Friday, July 29, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - Discussion of Chapter 10 - 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 
          Discussion of Chapter 10 

      Chapter 10  Contents
1. The Saint accepts a house 
           near Valladolid. — 
2 . Sudden death of Don Bernardino. — 
3. The Saint arrives at Valladolid 
          10th August. — 
4. The first mass. — 
5. The Saint sees the soul of Don Bernardino
          in a vision. — 
6. Illness of the Community. — 
7. The nuns remove to the new house, 
           3rd February 1569.— 
8. The story of a widow and her children. — 
9. Family vanity. — 
10. Don Antonio de Padilla. — 
11. Poverty. — 
12. One sister renounces her inheritance 
           in favour of her youngest sister. — 
13. The younger sister's history. — 
14. She will give up the world. — 
15. And enter into religion. 

Discussion of Chapter 10 
▪ The Story of  the Foundation, Valladolid 
▪  Our Lord is pleased by service to His Mother
▪  The Providence of God
▪  The Virtues of Poverty in Spirit, Detachment,  and
    her Recommendations to parents in this regard

   The Story of  the Foundation, Valladolid

▪ The Monastery at Valladolid 
         had its beginnings 
    "Four or five months 
         before the foundation 
      of the Monastery of S. Joseph in Malagon"
                [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #1 ]
    "Don Bernardino de Mcndoza
         brother of the Bishop of Avila" 
      offered his house in Valladollid
          to St. Teresa for  a monastery. 
                [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #1: Footnote #1 ]
 ▪  Similar to the experience 
       at Medina del Campo
   the building was found to be in poor condition,
      but the foundation was established despite this.
   St. Teresa persevered in the establishment 
      of this monastery because:
      ◦ Don Bernardino de Mcndoza,
          "made the offer so generously,
              (so) I was unwilling 
                 - to refuse it or 
                 - to trouble his devotion.
                          [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #1 ]
      ◦  She was concerned for the soul
              of  Don Bernardino:
          Then, Don Bernardino de Mcndoza,
              who donated the property
           had died soon thereafter.
           Our Lord had told her that 
            "he would be detained in purgatory 
                 till the first mass should be said there
              when he would be delivered". 
           "The dread penalties of this soul 
                 were so constantly before me that,  
             I...made all the haste I could 
                 to found, as well as I could,
             the house in Valladolid."
                         [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #2 ]
      ◦  It was of establishing the Discalced Carmelites
             in that city:    
             "I thought, however, 
                 we might make our way into the city 
               if once we had possession of  that place".
 ▪  St. Teresa descrbed some of the problems:  
       ◦ "it could not fail to be unwholesome, 
                 for it was close to the river".
                           [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #3 ]
        ◦ "I saw how foolish it would be 
                 for nuns to remain there, 
             except at a very great cost"
                             [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #3 ]
        ◦ "I sent for workmen...
              began to have the ruined walls 
                  filled up with clay 
               to secure our privacy, 
               and to do whatever else was necessary. 
                        [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #4 ]

        ◦ "it was a quarter of  a league 
               from the city"
                            [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #1 ]
                  (approximately   9/10 mile)
             "the entrance of the far away"
                           [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #3 ]
            It was far from populated or frequented areas
              and so would have been vulnerable to crime.
            This was in opposition to the regulations
               specified by the 
             Council of Trent: Session 25: Chapter 3
             Topic: "Concerning Regulars And Nuns")                                                    
                [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #1: & Footnote #2]
        ◦ "because it was a long way 
              to send alms to us"
                          [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #6 ]
        ◦ "because the place was unhealthy
           "We remained there 
                but a short time, 
              for nearly all of us fell very ill
                           [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #6 ]
              . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
   The Founding of  the original  Monastery
              of Valladolid:
   "On the feast of the Assumption 
       of our Lady, August 15, 1568
     we took possession of the monastery."
                 [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #6 ]
         . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 The Benefactors of the Monastery of  Valladolid
     were the brother and sister of 
              Don Alvaro de Mendoza. 
     who was the Bishop of the diocese in Avila and
      who had helped her when she was establishing
       her first foundation there.
  In paragraph #6,  St. Teresa 
   speaks of  Dona Maria de Mendoza
   "A lady, there living, observed...(their difficulties) 
     ... she is the sister of the Bishop of Avila".
      ...she told us to give up that house, 
         that she would find us another; 
                and so she did, 
      ...besides,  she supplied 
            all that was needful for us
                      [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #6 ] 

    Since it was
       "Don Bernardino de Mcndoza
             brother of the Bishop of Avila" 
         who offered his house in Valladollid 
             to St. Teresa for  a monastery, 
                [See Foundations: Ch. 10: #1: Footnote #1]
      it seems it was his own sister,
           Dona Maria de Mendoza
            ...the sister of the Bishop of Avila
       who saw the difficulties with her brother's house
        and later, donated a second  house 
          which would become the new monastery.
        "and the one she gave us 
            was worth much more"
                     [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #6 ]
   The new  Monastery of Valladolid
     "The nuns remove to the new house,
           3rd February 1569"
     "On the feast of S. Blasius 
       we went to our new house"
                     [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #7 ]
      And like the other foundations,
           the Monastery of Vallodolid
       brought great glory to God:
       "for our Lord 
             - works many graces in the house, 
             - has brought souls into it...  
                     to the praise of our Lord, 
        Who by means of them 
             was pleased 
                     to magnify His works, and
                     to show mercy to His creatures".
                         [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #7 ]

   The Providence of God
            "I had some confidence 
              that our Lord...
                   would come to our help"
                                     [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #4 ]
       The account of the Monastery of Valladolid
            reveals the Providence of  God  
         throughout by its many events:
            ◦ The donation of the property at Valladolid
                   by Don  Bernardino de Mcndoza
                       who was the brother 
                          of Don Alvaro de Mendoza
                               the Bishop of Avila 
                           who had assisted St. Teresa 
                               in the past.
            ◦ God's mercy 
                   to Don  Bernardino de Mcndoza
                   " that he was in the way of salvation"
                               [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #5 ]
            ◦   Resolution  of the problems of 
                      the poor condition and location
                  of the original monastery site.

                 Dona Maria de Mendoza
                 whose brother was also the Bishop of Avila
                    offered them 
                  assistance, supplies,  and  shelter: 
                     "Dona Maria took all the nuns
                         into her own house 
                       when she found their health failing,
                       assigned them rooms for their devotion,
                       and kept them till February 3rd 
                        in the following year, 
                      when they removed 
                         to the new monastery
                     [Foundations: Ch10: Footnote #10]
            ◦  The donation of a more suitable house
                  by Dona Maria de Mendoza.
            ◦  The Lord worked "many graces" 
                   in that monastery
                 and brought many nuns
                   who strived for holiness.
                   "for our Lord 
                        works many graces in the house, and 
                         has brought souls into it 
                            whose sanctity shall be recorded" 
                                        [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #7 ]

   Our Lord is greatly pleased 
        by services done for His Mother
      "how pleasing to our Lord 
           is any service whatever 
        done to His Mother
         His mercy is great. 
        Bless Him and praise Him forever 
        Who thus 
          - rewards our mean services 
               with everlasting life and blessedness, 
          - makes them great 
                when they are in themselves 
             but little worth".
                          [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #6 ]
       Of  Don Bernardino de Mcndoza, 
          St. Teresa said:
       The Lord "had had compassion upon him 
        because of the good work he had done 
            for His Mother 
        in giving his house for a monastery 
            of her order"
                [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #2 ]

  The Virtues of Poverty in Spirit,  Detachment, 
     her Recommendations to parents in this regard
     St. Teresa  speaks 
         of the temporality of  earthly goods
     and the permanence of  spiritual goods.
     She decries the deference
              given to riches, heirdom and inheritance
          in her day,
      while the "narrow gate" to God is disregarded.

         "How narrow is the gate 
            and constricting the way that leads to life! 
            And few there are who find it" [Mt. 7:14].
       St. John of the Cross wrote:  
        "He says the gate is narrow to teach
          that entrance through this gate of Christ...
             involves a divestment and narrowing 
                of the will 
             in relation to all sensible and temporal objects
          by loving God more than all of them.
          A person makes progress 
             only by imitating Christ,
          'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.'
                                                          [Jn. 14:6].
          'I am the door
           anyone who enters by me shall be saved' 
                                                          [Jn. 10:9].
           'If anyone wishes to follow my way
            let him deny himself, take up his cross 
                  and follow me.
            For whoever would save his soul will lose it, 
            but whoever loses it for me will gain it'."
                                                          [Mk. 8:34-35].
                   [Ascent of Mt Carmel: Bk2:Ch.7: #2]

              "As S. Peter and S. Paul never travelled 
                    by your road. 
                Perhaps you think 
                    that a new road has been made for you: 
                        Believe it not".
                                      [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #11 ]
               "O ye of noble birth, 
                     open your eyes for the love of God"
                            [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #11 ]
                   of  which there is to be an end...       
                   - perishing, and 
                   - deserves but scanty consideration. 
                                      [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #9]
       The Virtue  of   Poverty in Spirit
           St. Teresa speaks of the poverty of Christ:
            "What were  Thy possessions ? 
              Only toil, and sorrow, and insult. 
              Thou hadst nothing 
                  but the hard wood to rest on
              when undergoing the bitter anguish of death"
                   [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #11 ]
            "Ah, my God, 
             is not fitting 
                  that we should run away from suffering 
             if we 
              - would be Thy children indeed, 
              - not renounce the inheritance. 
              Thine armorial bearings are five wounds: 
              Then, my children, 
                   that must be also our device 
               if we are to inherit His Kingdom. 
              It is 
                   not ease, 
                   nor comfort, 
                   nor honours, 
                   nor riches 
               that will obtain for us 
                   what He purchased by so much blood. 
                                    [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #11 ]
                . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
         The Virtue of  Detachment
             St. Teresa described the detachment
               of  Dona Maria de Acuna
                     and her sons and daughters:

             -  "who showed us 
                     what the world is 
                   by despising it"
                                    [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #7 ]
             - "the son  began  to understand 
                     what the world is"
                                    [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #8 ]
             - "the desire of giving up all things  
                      grew within her. 
                                    [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #14 ]

                - "she made up her mind
                       to give (her affections) 
                     wholly unto God"
                                     [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #15 ]
                    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        Her Recommendations to parents 
            in regard to Poverty in Spirit and Detachment:
        • St. Teresa said it was a great blessing 
             to have parents 
           who so truly love their children 
             that they wish and strive  
                - for their permanent happiness with God
                - not for their earthly possessions and status
                  "O Lord, 
                    what a grand grace is that 
                        which Thou givest those 
                     to whom Thou givest such parents --
                         parents who love their children 
                              so truly 
                         as to wish them to find 
                              their inherited dignities, 
                              entailed estates, and wealth
                         in that blessedness 
                              which will never end ! 
                     What a sad thing it is 
                         the world is so wretched and blind 
                      that fathers think their honour lies...    
                         in the preservation of that which...
                                must come to an end !"
        •    St. Teresa spoke also of  parents
                 who might hinder their child's vocation
                because of  temporal matters:
                         at the cost of their own poor children, 
                       are resolved to 
                        - maintain their vanity, and 
                        - boldly withhold 
                          -- from God 
                              the souls He is drawing to Himself,
                          -- from those souls 
                                     so great a blessing; 
                       For, though 
                         - it be not one
                                that is to last for ever, 
                         - it is one to which God calls them, 
                         - it being a very great one 
                               to be delivered 
                            from the weariness and exactions 
                               of the world, 
                            and they are heaviest upon those 
                               whose possessions are the largest"
        • She prays that God guide parents regarding:
             ◦ how to truly love their children
                   as to guide them to God
             ◦ the true worth of all things:
                           "Open their eyes, O my God; 
                             Teach them 
                             - what that love is 
                                  which they are bound to have 
                                for their children, 
                             - that they may not do them 
                                   so much harm.."
                                        [ Foundations: Ch. 10: #9 ]

           End of  the Discussion 
                of Chapter 10 
                    of the 
         Book of the Foundations
           of S. Teresa of Jesus 
  of the Order of our Lady of Carmel  

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