Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - Discussion of Chapter 13 - 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 13 

        Chapter 13 Contents

  Treats Of The Foundation 
      And The Founder 
   Of The First House 
   Of Friars Under The Primitive Rule, 
      A.D. 1568 
1. The Friars of the Order. — 
2. Don Rafael Mejia Velasquez. — 
3. The Saint's journey to Duruelo. — 
4. Fray Antonio. — 
5. S. John of  the Cross. — 
6. Consent of the Provincial. — 
7. The Saint's  thanksgiving.  

    Discussion of Chapter 13 
The first foundation for
      friars under the primitive rule.
  St. John of the Cross observes 
       St. Terese following the primitive rule.

 The first foundation for
        friars under the primitive rule.
 St. Teresa begins the account 
   of the first foundation 
   of the Carmelite Discalced Friars,
  which was at Dueruelo 
    on November 28, 1568.  
  Don Rafael Mejia Velasquez. 
   "came to (St. Teresa)  to offer  as a gift 
       a house that he had"
                                            [ Foundations: Ch.13: #2 ]
   "The offer was made 
       in June, 1568, in Avila"
    where the Saint had returned 
       after founding the monastery of Malagon"
                           [ Foundations: Ch. 13: Footnote: #2 ]
                         (The monastery (for nuns) at Malagon 
                           was founded on April 11, 1568)
    So on the way to another foundation ,
       she set off   to see this house.
     "I left Avila in June..."
                                           [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #2 ]
     After a laborious journey, 
      St. Teresa and her companions 
             found the house to be
              - very small
              - in poor condition  
                 with an "exceeding absence of cleanliness".       
                                            [Foundations: Ch. 13: #3 ] 
Reactions to the site:
St. Teresa writes that  her companions 
     did not feel the site was suitable:
     - Sister Antonia of the Holy Ghost 
                           [ Foundations: Ch. 13: Footnote: #3 ]
          who was  herself,
                 "very much given to penance"
          said to me, 
                 'Certainly, Mother,
                  there is nobody
                         however great his spirituality, 
                      who can bear this         
                                           [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #3 ]
     - Father Julian of Avila,
          who was the chaplain of 
                 the foundation  in Avila, 
           the Monastery of St. Joseph

          "though of the same mind 
                with my companion the nun, 
           did not oppose me 
                 when I told him of my purpose. 
                                           [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #4]
But, as in the previous foundations,
    St. Teresa could envision the advantage of the site,
 as she later said to Fray Antonio of Jesus:
    - that since the consent "must be had"
          of the present and former Carmelite Provincials
      they "neither...would ever give us leave 
          if we were seen living 
                  in a large house; 
    - besides, there was no help for it, 
    - if they were settled in that little... house
          neither...would take any thought about them". 
    - that God would soon help him
    - that to begin was everything
                                          [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #4 ]
            . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .
In the past, she had made plans 
     with two Carmelite friars
  -  to found a monastery 
         for Discalced Carmelite Friars
          under the Primitive Rule.
  - "that they were to be the first to enter, 
      if we could found a monastery"
 Both friars were of the mitigated Carmelite rule
   but they observed the primitive rule
   These  two friars were:
    - Fray Antonio of Jesus
        who was  then 
          the "Prior of  the Monastery of S. Anne, 
                 in Medina, 
            of the order of  Carmel". 
         This was  a Carmelite monastery
            of  the  mitigated rule.
    - Fray John of the Cross
       "though he was  living 
          among the fathers of the mitigated rule, 
         he always led a perfect and religious life."
                                        [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #1 ]
            . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 
When she returned to Medina,
  she spoke to Fray Antonio of Jesus
     "he answered 
       that he would live not only there 
           but even in a pigstye"
                                          [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #4 ]
   "Fray John of the Cross 
       was of the same mind".
                                            [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #5]
  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 St. Teresa concludes this chapter
    with praise and thanksgiving to God.
      "What things I have seen
              in these foundations 
         that seemed impossible
         How easily His Majesty 
              overcame the difficulties ! 
                                          [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #7] 
   ▪ The work of  "repairing the house" was seen to.
                                           [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #5]
   ▪ The consent of the Provinical Fathers 
               was  obtained:
             "Dona Maria de Mendoza arrived, 
               and her brother, the Bishop of Avila
                ( Don Alvaro de Mendoza)
                   who has always
               helped and defended us, 
               and they obtained his consent at last...
                   ( Fray Alonso Gonzalez...
                      "the provincial of our order" )                     
               with that of the late provincial, 
                      Fray Angel de Salazar"
                                        [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #6 ]  
              [ The Bishop of Avila assisted with the
                    first foundation in Avila
                 and his sister assisted with the 
                    foundation at Valladolid.  ] 

          "...what we creatures did 
                    in these foundations 
               is as nothing
            Our Lord directed all 
                from beginnings so mean (meager)
             that only His Majesty 
                could have raised them 
              to the state they are in now.
                                          [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #7] 

  St. John of the Cross observes  
       St. Terese and the nuns
      following the primitive rule.
While, at this time,  Fray John of the Cross 
    learned much from St. Teresa,
 She  speaks of  his goodness 
    and how she would learn from him:

Fray John of the Cross observed  
 how St. Teresa and the Discalced Carmelite Nuns
   followed the primitive rule.
   "Fray John of the Cross had the means 
          of learning our way of life, 
     so that he might clearly 
           understand everything, 
      - both the mortifications we practise 
      - the sisterly affection 
           with which we treat one another, 
      - how we all come to recreation together, 
            which is so modestly carried on 
          that it 
             ◦ helps us to discover 
                   the shortcomings of the sisters, 
             ◦ is some slight comfort to ourselves, 
                   enabling us to endure
                the severity of the rule".
   He was so good 
   that I...might have learned 
         much more from him 
         than he  from me. 
    But I did not do so. 
     I only showed him the way 
           in which the sisters live. 
                                        [ Foundations: Ch. 13: #5 ] 

             End of  the Discussion 
                     of Chapter 13 
                           of the 
           Book of the Foundations
                of S. Teresa of Jesus 
  of the Order of our Lady of Carmel  

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