Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - Chapter 11 - St. Teresa of Avila - Teresa of Jesus

The Book of the Foundations
           of S. Teresa of Jesus 
               of the Order 
          of our Lady of Carmel  
          CHAPTER 11

        Chapter 11 Contents 
     - The Relation 
           Of The Means Taken 
           By Dona Casilda De Padilla 
        To Carry Out Her Holy Design
           Of Entering Religion 
1. Stephany of the Apostles. — 
2. Dona Casilda enters into herself. — 
3. Attempts to become a nun. — 
4. Her device to gain an entrance
          into the monastery. — 
5. Casilda's relatives. — 
6. She is removed by force 
          from the monastery.— 
7. The family wish her 
          to enter another order. — 
8. Dona Casilda a nun. 
                CHAPTER 11 

1. Stephany of the Apostles. — 
It came to pass at this time 
   that we had to give the habit 
to a lay sister 
    — Sister Stephany of the Apostles —  [1]
in the monastery of the Conception, 
I may speak hereafter of her vocation, 
for, though 
   of a different condition of life 
      — she was but a peasant — 
yet, because of the great graces 
          which God wrought in her, 
   she deserves, 
          for the honour of His Majesty, 
   that I should make some record of her. 
When she (Sister Stephanie)                       [2]
     was to take the habit,          
Dona Casilda                                           
      — for that was the name
            of this beloved of our Lord — 
  came to the ceremony with her grandmother,
     the mother of her bridegroom.              [3]
She conceived a very great liking; 
    for the monastery, 
and thought that our Lord was better 
    served by the nuns, 
because they were
   few in number and poor. 
Still she had not at this time 
   made up her mind 
to give up her bridegroom, 
and he it was, 
     as I said before, 
who held her back the most. 
2. Dona Casilda enters into herself. — 
She remembered
  that she was accustomed, 
before she was betrothed, 
  to spend a certain time in prayer, 
  for her mother,                                            
      in her goodness and saintliness, 
  had thus brought her up 
      with her brother and sisters. 
From the time they were seven years old 
  she used to 
      take them with her 
           into her oratory at certain hours, and 
      teach them how to meditate 
           on the Passion of our Lord. 
She made them go often to confession, 
   and accordingly 
she saw her good desires 
   to bring them up for God 
 so amply rewarded. 
She has told me herself
 that she used to 
     - offer up her children to God, and
     - implore Him to take them 
             out of  the world, 
  for she was no longer deluded 
       as to the scanty esteem 
  in which it should be held. 
I think at times 
  how  they will thank their mother 
    - they see themselves 
          in the fruition of everlasting bliss, 
   - that it was she who helped them; 
and I think too, 
     of her accidental joy  in seeing them, 
     how different it will be 
          with those fathers and mothers 
      who have not brought up their children 
           as children of God
        — and they are more His than theirs — 
     when they all meet together, 
        both the one and 
        the other, in hell, 
             uttering curses, hopelessly lost. 
3. Attempts to become a nun. — 
3. To return to my story. 
When Dona Casilda saw 
   that even saying the rosary 
        was no longer a pleasure to her 
    - feared that she might become 
          even worse and worse, and 
    - thought she saw clearly 
      that by coming to this house 
          she could make her salvation certain. 
She therefore made up her mind altogether,  
and one morning she and her sister 
  came here with their mother, 
and, as it happened, 
  all entered the monastery, 
but without any suspicion 
  that she was going to do what she did. 
When she found herself inside 
   no one would thrust her out. 
She cried so earnestly 
  that she might be left, and 
she used such words 
  as astonished everybody. 
Her mother, 
          though in her heart glad, 
    - was afraid of her kindred, and 
    - would not have her remain, 
lest it should be said
 that she was doing this by her persuasion; 
the prioress, also, was of the same mind,    [4]
   for she 
      - looked on her as a child,  and 
      - thought that there ought to be 
           a longer trial of her vocation. 
This was in the morning ;
 they had 
      to remain there till the evening, and 
      to send 
            for her confessor and 
            for the Father Master Fray Domingo, 
                 a Dominican,                                      [5] 
                 who was mine, 
            of whom I spoke in the beginning, 
 but I was not there at the time myself. 
That father 
     - saw at once 
          that this was the work 
               of the Spirit of God,  and 
     - gave her great help, 
          while having much to bear with 
               at the hand of her kindred. 
     So indeed ought all men  to do 
          who pretend to serve God, 
     when they see a soul 
           called by Him, 
      nor must they be led 
           by the prudence of  men. 
He promised his help to her 
    for her coming back another day. 
She went away this time, 
  but after earnest importunities, 
lest they should blame her mother. 
Her good desires continued 
   even to grow stronger. 
4. Her device to gain an entrance
          into the monastery. — 
Her mother began to speak privately 
   to her kindred, 
and the secret was kept
  from coming to the knowledge 
     of  the bridegroom. 
They spoke of it all as childishness, 
and said she must wait 
    till she became of age, 
for she was not yet twelve years old. 
She replied to this by saying, 
   as they thought her old enough 
           to be married and
           left in the world,
  how came it 
      that they did not find her old enough
           to give herself to God .                    
She spoke in such a way 
   as made it plain 
it was not she herself who was speaking. 
The matter could not be kept so secret 
   as to escape the knowledge 
of the bridegroom. 
When she found 
   that he was aware of it 
she did not think it well to wait for him, 
on the feast of the Conception, 
   when in the house of her grandmother, 
        who was also her mother-in- law, 
        who knew nothing of the matter, 
   she asked her to let her go for a walk 
        with her governess. 
The grandmother, 
        to please her 
   gave her consent, 
and she went out in a carriage 
   with her servants. 
To one of them she 
    - gave some money, and 
    - asked him to wait for her 
          at the gate of this monastery 
          with a bundle of faggots, and 
    - had herself driven about in such a way 
        that they brought her by the house. 
When she had come in front of the gate 
      - told her servants to ask at the wicket 
          for a goblet of water 
        without saying for whom, and 
     - descended quickly from the carriage; 
they said the water would be 
   brought to her, 
but she would not have it so. 
The faggots were already there, 
 and she bade her people
       tell them in the monastery 
   to come to the door for them. 
She stood close by the faggots, and 
when the door opened 
   hurried within, 
throwing her arms around our Lady, 
  weeping, and praying the prioress 
       not to send her away. 
5. Casilda's relatives. — 
The servants raised a loud cry, 
and knocked violently at the door. 
She went to the grating 
   to speak to them,
 told them 
    - that nothing should ever
         make her come out,     
    - they must go and tell her mother. 
The women 
    who were in attendance upon her 
  made pitiful lamentations, 
but nothing moved her. 
Her grandmother, 
     when she was told of it, 
  would go at once to the monastery. 
     neither she herself, 
     nor an uncle,                                       [6]
     nor the bridegroom himself, 
        who, when he came, 
            found means to converse much 
        with her at the grating, 
  did anything else 
     but increase her distress 
         when they were with her, and 
     leave her more determined than before. 
The bridegroom said to her, 
   after many piteous complainings,
 that she could serve God more 
   by giving alms; 
whereupon she bade him, 
   by way of reply, 
give alms himself. 
In answer to everything else from him 
  she replied 
    - that she was under greater obligations 
        to work out her own salvation, 
    - that she knew herself to be weak, 
        and could not save herself 
            amid the dangers of the world;
    - that he had no reason to complain of her, 
        for she had left him only for God, 
    - that she did him no wrong thereby. 
When she saw 
   that he was not satisfied 
she arose and left him. 
He made no impression whatever upon her; 
she was on the whole disgusted with him; 
  for the temptations and annoyances 
which Satan stirs up 
  become rather a help to that soul 
     to whom God sends the light of the truth. 
It is His Majesty Himself 
   who is fighting on its behalf. 
   It was so visibly now, 
   for it did not seem 
        as if Casilda, herself,
   were the speaker. 
6. She is removed by force 
          from the monastery.— 
When the bridegroom and her kindred saw
     how little influence they had 
  to bring her out with her own consent 
     they took means to drag her out by force,
so they procured an order from the king, 
     in virtue of which they could 
        take her out and 
        restore her to her liberty. 
During her stay in the monastery, 
   which was 
        from the feast of the Conception 
        to that of the Innocents, 
   when they took her away, 
        she never wore the habit, 
but she observed 
    all the rules of the house 
 as it she had been  clothed, 
    and that with the greatest joy. 
On that day 
   they carried her 
into the house of a nobleman, 
   for the officers of justice came for her. 
She wept grievously 
   as they were taking her away, 
  - asking them why they tormented her, and  
  - saying that they would gain nothing
        by what they were doing. 
Religious, as well as others,
   now talked earnestly to her: 
some thought her conduct childish, 
  and others wished her 
 to retain her rank in the world. 
I should become very tedious 
  if I were to recount 
    - all the discussions that took place, and 
    - how she extricated herself out of them all.
They were amazed at the things she said. 
When they saw 
   that they could not influence her 
they took her to her mother's house, 
   there to be kept for a time. 
Her mother was weary of so much trouble, 
  and gave her no help whatever: 
on the contrary, 
  she seemed to be against her. 
It may be 
  that her mother was only trying her; 
  at least, she told me so afterwards, 
and she is so saintly 
  that whatever she says 
       is to be believed. 
However, the child did not so understand her. 
Her confessor also 
   was extremely opposed to her, 
so that she had no help 
       in God,  and 
       in a young woman in her mother's service
          who consoled her.                                   [7]
7. The family wish her 
          to enter another order. — 
Thus she lived
   in great weariness and distress
 till she was twelve years old: 
then she found it was proposed, 
       now that they could not 
          hinder her profession, 
   to make her enter the monastery 
       in which her sister was, 
    because it was not so severe. 
She, when she saw this, 
   determined to find some means or other 
for carrying out her resolution, 
and accordingly one day, 
   going with her mother to Mass, 
while the latter went 
    into the confessional in the church, 
she asked her governess 
    to go and request one of the fathers 
           to say mass for her. 
When she saw her gone, 
   she put her clogs in her sleeves, and 
taking up her dress, 
    ran in all haste towards this monastery, 
which was a good way off. 
The governess, 
    not finding her in the church, 
rushed after her, 
and as she was drawing near to her 
   asked a man to stop her. 
The man  said afterwards 
  that he found himself unable to stir, 
  so let her go. 
      having entered by the outer door 
             of the monastery, 
    shut it, and 
     began to call out; 
when the governess arrived 
  she was already within the monastery, 
and the nuns gave her the habit at once
   the good beginning, 
   the work of our Lord in her, 
            was brought to a good ending. 
8. Dona Casilda a nun. 
His Majesty began to reward her immediately
   with spiritual graces, 
and she to serve Him with the greatest joy, 
    in the deepest humility, 
    and detachment from all things. 
May He be blessed for ever 
   who thus made her, 
          who had been once so fond 
                 of most rich and costly garments, 
      take pleasure in the poor robe of serge ! 
It could not, however, hide her beauty, 
   for our Lord had given to her 
      natural as well as spiritual graces; 
   in her manners and her understanding 
      she was so winning that 
      she moved everybody 
          to give God thanks for them. 
May His Majesty grant 
   that there be many 
who thus answer to His call !                      [8] 

           Foot Notes:
  Stephany of the Apostles
  daughter of Fernando Gallo 
        and Maria Sanchez 
      of Pedroza de Campos, 
  was born on the morrow of the Nativity, 
      26th December 1549. 
  From her very earliest years, and 
  before the age of reason in children, 
    she gave herself 
        to penance and continual prayer. 
  As she grew in years she grew also 
     in natural beauty and grace, 
  and was, 
             with the more than consent 
              of her father and mother, 
     sought in marriage. 
  To escape from the importunities 
     with which she was pursued, 
   she took refuge in Medina de Rioseco, 
      in Leon, in the house of  her sister. 
  She then went to live 
      with Dona Maria de Vcsgas, 
  who, discerning her sanctity, 
      offered to provide her dower 
   if she entered religion. 
   The young man 
         who sought her in marriage 
    now came to trouble her again, 
    whereupon she took refuge 
         in a monastery of S. Clare. 
   From the monastery 
     she was withdrawn by Dona Maria, 
   who quarrelled with the nuns, and
    then her father sent for her 
        to Pedroza de Campos. 

[2]    (Regarding Sister Stephanie)
 There she heard our Lord say to her, 
    'Go to Valladolid,' 
 and she went, 
 and became there a penitent 
    of F. Jerome Ripalda, S. J.
 Under his direction
     — staying at the time in the house 
          of Dona Maria de Acuna — 
  she presented herself at the monastery 
    founded by S. Teresa, 
  which she entered on the feast 
    of S. Mark, 1572, 
   in the twenty-third year of her age. 
   She received the habit on the feast 
     of the Visitation, 2nd July of  that year,  
   was professed as a lay sister,
      6th August 1573, and 
   died in the odour of sanctity,
      11th June 1617
     in the sixty-eighth year of her age 
   [ Reforma, bk. xiv. ch. xxxi. — xxxiv].
   Dona Luisa de Padilla
       widow of Don Antonio Manrique, 
    who died in 1560. Oeuvres, iii. 162, n. 2. 
Blog Note:
 "Dona Maria de Acuna married in 1547 
   Don Juan de Padilla Manrique"
          [ Foundations: Ch.10: Footnote #14]
   "He died when she was still young, 
   and left her with three children, 
        one son and two daughters"   
         [ Foundations: Ch.10: #8]
    (later corrected to 3 daughters in (#8))
   son:Don Antonio de Padilla [Ch.10: #10]
   dtr: Dona Luisa [Ch.10: #10 ]
            entered "the monastery of the 
            Dominican nuns in Valladolid"
                   [Ch.10: Footnote #15]
   dtr: Dona Casilda
   dtr: _______
               . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Don Juan de Padilla 
    had three brothers, 
Don Gomez Manrique,  
Don Pedro Manrique de Padilla, 
Don Martin de Padilla
[Foundations: Ch.10: FootNote #18]
  This happened in 1573 
   when S. Teresa was at Salamanca. 
 Fray Dominic Banez
   at that time regent of the college 
   of San Gregorio at Valladolid. 
  Probably the Count de Buendia, 
     brother of Casilda's mother. 
    [Oeuvres, ill 166 n. 3. ]
 Probably Dona Ana de Pedruja 
  who afterwards became 
     a Carmelite at Malagon 
   under the name of Anne of S. Augustine
      and died in the odour of sanctity 
    at Villanueva, 11th December 1624, 
      and was declared Venerable in 1776. 
    [ Ouvres, iii. 168, n. i. ]
Dona Casllda made her profession 
   as Casilda of the Conception
       13th January 1577, 
       at the age of fourteen, 
   in virtue of a dispensation 
        of the pope, Gregory XIII. 
With all her wealth, 
   she went poor to the monastery, 
for her family gave her no dowry, 
   but paid the monastery
         for her food and lodging year by year. 
In the distribution 
   of the unsettled property of the family,
it seems 
   that the brother had so large a share
         — which went to the house 
              of the Jesuits in Valladolid, 
              where he was then living — 
   that the Carmelites received nothing. 
  There was some litigation, therefore,
      between the Jesuits and the Carmelites, 
   but without any gain to the latter
    (see letter of S. Teresa 
         of 17th September 1581). 
Dona Casilda 
   - left the monastery  in September, 1581, 
         at the instigation of a confessor, and
   - became a nun 
          in the Franciscan house in Burgos, 
      of which she was abbess in 1610, 
      where she died 
              — sorry, however, that she had ever 
                   left the house of Carmel.
In the roll of the professions sent 
       from Valladolid 
       to the chapter held in Alcala, 1581, 
  is the following entry:
         — 'Sister Casilda of the Conception
               has been a professed nun 
               these four years in this house; 
               she was born in Valladolid. 
               Her name was 
                  Casilda Juliana Padilla, and 
               she made her  profession 
                   on the feast 
               of the Baptism of Christ, 
                   in the year  1577' 
         [Fuente, vol. vi, p. 74]. 

               End of  Chapter 11 
                      of the 
           Book of the Foundations
              of S. Teresa of Jesus 
  of the Order of our Lady of Carmel          

No comments:

Post a Comment