Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - Chapter 6 - 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  6






Explains:
 - the harm it may do spiritual persons 
     not to know 
  when they are to resist the spirit. 
 - Of the desire for Communion, and 
     of delusions involved in it. 
 - Important Matters for those 
    who rule over these convents 
1. False rapture. — 
2. Effects thereof. — 
3. Natural, not divine. — 
4. Melancholy. — 
5. Wherein this differs from a trance. 

6. Advice to the prioresses. — 
7. Evil effects of this dreaminess. —    [1]
8. Bodily health. — 
9. Loss resulting from this dreaminess. — 
10. Advice to superiors. — 
11. Story of two nuns. — 
12. Delusive longings for communion. — 
13. The Saint undertakes 
          to dispel this delusion. — 
14. And succeeds. — 
15. Another instance. — 
16. Remedies by like means. — 
17. Liberty of spirit. — 
18. Dangers of this dreaminess.— 
19. Effects of self-love. — 
20. Story of a woman self-directed. — 
21. Obedience better than sacrifice. — 
22. The Saint's obedience 
         to her confessors. — 
23. True devotion is calm. — 
24. Obedience. — 
25. None to judge themselves.   
1. False rapture. — 


1. I have been striving diligently 
to find out whence cometh 
       a certain great dreaminess ' 
which I have observed in some persons to
 - whom our Lord gives 
       much sweetness in prayer, and 
 - who do all they can to prepare themselves
       for the reception of His graces. 
    I am not speaking now 
       of those occasions 
    during which His Majesty 
       lifts up the soul 
              and 
       carries it away in rapture. 
    I have written much 
       of this in another place,                        
               [ See "Life": Ch. 20 ] 
             and 
       of an act like this:
    There is nothing to be said, 
       though we may do 
    all we can to resist, 
        because we are utterly powerless: 
         if it be a true rapture
            it is to be observed
         that the force which forces us 
            to lose all control over ourselves 
         lasts but a moment. 
But it  often times happens 
  that it begins 
       in a kind of prayer of quiet, 
   which is like a spiritual sleep, 
       and 
    which throws the soul 
       into a dreamy state; 
    so that 
    we, 
           if we do not know 
           what conduct to observe herein, 
       - may lose much time, 
             and through our own fault 
       - waste our strength and 
       - merit little. 


2. Effects thereof. — 
2. I wish I knew 
      how to explain myself here, 
and the matter is so difficult 
   that I know not if I shall succeed; 
but I know well 
  that if those souls 
who are in this delusion 
   would but believe me,
they would understand the matter. 
I know some, and 
they are souls of great virtue, 
  - who have been in this state 
             seven or eight hours at a time, 
        thinking it all to be a rapture, and 
  - whom every pious practice 
        laid hold of in such a way 
     that they went forthwith 
        out of themselves,
     thinking it not right 
         to offer any resistance to our Lord: 
      in this way they might 
         come by their death, or 
         become foolish, 
       if no remedy be found for them.           
              [See Interior Castle: 
                  Mansion 4: Ch. 3: #11 ]


3. Natural, not divine. — 
3. What I understand of the matter is this: 
the soul, 
        when our Lord begins 
             to caress it in this way
                — and we are by nature so fond 
                     of that which pleases us — 
   gives itself up 
        so much to that pleasure, 
   that it would 
        not stir, move, 
        nor on any account whatever 
          would it consent to lose it: 
   for in truth the pleasure is greater 
      than all the pleasures in the world; 
and 
when it happens 
      to a person of weak constitution, 
           or 
      to one 
           whose mind, 
                  or, to speak more correctly, 
           whose imagination, 
              is not naturally given to change, 
       but one 
            that dwells upon a subject
              without further distraction, 
once it has laid hold of him
        — as do many persons 
          who, when they have 
             fixed their thoughts on anything,
                though in nowise relating to God, 
            become absent, 
            having their eyes directed 
                to an object before them, 
            but which they do not really see — 
   (once it has laid hold of him)
      people naturally sluggish, 
            who, through negligence, 
       seem to forget 
            what they were going to say, 
             — so is it in this case, 
          according to our nature, disposition, 
             or weakness. 
Oh, if a soul of this kind
     be given to melancholy !
 it will become the prey 
     of a thousand pleasing delusions. 


4. Melancholy. — 
4. Of this temper 
    I shall speak a little later on ; 
         [ See "Foundations": Ch. 7 ]
but even if there be none of it, 
     what I have spoken of 
  takes place, 
  and in those persons also 
      who are wasted by penance; 
for, as I said before, 
   when love begins to supply them 
        with sensible sweetness, 
    they suffer themselves, 
        as I have just now said, 
    to be carried away too much by it; 
and, in my opinion, 
their love would be more perfect
    if they did not give way
        to this dreaminess, 
    for they could very well resist it 
        at this point in their prayer. 
For, as in bodily weakness 
   we suffer from a faintness 
which allows us 
    neither to speak 
    nor to move, 
so is it here 
    if we make no resistance; 
    for if the body be weak, 
       the vehemence of the spirit 
    seizes upon it and
    subdues it. 


5. Wherein this differs from a trance. 
                                                                     
5. I may be asked, 
     wherein does it differ from a trance ? 
It is the same thing with it, 
   at least in appearance; 
and they have reason to say so, 
but it is not so in reality. 
For a trance
    or 
  the union of all the powers of the soul
    as I have said, 
  - lasts but a moment, and 
  - leaves 
      -- great fruit behind, and 
      -- an inward light, 
      -- with many other blessings: 
      -- the understanding does not work at all, 
      -- only our Lord is working in the will. 
             [ See "Life": Ch. 18: # 14 ]
             [ See "Life": Ch. 17: # 2   ]

But in this state (false raptures)
   it is far otherwise; 
for though the body 
    be a prisoner, 
the will, memory, and understanding 
    are not
yet their operations are disorderly, 
and if by chance 
   they settle on a particular subject, 
   they will stay there.                                


6. Advice to the prioresses. — 
6. I see no good in this bodily weakness
        — for it is nothing else — 
except in so far 
  as it has a good beginning; 
it would be far better 
   to spend the time 
        in some good work 
than to be thus dreaming so long. 
There is much more merit 
   in a single act, and 
   in the frequent moving 
        of the will to love God, 
than in leaving it at rest in this way. 
My advice 
     therefore to the prioresses 
  is, that they apply themselves 
      with all diligence possible 
to the banishing of these protracted fits 
    of dreaminess, 
which do nothing else, 
    in my opinion, 
but blunt the faculties and the senses 
   so that they shall not do 
       that which the soul requires of them, 
   and thereby rob them 
       of that blessing 
   which **carefulness to please our Lord      
       ordinarily brings them. 
         [ ** 'Obedience and
           was added by the corrector, 
            and afterwards scored through. ]
If  they find 
    it proceeds from weakness, 
then they must 
    forbid fasting and mortification 
       — that is, when not of obligation; 
and the time may come 
     when with a safe conscience 
they may 
     - forbid them altogether, and 
     - assign them duties in the house 
  for the purpose of taking their attention
       away from themselves. 

7. Evil effects of this dreaminess. —     [1]
7. In the same way, also, 
          must they be treated, 
(those) who, 
         though not subject to this faintness, 
     are too much carried away 
         by their imagination, 
      even though it be 
         on most deep matters of prayer; 
for it happens at times 
  that they are not mistresses of themselves,
particularly if they have 
   - received any extraordinary grace 
          from our Lord, or 
   - seen a vision; 
   then their soul seems to be 
     always receiving or seeing: 
   and yet it is not so, 
     for that happened to them but once. 
It is necessary for her 
  who may find herself liable
     to these faintings away 
  to strive to change the subject 
     of her meditation; 
and provided she applies herself 
     to the things of God in her meditation,
there is nothing unseemly 
     in changing the subject 
so long as she is intent 
    on the things of God; 
for meditation 
    on the creature, 
           and 
    on His power in creating them, 
may be  at times as pleasing unto Him 
    as meditation on Himself, the Creator. 

8. Bodily health. — 
8. Oh, wretched misery of man ! 
   such is it, because of sin, 
that even in what is good 
   we must be measured and restrained, 
lest we should so ruin our health 
   as to lose the fruition of it. 
And, in truth, 
it behoves many persons, 
    whose heads or imaginations are weak, 
  to know themselves
     which is 
          a greater service to our Lord, and 
          most necessary. 
And if anyone sees 
that when her imagination 
   - dwells 
       on a mystery of the Passion, or 
       on the glory of heaven, or 
       on any other matter of that kind, 
             and 
   - remains for many days unable, 
          though desirous of doing so, 
       to think on any other, or 
       to rouse herself from dwelling on it, 
 she must know 
   that she should distract herself 
       as well as she can; 
     if not, 
     the time will come 
         when she will learn 
     the harm she has done to herself, 
          and 
     that it is the result 
          of what I am speaking of, 
      either of great bodily weakness, 
      or of the imagination, 
          which is very much worse. 
For, as a person of disordered mind, 
 if  he applies himself to anything, 
    is not master of himself 
    — can 
            neither withdraw his mind 
            nor think of anything else, 
            nor be influenced by reason, 
         because his reason is 
            not under control — 
so is it in this state;
   the madness, however, is pleasant. 


9. Loss resulting from this dreaminess. — 
9. Oh, what great evils may ensue 
if such a person is subject to melancholy ! 
I see no good at all 
   in this dreaminess, 
because the soul is endowed 
   with a capacity 
for the fruition of God Himself. 
If, then, it be not 
   for one of the causes 
I have mentioned, 
   why should the soul, 
         seeing that God is infinite, 
      remain the captive of one 
         of His attributes or mysteries, 
      when there is so much to occupy us ? 
And all the while,
   the more of His works 
        we meditate upon,
   the more we discern His greatness. 

10. Advice to superiors. — 
10. I am not saying 
that in the course 
       of one hour, or even 
       of one day, 
   we should meditate 
       on many subjects, 
   for that perhaps would result 
       in fruit from none. 
As these questions are so difficult, 
  I would not have you think 
- that I am saying 
  what it has not entered 
       into my mind to say, 
                or 
- that you should take 
       one thing for another. 
Certainly the right understanding 
            of this chapter 
      is so important, 
  that though it is distressing to write it, 
      I am not sorry to do so; 
and I wish everyone 
  who shall not understand it
      the first time she reads it, 
  not to shrink from reading it often, 
  especially prioresses 
  and mistresses of novices 
    who have to direct the sisters 
         in the way of prayer; 
for if they are not careful 
   in the beginning, 
they will see 
that they require much time afterwards 
   to redress weaknesses of this kind. 

11. Story of two nuns. — 
11. If I were to describe the great harm 
   I have seen to result from this, 
you would see 
  that I have reasons 
      for insisting on it so much. 
One fact only will I give, 
  and the rest can be gathered from it. 
In one of our monasteries 
  were a choir nun and a lay sister,             [2]
both of  them raised 
     to a very high degree of prayer; 
they were also 
      mortified, humble, and good, 
      receiving many consolations 
            from our Lord, 
      together with many manifestations 
            of His greatness. 
They were, particularly, 
     so detached and 
     so engrossed by His love, 
  that there was no appearance of negligence
             — though we watched them 
                      very narrowly, 
             considering our natural meanness — 
      in answering to the graces 
             which our Lord gave them. 
I have said so much of their goodness 
  in order that they 
         who have not so much 
    may be the more afraid. 

12. Delusive longings for communion. — 
12. They began 
   with great impetuous longings 
        after our Lord, 
which they were not able to control; 
they thought those longings 
  were satisfied at communion, and 
so they obtained leave 
        from their confessor 
   to communicate frequently, 
and thereby their suffering grew 
   so much upon them 
that they thought they were going to die 
   if they could not communicate every day. 
The confessors
       — though one of them 
            was a very spiritual man — 
seeing 
      such souls, and 
      such earnest desires, 
   judged this remedy to be necessary 
      for their disorder. 
It did not stop here, 
for the longings of one of them 
  became so vehement 
as to make it necessary for her 
  to communicate early in the morning 
        to enable her, as she thought, 
                    to live; 
and they were not persons 
who would feign, or tell a lie, 
  for anything in the world. 
I was not then in that monastery, ans
the prioress told me                          
    in a letter 
       [ Foot Note: "Sr. Agnes of Jesus"] 
what was going on, 
  - that she could do nothing with them, 
           and 
  - that certain persons said 
      they might be relieved in that way,
    seeing that there was no help for it. 
I saw at once 
  what the matter was 
           — our Lord willed I should (see)
nevertheless, I kept silence 
   - till I arrived at the monastery, 
         for I feared I might be mistaken, 
               and 
   - until I could give my reasons:
Reason required 
 (that) I should make no opposition to those 
who had approved the conduct of the nuns. 
13. The Saint undertakes 
          to dispel this delusion. — 
13. One was so humble 
that, as soon as I arrived 
     and had spoken to him, 
   he believed me.                             
     [ Footnote: 
        "Probably, Father Baltasar Alvarez"]
The other was 
   not so spiritual, 
   nor indeed spiritual at all, in comparison. 

There was no possible way 
   of convincing him; 
I did not care much for that, 
  because I was not so much 
bound to consider him. 
I began to speak to the two nuns, 
  gave them many reasons, 
           in my opinion 
      sufficient to make them see 
  - that it was a mere fancy:
      their thinking, 
          (that) they should die 
          if they did not communicate. 
They were so wedded to their notion 
that nothing 
    - moved them, 
          or 
    - could move them, 
  in the way of reasoning with them. 
I saw that was useless, 
and
(I)  told them 
  that I,  too, 
       - had these desires 
                 and 
       - yet would abstain from communion,
  that they might believe 
       they were not to communicate 
                 except when all did 
  — that we would all three die together ; 
for I thought that better 
    than that a custom of this kind 
should be brought into these houses 
   wherein lived those 
        who loved God 
             as much as they did, and 
        who might wish to do 
            what they were doing. 


14. And succeeds. — 
14
The harm,  
     which this custom of theirs had done, 
  reached so far
          — Satan must have had a hand in it — 
  that when they did not communicate, 
     they really seemed 
          as if they were going to die. 
I showed great severity, 
for 
  - the more I saw 
      (that) they were not submissive 
                under obedience, 
       because they thought 
             they could not keep it, 
  - the more clearly I saw it was a temptation. 
They spent that day 
     in great distress, 
the next 
     in somewhat less, 
and thus it went on lessening, 
   so that, 
      though I went to communion myself, 
      because I was ordered
             — for I would not have done so
                  when I saw them so weak — 
   they bore it all exceedingly well. 
Shortly afterwards 
both they and the whole community 
   saw it was a temptation, 
and what a blessing it was 
   to have it remedied in time, 
for soon after this 
                — but it was not the fault 
                     of the two nuns — 
   there were troubles in that house 
       with the superiors,                
                — and I may say 
                     something of them 
                     further on — 
  who would 
       not have taken in good part 
           such customs,
       nor suffered them. 
  [ Foot Note: 
   "There was some trouble in 1571 
   between the Superiors 
        of the Calced Carmelites 
   and the Nuns of Medina 
   on account of a novice. ]
15. Another instance. — 
15. Oh, how many instances of this kind 
           could I give ! 
I will give one other only; 
not in a monastery of our order, 
but among the Cistercians.     
                  
  [Footnote:
   "Probably at Alcala de Henares"
    See Interior Castle, Mansion 4: Ch. 3; #12. 
     where she also describes this ocurrence.]
There was a nun, 
   not less good 
         than those I have been speaking of, 
  brought to such a state of weakness 
         by discipline and fasting 
that every time she communicated, 
         or whenever she had occasion 
             for quickening her devotion, 
  she fell down at once to the ground 
     and there remained eight or nine hours,  
  thinking it was a trance: 
all the nuns thought the same. 
This happened so often 
 that great harm, I believe, 
         must have come of it 
   if it had not been taken care of.  
These trances were bruited abroad 
         (rumored abroad
   through the country; 
I was very sorry 
when I heard of them, 
       for it was our Lord's good pleasure
          to let me know 
      what the matter was, 
and 
I feared the issue of it. 


16. Remedies by like means. — 
16. The confessor of that nun 
 - was a very great friend of mine, 
            and 
 - came to me with the story. 
I told him 
  - what I thought of the matter, and 
  - how it was loss of time; 
  - that it could not possibly be a trance, 
         and 
  - that it was only weakness; 
  - he should 
         forbid the fast and the disciplines, 
                 and 
         make her take some distraction. 
She, being an obedient nun, 
  did so, 
and soon afterwards 
      recovering her strength, 
  thought no more of her trance: 
and if it had been a real trance
   there would have been no help for it 
until God wished it should cease; 
   because the vehemence of the spirit 
      is so great 
   that we have not strength enough 
      to withstand it, 
   and, as I said before,                   
    [ See Foundations:Ch.6: #5 above ]
     it leaves behind 
          - in the soul 
                a great work, and 
          - in the body 
                weariness; 
the other  (false raptures) is 
   as if it had never taken place. 


17. Liberty of spirit. — 
17. The lesson to be learnt from this is:
that whatever masters us 
   in such a way as to make us feel 
          that our reason is not free, 
   - should be looked on as 
        -- suspicious, 
                  and 
        -- that we shall never 
               in that way 
             attain to liberty of spirit
      Liberty of Spirit
      one of the characteristics of which is
       • the finding God in all things
             and 
       • the being able to think of Him 
            in the midst of them. 
Everything but  (liberty of spirit)
   is subjection of  spirit, 
  
and, besides the harm 
     it does to the body,
it confines the soul and hinders its growth; 
as when men travel and come
    to a quagmire or a marsh 
which they cannot pass, 
    so is it, in a measure, with the soul, 
which, if it would make any progress, 
   must not walk only but fly. 

18. Dangers of this dreaminess.— 
18. Oh, if they say or think
 they 
         are absorbed in God, 
         unable to exert themselves, 
      so rapt are they, 
         and unable to change 
              the current of their thoughts, 
         and that it often happens, 
  let them look to it; 
I warn them again and again, 
    if it be so 
       for a day, or for four, or for eight, 
   there is no reason for fear, 
because it is nothing wonderful 
   that a person of weak constitution 
      should remain so long 
          in a state of amazement; 
if it continues longer, 
   measures must be taken. 
The good side of this is,
 that there is 
       no guilt of sin and 
       no loss of merit; 
but it involves the inconveniences 
   I have mentioned, with many besides. 
As to Communions,
   there will be a very grave inconvenience 
if a soul, because of its love, 
   is not obedient with it 
     to the Confessor and the Prioress;
Nevertheless it may regret the privation, 
  not in excess, 
so as not to come to that. 
It is necessary, also, herein, 
    as in other ways, 
to mortify them, and 
     make them understand 
that it is better for them
   not to do their own will 
than to have this consolation. 


19. Effects of self-love. — 
19. Our self-love 
   also may thrust itself in here. 
It has been so with me; 
for it has happened to me often
   when I had first communicated, 
the Host being still almost whole, 
   to wish I had not communicated myself !
when I saw others do so, 
  in order that I might communicate again. 
As this happened so often,  I 
    - reflected on it after a time, 
          for then there seemed no reason 
          for dwelling on it, and 
    - saw it came 
          more from my own satisfaction
          than from any love of God; 
for when we go to communion,  
  there is a sense, 
            for the most part, 
        of tenderness and joy, 
  and I was carried away thereby. 
If I went to communion 
      - in order to have God in my soul, 
            -- I had Him already
                 and 
      - if out of obedience to those          
           who enjoined communion, 
            -- I had done so, 
      - if for the purpose of receiving
          those graces which in the Most 
          Holy Sacrament are given us, 
            -- these also I had received. 
In short, 
I came clearly to understand 
  that it was nothing else 
  but a desire to obtain 
     that sensible sweetness over again. 


20. Story of a woman self-directed. — 
20. This reminds me 
   that in a place 
where I was once staying, and 
where there is a monastery of our order, 
   I knew a woman 
who was a very great servant of God; 
everybody said so, 
and it must have been true. 
She went every day to communion, 
  and had no confessor in particular, 
but went to one church 
   for communion to-day, 
and the next 
   to another. 
I observed that, 
and wished to see her 
  - obeying one confessor 
  - rather than going often to communion. 
She lived by herself, 
and, as it seemed to me, 
   doing what she liked; 
but as she was good herself, 
   all was good. 
I used to speak to her sometimes 
   of this, 
but she did not heed me, 
   and justly so, 
      for she was far better than I was; 
However, I did not think 
(that) I was in the wrong. 
The holy friar, Peter of Alcantara
   came thither,                                         [3]       
and I made him speak to her, 
  and was not pleased 
with the account she gave him,
      — as to that,
           it may be nothing more
               than our misery 
           in being never much pleased 
              with any persons 
           but those whose ways 
               are the same as ours, 
           for this woman, I believe, 
              served our Lord more, and 
           in one year did more penance, 
              than I in many. 
           She fell into a sickness 
              which was unto death — 
     this is what I am coming to — 
  and found means 
    to have mass said 
         every day in her house and
    to receive the Most Holy Sacrament. 
As her illness lasted some time, 
  a priest 
            who frequently said the mass, 
               and 
             a great servant of God, 
     thought it not right
        to allow of this daily communion 
             in a house. 
It must have been 
    a temptation of  the devil, 
for it happened on her last day,
    that on which she died. 
When she saw mass ended, 
   and herself without our Lord, 
she was 
         so displeased and 
         so angry 
    with the priest, 
         who came, greatly scandalised, 
               to tell me of it. 
I was very sorry, 
   for I do not know 
whether she ever went to confession again. 
I believe she died immediately afterwards. 
21. Obedience better than sacrifice. — 
21. From this I understood 
the evil that comes 
    from doing our own will 
  in anything, 
  especially in a matter of  this importance ; 
for if a person draws near 
   to receive our Lord so often, 
it is only reasonable 
   he should be so aware 
        - of his own unworthiness 
              as not to do so of his own will, 
                   and 
       - that our shortcomings, 
               necessarily great, 
         which make us unfit
              to approach our Lord, 
              who is so great,
   can be supplied only by obedience
         which bids us receive Him. 
This good woman had an opportunity 
  of greatly humbling herself 
       — and perhaps of meriting more thereby 
            than if she had communicated — 
  by considering 
 that it was no fault of the priest, 
 but that our Lord, seeing 
          her wretchedness, 
                and 
          how unworthy she was 
                 to receive Him
                  in a lodging so mean, 
     had so ordained it. 

22. The Saint's obedience 
         to her confessors. — 
22. That was what one person thought,    [4]
when her wise Confessors 
     from time to time 
   would not let her communicate 
      because she did so too often. 
Though she felt it keenly, 
yet, on the other hand, she
   - preferred the honour of God 
        to her own, and 
   - did nothing but praise Him 
       for having moved her confessor 
           to watch over her, and 
           to see that His Majesty did not go 
              into so wretched a lodging. 
By the help of such reflections 
   she obeyed in great peace of soul,
 though with a tender and loving pain; 
but for all the whole world 
   she never would have done 
what she was forbidden to do.                  
23. True devotion is calm. — 
23. Believe me 
that love of God 
           — I do not say it is love, 
                but only that it seems so — 
    if it stirs our feelings 
           in such a way                               
         as to end 
            in some offence against Him, 
                       or 
            in so troubling the peace 
                of the loving soul 
             that it cannot listen to reason, 
       is plainly self-seeking only; 
and 
Satan will not sleep over his work 
  when he thinks he can do us the most harm, 
as he did to this woman; 
for certainly what happened to her 
  alarmed me greatly, 
not because I believe 
   that it was enough 
       to imperil her salvation, 
for the goodness of God is great, 
but the temptation came 
  at a very dangerous time. 
24. Obedience. — 
24. I have spoken of it in this place 
  - that the prioress 
      may be on her guard, and 
  - that the sisters may 
     fear and consider, 
           and 
     examine themselves 
  why they draw near 
     to receive so great a gift.  (Communion)
If to please God,
    they know already 
that He is better pleased 
       by obedience 
than 
       by sacrifice.                                    [5]
If that be so, 
     and I merit more, 
why am I troubled ? 
I do not say 
  that they are not to feel a lowly sorrow, 
     because all have not attained 
          to the perfection of feeling none 
                  (feeling no sorrow)
      - merely by doing 
        that  which they know to be 
             the more pleasing unto God ; 
for if  the will is perfectly detached 
  from all selfish considerations, 
it is clear that 
there will be no sense of pain ;
on the contrary,
  there will be a great joy
because the opportunity has arrived 
  for giving pleasure to our Lord 
    by so costly a sacrifice; 
the soul will humble itself, 
  and be satisfied 
with communicating spiritually. 
But as  in the beginnings, 
    and  in the end too, 
  it is of the goodness of our Lord 
    that we have these great desires 
        of drawing near unto Him
  souls may be allowed 
    to feel some uneasiness and pain 
when they are refused communion,
yet they must 
   possess their souls in peace, and 
   make acts of humility 
because of that refusal. 
I say beginnings, 
  because much must be made thereof, 
     and 
  because the sisters are not so strong 
     in the other matters 
   pertaining to perfection 
     of which 1 have been speaking. 
25. None to judge themselves. 
25. But if there should be 
             any trouble, or anger, 
             or impatience 
      with the prioress or confessor, 
 believe me 
    the desire for communion 
       is a plain temptation. 
       (Or)  if any one is bent 
          on communicating 
      when the confessor has forbidden her 
          to go to communion.
I would not have the merit 
    she may gain thereby, 
because in such matters as this 
    we must not be judges for ourselves. 
He is to be the judge 
  who has the power 
of binding and loosing. 
May it please our Lord 
   to give us light, 
that we may be wise 
   in matters of so much importance; 
and 
may we never be without His help, 
  that we may not use His graces 
so as to turn them into occasions 
  of displeasing Him. 

                     Foot Notes:
[1
 See Arbiol, Desengahos Mistuos, 
  lib. ii. ch. v. p. 198. 
  Card. Bona, "De Discretione Spirituum"
  ch. xiv. § 4, says: 
   'Interdum etiam raptus 
       creditur ab inexpertis, 
    quod est deliquium; 
    de qua re 
       diffuse tractat, et profert exempla 
             S. Theresa 
    in libro Fundationum.' 
Blog Note: (Rough transalation)
   Cardinal Joannes Bona 
    (O. Cist., cardinalis)
   "The Discernment of Spirits"
     Chapter 15: Paragraph #4:
   "...At times also was caught up
         it was believed by the inexperienced,
           that is a swoon /faint
      of those events/things from
          the general/expansive text 
          and examples 
       provided by St. Teresa
          in the Book of Foundations."
    ____________________________
[2]
"According to the Reforma
   (Bk V. vi. ch. xx.) 
 the two nuns were 
    Sister Alberta-Bautista, 
      of the convent of Medina del Campo, 
    who 
       - was professed 6th September 1569, 
       - filled the office of prioress from 1577 
          till 1580, and died 26th August 1583;    
  and the lay sister Agnes of the Conception, 
       - professed 13th Nov. 1570, 
         who died in 1592. 
   ____________________________
[3]
 "As S. Peter of Alcantara 
     died 18th Oct. 1562, 
  the facts related by the Saint 
     in the text 
  must have taken place 
  when she was yet 
    a nun in the monastery of the Incarnation. 
      ________________________
[ 4]
 "It may be safely gathered 
     from the praise of the confessors, and 
     from the contempt of self expressed 
         in this passage, 
   that the Saint is speaking of herself." 
   __________________________
[5]
"I Reg: XV: 22
 ' Melior est enim obedientia quam victimae.' 

Blog Note:
Samuel: 1:15:22
For obedience is better than sacrifices: 
and to hearken 
    rather than to offer the fat of rams. 

Matthew 12:7 
If you had known what these words mean, 
'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' 
you would not have condemned the innocent. 
Mark 12:33 
To love him with all your heart, 
     with all your understanding and 
     with all your strength, and 
to love your neighbor as yourself 
  is more important 
than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."  
_____________________________


               End of Chapter 6
                    of the 
          Book of the Foundations
             of S. Teresa of Jesus 
  of the Order of our Lady of Carmel   



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