Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - Discussion of Chapter 15 - 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 15 

        Chapter  15   Contents
 Treats Of The Foundation 
    Of The Monastery 
    Of The Glorious S. Joseph 
  In The City Of Toledo, 1569 
  1. Martin Ramirez. — 
  2. Is persuaded to found a monastery. — 
  3. The Saint consents to found a house 
          in Toledo. — 
  4. Difficulties. — 
  5. She speaks to the governor of Toledo. — 
  6. Who gives his consent. — 
  7. Martin of the Cross and Andrada. — 
  8. Andrada finds a house. — 
  9. Of which the Saint takes possession.- — 
 10. Preparation of the house. — 
 11. Troubles. — 
 12. Mass forbidden in the monastery. — 
 13. Poverty. — 
 14. Blessings of poverty. — 
 15. Pride of family. — 
 16. The Saint accepts in part 
          the conditions of Alvarez. — 
 17. The matter is settled. 


Discussion of Chapter 15 
  Efforts and Perseverance  for the Foundation
              at Toledo for the Nuns
  The Monastery of the Glorious S. Joseph 
                  14 May 1569
  The Love of Poverty
  Reactions to the Foundation
  Regret of the loss of Poverty
  Relocationing of the Foundation
            1570,  1594,  and 1607
  Virtue rather than  Descent / Lineage  
      The question of  rights to the Church's Chancel

   Efforts and Perseverance  
          for the Foundation
        at Toledo for the Nuns

 While "founding the house in Valladolid",
   St. Teresa was offered the means 
          of establishing a monastery in Toledo.
                     [Foundations: Ch. 15: #3 ]
 Martin Ramirez
    on the advise of Fr. Paul Hernandez
    aimed to make a donation 
 But because of a fatal illness, 
   "he left it all in the hands of his brother, 
          Alonso Alvarez Ramirez"
                            [Foundations: Ch. 15: #2 ]
 Difficulties in making arrangements 
   for the foundation resulted
 because "They began by insisting 
    on many conditions 
 which I did not think right to grant."
                                            [Foundations: Ch. 15: #3 ]
 "when the monastery                       '
     might have been founded 
      without trouble, 
   upon our agreeing with Alonso Alvarez, 
 He would not have it so, 
    but quite otherwise,
 in order that the foundation might be laid 
    in poverty and trouble"
                                            [Foundations: Ch. 15: #8 ] 
 Another problem was obtaining permision:
    "for at that time there was no archbishop"
     " I could not get permission, 
           for when the administrator 
       was a little softened,
            the members ot the council were not."
                                      [Foundations: Ch. 15: #4 ]
 Without the promised donation and 
 without permission or a license, 
   St. Teresa decided to persevere
 in a foundation at Toledo for the nuns.
 She speaks to the governor of Toledo
 I told him when I saw him 
 that it was a hard thing
  (that) there should be women 
    desirous of living
         in great austerity, perfection, 
         and retirement
   while persons 
           who did nothing of the kind, 
           but lived at their ease, 
    wished to hinder the doing 
         of those things 
    which are for the service of our Lord
                                            [Foundations: Ch. 15: #5 ]
   "His heart was so touched 
           that he gave me permission"
                                            [Foundations: Ch. 15: #6 ]
 And there were many  others who helped her:
          Alonso de Avila, 
               who was sent to help her
                   by the Franciscan Friar, 
                             Fray Martin of the Cross
                   who located a house for their monastery
                                             [Foundations: Ch. 15: #6 ]
 "Then, as we were satisfied with the house, 
  I ordered possession 
      to be taken at once 
  before anything could be done to it, 
     in order that there might be no hindrance
                                         [Foundations: Ch. 15: #9 ]

  The Monastery of the Glorious S. Joseph 
                  14 May 1569
 "Fray Juan Gutierrez de la Madalena
          Prior of the Carmelites, 
     said the mass. 
  The Most Holy Sacrament was reserved,  
      and formal possession was taken, 
      it being the feast of S. Boniface, 
          14 May 1569"      
                                                               [Foundations: Ch. 15: 
                                                                            Foot note # 14 ]
 Of the site, St. Teresa said:
       "It was so good 
         that we remained in it nearly a year "                                       
                                                       [Foundations: Ch. 15: #8 ]
  "The house was situated 
     on the Plazuela del Barrio Nuevo, 
   near the church 
       of Nostra Senora del Transito. 
   It was temporarily fitted as a convent 
      at the small expenditure of 100 reales"
                                                                [Foundations: Ch. 15: 
                                                                             Foot note # 13 ]

  The Love of Poverty
  The house was founded in poverty:
  They had two mattresses, a blanket,
       and two paintings of Christ for the altar.
  They didn't even have twigs 
       with which to provide warmth  
        or even to cook for themselves.
   "it was the will of God 
    we should learn by experience 
          the blessing of this virtue". 
                                          [Foundations: Ch. 15: #13]

    "To us, it was a great blessing, 
     for the inward comfort and joy 
         we then felt 
     was such as to make me often ponder 
         on the treasures 
    which our Lord has laid up in virtues
      The poverty we were in 
           seemed to me 
       as the source of a sweet contemplation"   
                                          [Foundations: Ch. 15: #14]

  Reactions to the Foundation
 "I saw afterwards 
      how hastily we had acted, 
  for then, 
      in the exaltation which comes from God,
  we saw no difficulties. 
 But, in addition to the consternation
     of the house's owner and neighbors,
 "when the members of the council heard 
     that the monastery was founded...  
   they were very angry"
                                         [Foundations: Ch. 15: #11 ]

 St. Teresa was assisted by 
  - "Don Pedro Manrique
          one of the canons of the church"
     who mediated this matter with the council.
      "He brought them over, 
          especially as the thing was done"
                                     [Foundations: Ch. 15: #4, 12]
  - "Fray Vicente Baron... 
      Her old friend the Dominican, 
          took up her cause at the same time"
                                   [Foundations: Ch. 15: 
                                                Foot note # 16 ]

  - "Alonso Alvarez (Ramirez) , 
         himself, and others 
      provided for us soon, 
      and that 
              in greater abundance 
              than we desired."

      So, the promised legacy of Martin Ramirez
       was given for the foundation.
             ( See conditions at bottom of page.)
                                        [Foundations: Ch. 15: #14 ]

  Regret of the loss of Poverty
      St. Teresa said of the virtue of Poverty:
           "I was in pain 
              when my poverty was ended, 
           and so were my sisters"
                                        [Foundations: Ch. 15: #14 ] 

          "From that time forth 
            the desire of being very poor 
               grew within me, 
            and I felt a strength to enable me 
                to hold in contempt 
            the goods of this world
           seeing that 
                in the absence of them 
             grows interior good
                which, of a truth, 
             brings with it,  fullness and rest".
                                      [Foundations: Ch. 15: #15 ]

 The Monastery is relocated in 1570

            "and by their help  (of the legacy)
                  we bought that 
             in which we are now living, 
            which is one of the good houses 
                   of Toledo, 
             and cost 12,000 ducats"
                                        [Foundations: Ch. 15: #17 ]

             The house bought with the money 
                   of Alonso Ramirez 
              was in the ward of S. Nicholas, 
                   opposite the Mint, 
               and was taken possession of in 1570"

   And  relocated in 1594:

          "but, as the charities founded by the family

                    proved a trouble and annoyance
                             to the nuns, 
               the monastery was removed 
                    to the house of Alonso Franco
               near the Misericordia, in 1594"

  And  relocated in 1607:

              "that proved too small for the nuns, 

                 and the Prioress Beatriz of Jesus
                     niece of S. Teresa, 
                 bought a house in the parish 
                     of S. Leocadia, 
                 near the Cambron gate, 
                     the palace of the Dukes of Medina Celi, 
                 where S. Teresa had been the guest 
                     of  Dona Luisa de la Cerda, 

                and transferred thither the community 
                     in 1607
                 where it still remains."
               "The foundations of the Ramirez family 
                    continued in their original site
                and were known as 
                   the oratory of  S. Joseph."
                        [Foundations: Ch. 15: Foot note # 22 ]

  Virtue rather than  Descent / Lineage  
     The question of rights 
            to the Church's Chancel
  The promised legacy of Martin Ramirez
       was given on condition  
    that the family would have rights to the chancel.

     "However, as the foundation was now made 
       I compromised the matter 
          by giving them the chancel, 
                 (Blog note:   chancel
                  space around the altar of a church 
                  for the clergy and sometimes the choir)
      but in the monastery, itself ,
          they were to have no rights"
                                            [Foundations: Ch. 15: #16 ]
      St. Teresa seesm to imply  a controversy 
         since "A great personage wished 
                 to have the chancel", 
                                            [Foundations: Ch. 15: #16 ]
         while The Ramirez family was
             "neither great 
                  nor noble, 
         though very good in its own place"
        "I did not pay much attention to this, 
                  for, thanks be to God, 
         I have always prized goodness 
              more than descent"
                                            [Foundations: Ch. 15: #15 ]
        "It pleased our Lord 
                  to give me light in the matter, 
        and so He said to me  at once,

        "How useless will birth and dignities be   
                  before the judgment-seat of God ! ' 
         And He gave me a  severe rebuke 
         because I had listened to those 
                 who spoke in this way,                  
         for these were not matters 
                which those who despised the world
         should think of.           
         [See Relation, 3:1]                    
                                            [Foundations: Ch. 15: #16 ]
         "When I was in the monastery of Toledo, and 
              some people were advising me
           not to allow any but noble persons 
               to be buried there, [644] 
           Our Lord said to me: 
               "Thou wilt be very inconsistent, 
                       My daughter, 
                 if thou regardest the laws of the world. 
                 Look at Me
                      poor and despised of men: 
                 are the great people of the world 
                      likely to be great in My eyes? 
                 Or is it descent or virtue 
                    that is to make you esteemed?"
                                             [ Relations: Ch. 3: #1 ]
            "Alonzo Ramirez wished to have
                 the right of burial in the new monastery, 
             but the nobles of Toledo 
                 looked on his request as unreasonable.
             See Foundations, chs. xv. and xvi."
                    [ Relations: Ch. 3: #1 - Foot note # 644 ]
        So, St. Teresa had not
             "respected the vain opinions of the world"

             "and it would have been 
                   a wrong done to him 
              who did us the charity 
              with so much goodwill
                                              [Foundations: Ch. 15: #17 ] 

            End of  the Discussion 
                   of Chapter 15 
                         of the 
            Book of the Foundations
                of S. Teresa of Jesus 
      of the Order of our Lady of Carmel   

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