Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - Chapter 14 - 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 14

        Chapter 14 Contents
 - Continuation Of The Foundation 
       Of The First House 
       Of DisCalced Carmelite Friars. 
 - Some Account 
      Of Their Life 
      Of The Improvement 
            Of Those Hamlets 
   To The Honour  And Glory Of God   
  1. S. John of the Cross goes to Duruclo. —

  2. Fray Antonio resigns 
          the office of prior.— 
  3. Poverty. — 
  4. The houses of Carmel to be poor. — 
  5. The new Carmelite house of friars. — 
  6. Its poverty. — 
  7. The fathers go about preaching. — 
  8. A better house is offered 
           to the friars. — 
  9. The miraculous well in Mancera. — 
10. State of the house in Duruelo. — 
 11. The Saint thought the friars
           too severe with themselves. 
          CHAPTER 14
1. S. John of the Cross goes to Duruclo. 
When I had obtained the consent 
       of the two provincials 
   I thought I wanted nothing more. 
We  arranged that the Father, 
     Fray John of the Cross                      [1]
  should  go to the house and furnish it, 
      so that somehow or other 
  it might be gone into, 
   I made all the haste I could 
       to begin
   because I was very much afraid 
      that some hindrance might arise. 
     And so it was done.                              
2. Fray Antonio resigns the office of prior. 

The Father,  Fray Antonio 
    had already provided 
          some necessary things, 
  we helping him as much as we could,
          but it was not much. 
He came here to Valladolid 
     to speak to me in great joy, 
     told me what he had got together. 
It was little enough:
 he had provided 
     only hour-glasses, 
  of which he had five, 
      and that amused  me much. 
He said he was not going 
   without provision for keeping regular hours. 
I believe he had 
    not even wherewithal to sleep on. 
There was a little delay 
    in getting the house into order, 
because there was no money, 
    though they had wished to do much. 
When all was done, 
    the father Fray Antonio 
       - gladly resigned the priorate,             [2] 
       - promised to observe the primitive rule, 
    for, though they asked him to try it first, 
          he would not. 
He went to the little house 
    with the greatest joy in the world. 
Fray John being there already. 
3. Poverty.  
The Father, Fray Antonio has told me
  - that when he came in sight 
        of the little hamlet 
      he felt an exceedingly great inward joy;
  -  that he thought he had now done 
       forever with the world, 
       abandoning all things, and 
       throwing himself into that desert
Neither of them thought 
   the house in any way bad: 
so far from it, 
  they looked on themselves as settled 
 in great comfort. 
O my God, 
how little these buildings 
     and outward satisfactions 
   furnish for the inner man ! 
I beg of you, 
    for the love of Him, 
my sisters and fathers, 
   never to be otherwise 
        than most moderate 
   in the matter of large 
         and sumptuous buildings: 
let us remember our true founders, 
  those holy fathers 
from whom we are sprung, 
for we know it was 
   by the way of poverty and humility 
 that they attained to the vision of God
4. The houses of Carmel to be poor. 
Truly I have seen  
       greater spirituality 
                    and also 
       greater inward joy 
          where bodily conveniences seemed
                 to be wanting 
       than I have seen later on 
                 the house was large 
                 the comforts many. 
If the house be large, 
   what good does that bring to us ?            [3]
We are to live 
    only in one cell, 
and if that be 
    very spacious and well made, 
         what is it to us ? 
         for it is not our business 
               to be looking at the walls. 
    If we consider 
         this is not the house 
     which is to last for ever, 
     but only for so short a time 
         as life is, 
      however long that may be, 
         everything will be sweet to us 
      when we see 
          that the less we possess on earth 
               the more we shall have in eternity
       where the dwellings answer to that love
          wherewith we have imitated the life
             of our good Jesus. 
If we say, as we do,
   that these are the beginnings  
       of a restoration of the rule 
           of the Virgin Mother
       our Lady and Protectress,
 let us not do so much wrong 
             to her, 
             to our  holy fathers 
                  who have gone before us, 
     as to fail to make our lives 
                   consistent with them; 
and if, by reason of our weakness, 
    we cannot do so in all things, 
we should be very cautious 
    about  those things 
which neither injure nor sustain life;  
for,  after all, 
it is only a little pleasant labour, 
  as those two fathers found it, 
  and if we make up our minds 
        to bear it 
  all the difficulty is past
   for the whole pain is 
        but a little in the beginning
5. The new Carmelite house of friars. 
On the first or second Sunday 
    in Advent  of the year 1568 
      — I do not remember 
           which of the two Sundays it was.   [4]
    the first mass was said 
      in that little porch of  Bethlehem; 
   I do not think it was any better. 
   In the following Lent 
      I passed by on my way to Toledo 
for the foundation there. 
I arrived one morning; 
Fray Antonio of Jesus was sweeping 
    the door of the Church 
          with a joyful countenance, 
         which he ever preserves. 
I said  to him, 
      'What is this, father ? 
       What has become of your dignity ?'
He replied in these words, 
      showing the great joy he was in: 
      'I execrate the time 
          wherein I had any,' 
As I went into the church 
   I was amazed to see the spirit 
 which our Lord had inspired there
and I was not the only one,
   for two merchants, friends of mine, 
who had come with me from Medina, 
   did nothing but cry, 
there were so many crosses, 
    so many skulls ! 
6. Its poverty. — 
I can never forget 
    one little cross of wood 
      by the holy water, 
  to which a picture of Christ on paper 
     was fastened; 
it seemed to cause more devotion 
    than if it had been made 
        of some material 
    most admirably fashioned. 
The choir was the garret, 
   which was lofty in the centre, 
so that they could say the office in it, 
    but they had to stoop very low 
       to enter it and hear mass. 
In the two corners of it 
   next the church 
they had two little hermitages 
   filled with hay, 
  for the place was very cold, 
     in which they must 
          either lie down 
          or sit; 
   the roof almost touched their heads. 
There were two little openings 
    into the church, 
    and two stones for pillows;        
    there were also crosses and skulls         
I understood that when matins were 
    they did not go back to their cells 
            till Prime, 
    but remained here in prayer, 
        in which they were so absorbed 
    that they went and said Prime 
      when the time came, 
    having their habits covered with snow, 
         but they did not know it.                   
They said the office 
     with another Father                             [5]
               of the mitigated rule, 
         who came to stay with them, 
              though he did not change his habit, 
          because he was very infirm, 
     with another young friar,                    [6]
              not in orders, 
          who also was staying with them. 
7. The fathers go about preaching.        
They used to go out to preach
    in many places around 
 where the people needed instruction, 
  and that also made me glad
    that the house was established there, 
 for I was told 
   that there was 
      no monastery near, 
      nor the means of supporting one, 
   which was a great pity. 
They obtained 
      so good a name 
      in so short a time 
as to give me the very greatest pleasure 
    when I heard of it. 
They went, 
         as I am saying, 
   a league and a half and two leagues 
  bare-footed to preach  
    —  for at that time they wore no sandals, 
          which they were afterwards 
                ordered to wear  —                   [7]
and that in the cold, 
  when the snow was deep, 
and when they had preached 
        and heard confessions, 
   came horne very late to their meal 
        in the monastery: 
all this was as nothing 
    because of their joy.                                
Of food they had enough, 
   for the people of the neighbourhood around
furnished them with more 
   than they had need of, 
    and some noblemen 
         who lived near 
      came to confession, and 
      offered them better houses and sites. 
One of these was Don Luis
   lord of  the Five Towns. 
8. A better house is offered to the friars.  
This nobleman had built a church 
    wherein to put a picture of our Lady
 which was certainly 
     most worthy of veneration. 
His father had sent it 
  by a merchant from Flanders 
to his grandmother or mother, 
                I forget which. 
He was so fond of it
  that he 
       - kept it by him 
                for many years, 
      and afterwards, 
                when he was dying,
       - sent for it. 
It is a large picture, 
   and in all my life 
      I have never seen a finer one; 
      others also have said as much. 
The Father,  Fray Antonio of Jesus, 
    having gone to that place 
         at the request of the nobleman 
    seen the picture, was so struck by it, 
         and justly so, 
    that he consented 
       to remove the monastery thither
The name of the place was Mancera
Though there was no well there, 
   nor any means apparently of having one, 
the nobleman  
   - built them  a small  monastery             [8]
          in keeping with their profession, 
   - gave them the sacred vestments. 
He was most generous to them.                  [9]
9. The miraculous well in Mancera.  
I  do not like to leave unsaid 
  how our Lord supplied them with water;
 It was considered miraculous
One day after supper 
       Fray Antonio, the prior, 
  was in the cloisters 
       with the friars 
   speaking of the distress they were in 
       for water; 
the prior rose up and took his stick, 
  which he used to carry in his hands, 
and in one part of it 
    made the sign of the cross, 
           as I think,
           but I do not distinctly remember 
           if he made a cross; 
           be that as it may, 
   he pointed out with his stick 
     and  said, 
       'Now dig here.' 
  They had dug but very little 
    when the water rushed
            in such abundance 
    that it is difficult to drain it off                 
        even when the well has to be cleared, 
  and it is very good for drinking; 
  they have used it for every purpose 
       of the house, 
   and, as I said, it never fails.                  [10]
Afterwards they enclosed a garden, 
   and tried to find water in it, 
and, having made a machine                   [11]
    for drawing it, 
       and that at great cost, 
  even to this day 
     they have not been able to find any, 
however scantily .                                    [12] 
10. State of the house in Duruelo.  
Then, when I saw the little house,         [13]
which just before 
      it was not possible to stay in, 
   filled with such a spirit 
that, look where I would, 
    I found matter of edification, 
and when I heard 
    of their way of life, 
    of their mortification and prayer, and 
    of the good example they were giving
           (for I was visited there 
             by a nobleman and his wife 
               whom I knew, 
                who lived in the neighbourhood, 
                who could not speak enough 
                    of their holiness, and 
                    of the good they were doing 
                in the villages), 
    I could not give thanks enough
         to our Lord 
       in my excessive joy, 
    for I thought I saw a work begun for 
         the great increase of the order and 
         the service of our Lord. 
May it please His Majesty 
     to carry it on 
  as it is going on now, 
then what I thought will become really true ! 
The merchants 
    who had come with me 
  said that they would not have missed 
     coming for the whole world. 
What a thing goodness is ! 
These men were more pleased 
    with the poverty they saw 
 than with all the wealth they possessed, 
and their souls were satisfied and consoled. 
11. The Saint thought the friars
           too severe with themselves. 
When the fathers and myself 
   had discussed certain matters in particular 
I asked them earnestly, 
      as I am weak and wicked, 
   not to be so severe with themselves 
      in certain penances 
   which they carried very far. 
As it had cost me 
       many sighs and prayers 
  to obtain from our Lord 
      those who would make a beginning, 
   and as I saw how good the beginning was, 
      I feared lest Satan might be seeking 
how to kill them 
     before my expectations could be realised. 
As I am imperfect and of little faith, 
   I did not consider 
     - that this was a work of God, 
     - that His Majesty would have 
            to carry it on.  
They, however, 
       having gifts I had not, 
   made light of my advice 
       to give up their practices; 
  and so I came away 
      in the greatest consolation, 
   though I did not praise God worthily
      for so great a grace. 
May it please His Majesty 
  of His goodness 
that I may become worthy 
   to render Him some service 
for the great debt I owe Him ! 

For I saw clearly 
that this was a 
   much greater grace 
       on His part 
  than was that which He gave me 
      in founding the houses of nuns. 

         Foot Notes:
 S. John of the Cross 
    left Valladolid 30th September, 
       having received 
         the new habit of the Reform 
       from S. Teresa herself, 
    in all probability at Medina del Campo 
        in July or August. 
  (See a learned article on this question 
    by Fr. Gerardo de S. Juan de la Cruz 
   in El Monte Carmelo, Burgos, 1909, 
    858 sqq.) 
   His superiors gave him leave 
      to renounce the mitigated, 
      to practise the severities 
          of the primitive rule. 
   He arrived at Duruelo 
      at the end of September, 1568
   and, having spent the night in prayer,
        placed the habit on the altar and 
        blessed it, 
   when he had said mass put it on, 
    the first friar of the Reform
         of  S. Teresa
   [ Life of  S. John of the Cross, 
       by Jerome of S. Joseph. ]
 Fray Antonio was prior of S. Anne, 
     in Medina del Campo, 
  a house of the mitigated observance. 
  He arrived at Duruelo 
       on 27th November, 
   being then fifty-eight years old. 
 See Way of Perfection, ch. ii: # 7  
 and the Visitation  of the Nunneries #13.
 It was Sunday, 28th November 1568,
   and therefore the first Sunday in Advent. 
  S. John of the Cross 
     had been saying mass 
        for two months there,
   but as he was alone 
     it could not be said of the house 
        that it was a monastery. 
  Fray Antonio brought with him 
      a laybrother, 
   so that there were now three religious
        - tres faciunt collegium — 
   and the monastery could be formed. 
   After the mass, in conformity 
      with the custom of S. Teresa, 
    the friars changed their names: 
      Fray Antonio de Heredia 
          became Fray Antonio of Jesus
      Fray John of  S. Mathias
        (became) Fray John of the Cross
        Fray Joseph, the laybrother, 
                became Fray Joseph of Christ
       Soon after the provincial arrived 
         and made 
             Fray Antonio, prior, 
          Fray John of the Cross sub-prior
             Fray Joseph, porter and sacristan
             [ Reforma, bk. ii. ch. xx. 2] 
 The name 
      of the 'father of the mitigated rule' 
   is not known.
 the brother was Fray Joseph of Christ, 
    already mentioned. 
  He, however, lost courage 
    and returned to the old observance. 
   The Constitutions 
        of the Discalced friars, 
    written by Rubeo [see Appendix] 
    say: 'let them go barefooted, 
         except in cold places where 
      they may wear sandals or sabots.' 
     Father Gratian, in 1575,
        gave a similar order, 
      either to be altogether barefooted 
           or to wear alpargatas 
       which protect only the sole of the foot. 
     But some friars
           through an excess of austerity 
       wished to make it obligatory 
       for all to dispense with alpargatas 
        quoted S. Teresa as their authority, 
        who thereupon, in a letter 
              to Father Mariano, 
              dated 12th December 1576, 
        loudly protested against the imputation, 
        saying she preferred 
          that men of talent and learning 
            should enter the Order,
         than that the friars 
            by their exaggerations 
         should frighten away those 
            who wished to join them. 
      The chapter of  1581 
         laid down the rule 
       that the friars should wear alpargatas 
        (made of the fibre of a kind of cactus), 
        and this custom was kept up 
            among the Spanish Carmelites 
         until their union 
           with the Italian Congregation (1875). 
       The latter had from the first 
         adopted the use of  sandals 
            made of leather. 
        See also Oevres, iii. 191, n. I. 
  Don Luis of Toledo 
  was a near relative 
           of the dukes of Alva, 
   the picture is spoken of 
     by Fray Francis de Santa Maria 
    as being one he had never seen surpassed 
       in Italy or Spain. 
    It represented our Lady 
        with our Lord, an Infant, in her arms, 
      attended by two angels 
    [Reforma, bk. II. ch xxxix. 3] 
 The translation was made 
      with great solemnity 
   on the feast of  S. Barnabas, 
     11th June 1570.- 
    Fray Antonio, 
       who had been preaching 
            at Mancera in Lent, 
     had also worked as a labourer 
        in the building of the monastery, 
     and when it was finished 
         begged the provincial
     to honour the translation with his presence. 
     Fray Alonso Gonzalez
          not only came himself, 
          but took others with him, 
    and brought the barefooted friars 
       in procession 
     from Duruelo to Mancera
    and then sang the first mass 
       in the new monastery. 
     Don Luis, the benefactor, 
        had his reward, 
      for his daughter,
              Dona Isabel de Leyva,
          became a nun, and 
          was professed in the Carmelite house 
               in Salamanca in 1588; 
      and his eldest son, 
             Don Enrique de Toledo 
      also received  the habit of Carmel 
            in Salamanca, 
      as Fray Luis of Jesus
         and died holily in Segovia in 1598 
      [ Reforma Bk. 11. ch. xxxix. 4,5].
   So abundant was the stream of water 
    that it overflowed the cloisters, 
    and it was feared 
       it might injure the foundations, 
     which were not strong. 
    Fray Antonio thereupon cried out. 
    'We ask for water, Lord, 
       but not for a flood.'
   The water ceased to flow 
       and remained in the well, 
    but always within reach 
     [ Reforma, bk. ii, ch. xli. i). 
    As to the 'machine ' 
        see Life, xi. 1 1. 
 The health of the fathers 
   failed them in Mancera, 
  and the bishop of Avila, 
    Don Lorenzo de Otayud
      who had a great veneration 
           for the order, 
    begged them to remove to Avila
   He supplied all that was necessary, 
     as the founder of the new convent 
   which, after several sites had been tried,   
      was finally established 
              on the grounds occupied 
        by the paternal house of S. Teresa.
 A chapel has been built 
     where she is supposed to have been born,    
 though there are different opinions 
     as to the exact spot. 
 The 'little house ' in  
    though thus abandoned, 
  was never forgotten in the order, 
   and friars went from Mancera 
     from time to time 
    on a pilgrimage to the place, 
    which they regarded 
       as the cradle of the Reform
    On 28th November 1585, 
      the anniversary of the foundation, 
     the monastery of Mancera 
           went in procession thither, 
         wearing no sandals, with bare feet. 
     The prior of Mancera, 
          Fray Nicolas of S. Cyril
       sang the mass, 
       which was the aurora mass 
           of the Nativity, 
      and Fray Vicente de Cristo preached 
          a sermon on Genesis xl. 13: 
        restituet te in gradum pristinum 

          [ Blog note: Douay- Rheims Bible
            "will remember your service, and   
              will restore you to your former place"
                 [ genesis 40:13]     ]
         The friars were intent 
            only on celebrating 
                the restoration of the order, 

            but the words were prophetic 
                in another sense, 
           for there grew up a great desire 
              to establish a community in Duruelo,
          and at last the order purchased 
            the place from the heir 
                 of the original donor, 
            to whom it seems to have reverted 
             on Its abandonment by the friars. 
          The purchase was completed 
              4th September 1612, 
           but it was not till February, 1640, 
              that the chapter of the order 
           admitted the restored foundation 
              among the houses of Carmel 
                [ Reforma, bk. 11. chs. xl. and xli.]
           At present nothing is left of the chapel,
            but the conventual buildings 
                 are used for farming.  

           End of  Chapter 14 
                     of the 
          Book of the Foundations
             of S. Teresa of Jesus 
  of the Order of our Lady of Carmel 

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