Friday, August 12, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - Discussion of Chapter 16 - 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 16 


        Chapter 16 Contents
 Of Certain Things That Took Place 
    In This Convent Of S. Joseph Of Toledo,   
 To The Honour And Glory Of God 
 1. Ann of the Mother of God. — 
 2. Resigns her possessions 
       before being professed. — 
 3. Obedience of the nuns. — 
 4. Austerities. — 
 5. Death of a nun. — 
 6. Peaceful death of Carmelites. — 
 7. Story of a gambler. — 
 8. Penitent in the hour of death. —

      Discussion of Chapter 16 
  The occurrences "that took Place 
        in this Convent of S. Joseph of Toledo,    
       to the honour and glory of God"

  St. Teresa's Advice for the Prioresses
       Regarding Obedience and Austerities


   The occurrences "that took place 
          in this Convent of S. Joseph of  Toledo,    
       to the honour and glory of God"
 St. Teresa wants to describe:
    - the graces  that the Lord granted to the nuns
        of the Monastery of St. Joseph in Toledo
    - those efforts and virtues of those
         who "laboured in the service of our Lord"
       in order that they 
          who shall come after them 
       may endeavour to imitate 
        these good beginnings. 
                                                       [Foundations: Ch. 16: #1 ]
      "So much is done...
          to the honour of our Lord, 
      in His servants.
                                            [Foundations: Ch. 16: #4 ]
 St. Teresa gave many examples
     "Of certain things that took place 
          in this convent of  S. Joseph of  Toledo,    
       to the honour and glory of  God".
   "Anne of the Mother of God
       Ana de la Palma 
       who had spent her whole life 
           in the service of God; 

        ...was a wealthy widow,
       she chose rather 
           the poverty and obedience in the order...
       
       and made her profession in Toledo, 
           15th  November  1570"    
                                                         [Foundations: Ch. 16: #1 
                                                                         & Foot note #1 ]
      St. Teresa said of her:
      "why I speak of her here is this: 
           Before she made her profession, she
             - resigned all her possessions 
                           — she was very rich — 
                   and 
             - gave them as an alms to this house.
       When advised 
             this "was a dangerous thing to do"
        since she may "repent ..it herself"
             or not be admitted to the Order, 
        she said:
             
            "that if it should so happen 
              she would beg her bread 
                   for the love of God".
                                                      [Foundations: Ch. 16: #2 ]
   "So mortified and obedient 
            were the nuns"
                                                      [Foundations: Ch. 16: #3 ]
    Sister Petronila of S. Andrew 
       By this account of the peaceful death of a nun,
         is exemplified 
          - "trust...in the goodness of God
              that He will have compassion on us 
                in the hour of  death, 
              through the merits
                of His Son, 
                   and 
                of His glorious Mother, 
                   whose habit we wear."
          - "a certain peace and quiet 
               which was like...the tranquillity of prayer, 
               with no signs of any temptation".
                                             [Foundations: Ch. 16: #6 ]
                                                     [Foundations: Ch. 16: 
                                                                             Foot note #4 ]
         God "would in the same way 
                    protect all the nuns 
               who should die in these monasteries, 
                ...they ought not to fear temptations 
                    in the hour of death".
                                                     [Foundations: Ch. 16: #5 ] 

               "we should make much of this grace".
              "Let us then, my daughters,
                  strive to become true Carmelites
                for the journey will soon be over"          
                                                     [Foundations: Ch. 16: #6 ]
              "that we may 
                  live as true daughters of the Virgin, 
                       and 
                  keep our rule, 
              that our Lord may show us the mercy 
                 which He has promised us !   Amen. 
                                                     [Foundations: Ch. 16: #8 ] 
 ⌂ The benefits and graces of God on the populace
       and the labors of those Priests and others
          who consult and pray for them.
         Contrasted to the peace of the dying nun,
           was the story of  the distress of "the gambler".
         By this story, she describes both 
           ▪  "the distress 
                    that comes upon men at this time, 
                                  and 
                 the cunning and deceit 
                     with which Satan tempts them"
                                        [Foundations: Ch. 16: #6 ]
                "making him believe 
                     that it was of no use whatever
                  to repent in the hour of death."
                                         [Foundations: Ch. 16: #7 ] 
            ▪ The Compassion of God
               His confessor tried to advise and solace him
                "but he would not 
                        have gained his cause 
                 if our Lord had not had compassion 
                    upon (the gambler)
                 by softening his heart"
               "and others must have prayed 
                     very earnestly to our Lord
                 for the sick man found mercy"
               He made his confession most humbly,
                and received the sacraments 
                     with such devotion 
                that, as far as we can judge 
                      according to our faith,
                 he was saved. 
                                                     [Foundations: Ch. 16: #8 ] 


  St. Teresa's Advice for the Prioresses
       Regarding Obedience and Austerities
        
      Prudence in decision making and speech
          "for the sisters did 
                      what ( a prioress)  told them
            though (the prioress)  might be speaking 
                  without reflection. 
         St. Teresa gave examples of  a nun
               performing  risks to health  
         while "thinking she was doing 
               the greatest service in the world to God".
                                                  [Foundations: Ch. 16: #3 ]
       Restraint and moderation in austerities:
           "showing their great mortification
                 so much so 
            that it became necessary 
            for learned men 
                 - to explain to them 
                      wherein obedience consisted
                                and 
                 - to lay some restraints upon them, 
                      for they were doing strange things, 
            and if it had not been 
               for their good intentions 
            their demerits would have outweighed 
               their merits
                                                 [Foundations: Ch. 16: #4 ]


            End of  the Discussion 
                   of Chapter 16 
                         of the 
            Book of the Foundations
                of S. Teresa of Jesus 
  of the Order of our Lady of Carmel  
  

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