the Society, 
         has ordered me to write"

        (He) "thought it would be a service 
           done to our Lord
         if I  committed to writing 

           ▪ the story of the other seven" monasteries 
                 which, by the goodness of our Lord, 
              have since that time been founded,  
                 and 
           ▪ told at the same  time 
                 how the monasteries of the barefooted 
              fathers of  the primitive rule began".
 3).  Prayer and Hinderances to progress in prayer:  
         "They bid me also, 
             if I have the opportunity, 
           to speak 
             of prayer, and 
             of the delusions incident thereto 
                 which keep men of prayer 
                 from making progress"
                  [ Foundations: Prologue #2 ]

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       End of the Discussion
              of the Prologue
                      of the 
    Book of the Foundations      
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