Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - Chapter 30 - 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 30      XXX


       Chapter 30       Contents
  The Foundation Of The Monastery 
     Of The Most Holy Trinity 

         In Soria, 
         In The Year 1581. 
  The First Mass Said 
   On the Feast of Our Father, S. Eliseus 
   1. Don Alonso Velasquez. — 
   2. The Saint consents to found in Soria. — 
   3. Story of the foundress of Soria. — 
   4. Preparations for the journey. — 
   5. Nicholas of Jesus-Mary. — 
   6. The journey. — 
   7.  The arrival. — 
   8. The Saint takes possession. — 
   9. Infirmity of the bishop. — 
 10. His meritorious life.— 
 11. The real founder of Soria. — 
 12. Pedro de Ribera. — 
 13. Hardships on the road. —
 14. The Saint's hopes of the monastery. —
           CHAPTER     30
                  I. H. S. 
 1. Don Alonso Velasquez.  
  
1
When I was in Palencia, 
      on the business 
      of the foundation now described, 
 I received a letter 
   from Dr. Velasquez,                               [1]
      Bishop of  Osma; 
I had had communications with him 
   when he was canon and professor 
          in the cathedral of Toledo, 
              and 
   when I was harassed by certain misgivings, 
for I knew he was 
       a most learned man and 
       a great servant of God, 
and so after many importunities  
   I persuaded him 
        to take upon himself 
               the care of  my soul, 
                   and 
       to hear my confession.                      [2]
Notwithstanding his many occupations, 
  yet, 
   - because I begged him  
              for the love of God
         to do it, and 
   - because he saw 
        what straits I was in, 
 he consented so readily 
      that I was surprised, 
and he confessed and directed me 
    all the time I remained in Toledo, 
which was long enough. 
I laid before him 
    the state of my soul 
        with exceeding plainness, 
    as I am in the habit of doing.  
The service he rendered me 
    was so very great 
that from that moment 
    my misgivings began to lessen. 
The truth is, 
there was another reason, 
    not to be told here. 
Nevertheless, he really did me 
   a great service, 
for he made me feel safe 
   by means of passages 
        from the Holy Scripture, 
   which is a way 
        that has most effect upon me 
   when I am certain 
    that he who speaks 
       - understands it, 
             and 
      - is also of good life: 
   I was certain of both in his case. 
2. The Saint consents to found in Soria.   
2
The letter was written by him in Soria, 
  where he then was. 
He told me 
 - that a lady, 
     who was his penitent there, 
            had spoken to him 
     about founding a monastery of our nuns
            of which he approved; 
 - that he had promised her 
     he would persuade me to go 
            and make a foundation there ; 
 - that I must not fail him; 
            and 
 - that if I thought it right to do so 
      I was to let him know, 
            and 
      that he would send for me. 
I was very glad, 
      for, setting aside 
      that it would be a good work 
           to make a foundation there, 
I wished 
   - to make known to him 
            certain matters 
         relating to the state of my soul 
            and also 
   - to see him, 
        because I have a great affection for him,
            the fruit of the great service 
        he has done me. 
  3. Story of the foundress of Soria. 
3
The lady the foundress was 
   Dona Beatrix de Veamonte and Navarre
       — for she was descended from 
             the kings of Navarre — 
    the child of 
      Don Francis de Veamonte,                 [3]
    of noble and illustrious lineage. 
She had been a wife for some years, 
   had no children, 
   was exceedingly wealthy, 
and for some time past 
   had resolved to found 
a monastery of nuns. 
She spoke of it to the Bishop, 
and he told her 
    of the order of our Lady,
   the barefooted Carmelites. 
She was so pleased 
 that she made great haste 
to carry out her purpose. 
She is 
     very gentle, generous, and mortified; 
            in a word, 
     a very great servant of God. 
She had in Soria 
    an excellent house, 
            well built and 
             in a very good situation, 
and said 
that she would give it to us, 
   with everything else 
that might be wanted for the foundation. 
She gave it, 
   together with a sum of money 
which, at twenty per mill maravedises, 
  would bring in five hundred ducats 
a year. 
The Bishop undertook to give 
    a very fine church 
         with a stone roof;
   it was the parish church close by, 
   which would have been useful 
         with a gallery leading into it. 
He might very well give it, 
   for 
    - it was poor, 
             and 
   - there were many churches in the town, 
             and 
   - he could assign the parish 
              to another church.
He gave me an account  of all this 
   in his letter. 
I discussed the whole matter 
   with the father provincial, 
who was then here, 
who with all my friends 
    decided that I was to 
       write by a special messenger 
               and 
       say they might come for me, 
    for the foundation of Palencia 
       was now made. 
I was very glad of it 
   for the reason I gave before. 
  4. Preparations for the journey.  
4
I began to collect the nuns ,
  I was to take with me: 
 they were seven 
      — the lady would rather have had
                more than fewer — 
   with one lay sister, my companion,      [4]
    and myself. 
A person came for us 
     at once and in haste ; 
and, as I told him 
   I would bring with me 
         two barefooted friars, 
I took the Father 
     Fray Nicholas of Jesus Maria,           [5]
 a man of great perfection and discernment 
               — a Genoese by birth. 
  5. Nicholas of Jesus-Mary.  
5
He was more than forty years old, 
         I believe, 
    when he received the habit 
      — at least he is now 
                upwards of forty, 
           and it was not long ago — 
but he has made such great progress 
   in a short time 
that it is clear our Lord chose him 
    to help the order, 
which he did, 
  in these days of persecutions, 
which were so full of trouble, 
because the others 
   who could have helped us 
were, some of them in exile, 
    others in prison. 
He, as he held no office
          — for as I have said, 
               he had not been long 
                in the order — 
   was not thought so much of: 
    that was the work of God, 
    that he might remain to help me. 
He is very prudent, 
    for when he was staying 
       in the monastery of the mitigation 
            in Madrid
    he was so reserved, 
       as if he had other affairs to transact,
 that they never discovered 
    he was engaged in ours, 
and so allowed him to remain. 
We wrote to each other continually, 
           for I was then in the monastery 
                 of S. Joseph's in Avila,           [6] 
                    and 
       discussed what was necessary
           to be done, 
       which was a comfort to him. 
This shows the difficulties of the order 
    at that time, 
seeing that they made so much of  me 
   according to the saying,                      [7]
        ' For want of better.' 
During the whole of this time 
  I had experience
        of his perfection and prudence, 
                and hence 
   he is one of those in the order 
       for whom I have a great affection
                  in our  Lord, 
       and whom I highly esteem. 
6. The journey. — 

6
He, then, 
         with a companion, a lay brother,    [8] 
  went with us.
I had no trouble on the road, 
  for he 
         whom the bishop had sent for us 
     took great care of us, and
     helped us to the utmost of his power 
           to find good lodgings, 
for when we entered the diocese of Osma 
  the people provided us 
         with good lodgings 
  on being told that our coming was 
the bishop's doing, 
  so great is their affection for him. 
The weather was fine, 
   and we made short journeys, 
so that there was 
   no fatigue in travelling, 
   only joy, 
for it was to me an exceeding great joy 
    to listen to what people said 
           of the holy life of the bishop. 
 7.  The arrival.  
7
We arrived at Burgo (Burgo de Osma)    [9] 
   the day before the octave
           of  Corpus Christi, 
and went to Communion on Thursday, 
     which was the day of the octave, 
  the morning after our arrival, 
      and dined there, 
because we could not reach Soria 
       (before ) next day.                             [10]
That night we spent in a church, 
    for there was no other place to lodge in, 
which did not displease us. 
The next morning we heard mass there, 
   and reached Soria 
about five in the afternoon.                       [11] 
The saintly bishop was at a window 
    of his house                                           [12]
when we passed, and 
    thence gave us his blessing; 
it was a great comfort to me, 
   for the blessing of a bishop and a saint
 is a great thing. 
  8. The Saint takes possession.  
8
The lady the foundress was waiting for us 
    at the door of her own house, 
for it was there the monastery 
   was to be founded : 
we did not see 
   how to make our way in, 
because of the great crowd present. 
That was nothing new, 
    for wherever we go, 
so fond is the world of novelties, 
    the crowd is so great 
as to be a grave annoyance 
     were it  not that we cover our faces 
         with our veils; 
      that enables us to bear it. 
The lady had  a very large 
    and very fine room made ready, 
wherein mass was to be said 
   for the present, 
because a passage had to be made 
    in the church 
which the bishop was to give us, 
and forthwith the next day, 
   the feast of our father S. Eliseus         [ 13]
 mass was said. 
The lady most abundantly 
     furnished everything 
         that we had need of, 
                  and 
     left us in that room, 
        wherein we kept ourselves enclosed 
              until the passage was made, 
     remaining there till the Transfiguration. 
                                                                  [14]
  9. Infirmity of the bishop.  

9
On that day 
  the first mass was said 
         with great solemnity, 
  a large congregation being present 
        in the church. 
A Father of the Society  preached,           [15]
   the Bishop having gone to Burgo, 
for he never loses a day or an hour, 
    but is always at work, 
though 
    he is not strong, and 
    the sight of one of his eyes is gone. 
I had this sorrow there, 
   for it was a very great grief to me 
that his sight, 
     which was so profitable 
          in the service of our Lord, 
   was lost, 
   God's judgments are His own. 
This must have happened
    to enable His servant to gain more merit, 
           and 
    to try his resignation to His will, 
for he did not refrain from labouring 
    as he did before. 
He told me 
   that he did not grieve over his loss 
          any more 
          than if it had happened to another. 
He felt sometimes
that he should not think it 
           a matter of regret 
   if he lost the sight of the other eye, 
for he would then live in a hermitage, 
   serving God without further obligation. 
That was always his vocation
    before he was made Bishop, 
and he spoke of it to me occasionally, 
and had almost made up his mind 
   to give up everything and go. 
I could not bear that, 
    because I thought that 
        as a bishop 
    he would be of great service 
       in the church of God, 
    and accordingly wished him 
       to be what he is, 
though on the day 
   he was offered the bishopric 
         — he sent word of it to me at once — 
I fell into very great distress about it,
    seeing him laid under 
        so heavy a burden, 
and I could neither rest nor be at ease. 
I went into the choir 
     and prayed for him to our Lord, 
and His Majesty made me calm in a moment, saying to me 
    that he would serve Him greatly; 
and so it seems. 
10. His meritorious life. 
10
Notwithstanding 
      the loss of an eye, 
      certain other very painful infirmities 
           and 
      unceasing work, 
   he fasts four days in the week, 
           and
   inflicts other penances on himself; 
    his food is very plain. 
When he visits the diocese 
   he goes on foot; 
his servants cannot bear it, 
  and have complained of it to me. 
His servants must be pious persons, 
  or they may not remain in his house. 
He does not trust important affairs
   to his vicars-general; 
they must pass through his hands, 
and indeed I think everything does. 
For the first two years 
   of his episcopate here 
he underwent a most unrelenting persecution
   from false witnesses, 
         at which I was amazed, 
   for in the administration of justice 
          he is upright and true. 
That has now come to an end, 
for, though people went 
     to the court 
          to complain of him, 
                   and 
     to every other place 
         where they thought they could 
                work evil against him, 
 they did not prevail, 
    for the good he was doing 
           throughout his diocese 
     became known. 
He bore it all so perfectly 
   that he made them ashamed, 
         doing good to those 
            whom he knew to be 
         doing evil to him. 
Though he had much to do 
   he never failed 
   to find time for prayer. 
11. The real founder of Soria.  
11
It seems to me 
  that I am carried away 
when I praise this holy man 
          — and I have not said much — 
but I have done so
   -  that people may know 
         who it was 
      that really began the foundation 
         of the Most Holy Trinity 
               in Soria
  - and for the consolation of those 
        who have to dwell there. 
     
My labour is not thrown away, 
and they who are there now 
   know it well. 
Though he did not endow us 
     he gave us the church, 
and it was he, 
            as I am saying,                         [16] 
who put it 
            into the heart of that lady 
     to make the foundation, 
and he was, 
             as I said before, 
a man of great piety, goodness, and penance.
12. Pedro de Ribera. 
12
Then when 
      the passage leading into the church 
          was made, 
               and 
      everything necessary for our enclosure 
           arranged, 
it became necessary 
     I should return to the monastery 
           of S. Joseph in Avila; 
and so I went away at once 
    in the great heat,                                   [17]
 the road being very bad 
    for the carriage.
Ribera
         a minor canon of Palencia, 
    went with me; 
he had been a very great help
    in the making of the passage 
           into the church, 
              and
    in everything, 
for the Father  Nicholas of Jesus Maria
    had gone away as soon 
as the deeds relating to the foundation 
    were drawn out, 
being very much wanted elsewhere. 
Ribera had business in Soria 
  when we were going thither, 
and went with us. 
From that time forth,
  God gave him such an earnest desire 
         to do us good, 
that we may therefore 
    pray to His Majesty for him 
         among the benefactors of the order. 
I would not have anybody else 
    travel with me and my companion, 
for he was enough, 
   because he is so careful, 
and the more quietly we travel 
   the better am I on the road.                 [18]
13. Hardships on the road. 
13
I paid now for the ease 
   with which 1 had travelled 
on this road before, 
for, though the young man 
   who went with us 
knew the way as far as Segovia, 
   he did not know the high road, 
   and so 
    he led us into places 
      where we had frequently to dismount, 
              and 
    took the carriage over deep precipices
      where it almost swung in the air. 
If we took persons with us 
    to show the way, 
they 
   led us 
          as far as the roads were safe, 
                      and 
   left us 
          just before we came to a difficulty, 
saying that they had something 
          to do elsewhere. 
Before reaching the inns, 
     as we had no  certain knowledge 
           of the country, 
we had to bear long 
     the great heat of the sun, 
     and our carriage was often 
          in danger of being overturned. 
I was sorry for our fellow traveller, 
because it was often necessary 
    to retrace our steps, 
though we had been told
   that we were on the right road; 
but in him 
    goodness was so deeply rooted 
that I do not think 
     I ever saw him annoyed, 
         at which I marvelled much, 
                and 
         for which I gave thanks to our Lord; 
     for where goodness has taken root,
     the occasions of sin 
        have little influence. 
I give thanks to our Lord 
because He was pleased to save us 
   from the dangers of this road. 
14. The Saint's hopes of the monastery.
14
On the eve of S. Bartholomew 
  we reached S. Joseph's in Segovia, 
where our nuns were in distress 
   because I was so late in coming           [19]

and I was late 
  because the roads were bad. 
There they made much of us, 
   for God never sends me trouble 
but he repays me for it forthwith.
I rested for eight days and longer;
the foundation, however, 
   was made with so very little trouble 
that I think nothing of it, 
   because it is nothing. 
I came away rejoicing, 
for the place seemed to me 
    to be one where, 
                I trust in the compassion of God, 
    He will be served by those 
        who dwell there, 
     as He is at present.                               
    ____________


                  Foot Notes:
 [1]
 Don Alonso Velasquez 
      heard the confession of the Saint 
  during her stay in Toledo 
      after the foundation of her monastery 
          in Seville. 
  He was born in Tudela de Duero, 
      and was successively 
         bishop of Osma and 
         archbishop of Compostella.
  He made on foot the visitation of Osma, 
     and, worn out by the gout 
          and other infirmities, 
     he begged permission 
           to resign Compostella. 
   Don Philip II would consent 
       to the resignation only on condition 
     of his naming two persons 
      whom he judged fit 
           to be made archbishops. 
     He did so, and 
      the king chose one of the two, 
         and proposed him to the Pope. 
     As Don Alonso was poor, 
        the king asked him 
     what pension was to be assigned 
          from the revenues of  the see 
      for his own use. 
      He said that for himself, two chaplains, 
          and two servants 
       a thousand ducats would suffice. 
       The king insisted on the assignation 
           of twelve thousand ducats. 
        Don Alonso resigned, and 
             retired to Talavera to die. 
         The archbishop 
             out of the twelve thousand ducats 
          accepted only one-half. 
          He died in 1587, 
             and was buried in Tudela de Duero
              [ De la Fuente]. 
_____________
 [2]
  See Relation, ix. i. 
_____________
 [3]
  He was captain of the emperor's guard, 
   and  his daughter was married
       to Don Juan de Vinuessa, 
       a great man in Soria, 
          who was at this time dead. 
    Dona Beatriz had a nephew, 
        Don Francisco Carlo de Veamonte, 
    who expected to inherit her possessions,
              and 
    who was very angry with the Saint 
     because she accepted his aunt's money. 
     Fifteen years after this 
      he saw the Saint, then dead, 
              in a vision, 
       and changed his life, 
              retired from the world, 
       and lived most holily, 
          professed in the third order 
               of S. Francis 
          in Villa de Arebalo 
       [ Reforma, hk. v. ch. xx. 7]. 
  Dona Beatriz, some years later 
      helped to found another monastery 
          in Pamplona. 
   In that house 
      she took the habit herself 
               as Beatriz of Christ
      and died there, 
                full of years and good deeds, 
          in 1602
          [ Yepes, ii. 33]. 
   __________
 [4]
   From Salamanca 
         the Saint sent for 
             Mary of Christ and 
             Mary of  Jesus; 
   from Segovia
             Juana Bautista and 
              Mary of S. Joseph; 
  from Medina, 
             Catherine of Christ
                  who was to be prioress,
             Catherine of the Holy Ghost, 
                    and a lay sister, 
              Maria Bautista
   Dona Beatriz sent her chaplain; 
    the Bishop of Osma sent his also, 
        with a man to provide for them 
              on the road; 
    while the bishop of Palencia sent 
          a minor canon of  his church, 
     afterwards the canon, Pedro de Ribera 
         [ Reforma, bk. v. ch. XX. 5]. 
     The Saint speaks of him (above) , § 12. 
__________________
 [5] 
   Nicholas Doria 
      was born in Genoa, 
       18th May 1539, 
       the son of Domenico and Maria Doria. 
    He came to Spain and settled in Seville 
        as banker 
     and rendered great services to Philip II
       whose finances he put on a sound basis. 
    He was not there long 
        before he saw 
             the vanity of human success and 
             the uncertainty of worldly honours. 
   He gave up the world 
        and became a priest. 
   He had been long ago acquainted 
     with Fray Mariano, 
    who, going to Seville in 1573, 
       brought him into relations 
      with the Carmelites and S. Teresa herself. 
    In the end he was won to the new order, 
       and became a novice 24th March 1577, 
    and was professed in Seville, 
            25th March 1578 
     [ Reforma, bk. iv. ch. xxix 2-6]. 
    He was of great service to the Saint 
        during the trouble, 
     and was looked on as the type 
         of a zealous Carmelite, 
      more rigid than Fray Jerome 
           of the Mother of God, 
     but apparently more trusted 
           by his brethren. 
     He was the first vicar-general 
            of the reform in Spain. 
________________
 [6]
  The Saint went from Toledo to Avila
      in July, 1577, 
    when she placed the monastery
        under the jurisdiction of the order 
    and remained there till 25th June 1579,  
      returning thither again, 19th November. 
    Soon after that she began again 
        to make new foundations. 
____________

 [7]
    A falta de hombres buenos: 
    this is an allusion to an old proverb, 
   A falta de buenos  mi marido alcalde 
    — for want of good men 
            they made my husband a judge 
         [ De la Fuente]. 
  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
   Blog Note: 
     old proverb, 
   "A falta de buenos  mi marido alcalde"
     In the absence of good men, 
         or For want of good men, 
       let my husband be the Mayor
__________________
 [8]
    Fray Eliseus of the Mother of God 
        [ Reforma, bk. v. ch. xx. 5]. 
______________
 [9]
  Not Burgos in old Castille, 
     an episcopal city raised in 1574 
   to the rank of an archbishopric, 
   but Burgo de Osma; 
   Osma being on one side 
        of the river Duero, and decayed; 
    Burgo being on the other. 
_____________
 [10]
  This word, though not in the original 
         is required by the context. 
_____________
 [11]
  Father Francis de Ribera, S.J.
     says that he saw the Saint in Soria 
   on his return from Rome,
      as he had done the year before 
               in Valladolid 
      when he was setting out on his journey. 
He stopped four days in Soria, 
  but did not know for three days 
     that the Saint was in the town. 
 He speaks most pathetically 
    of the loss he sustained by this,
 for it was the last time 
     he ever saw her in this world 
           [ Ribera, iii. ii]. 
________________
 [12]
   The bishop was then a guest 
       in the house of Don Juan de Castilla 
      [ Reforma, bk. v. ch. xx. 3]. 
________________
 [14]
   There is a serious chronological difficulty 
      about the date of this foundation. 
   Saint Teresa says they arrived 
         at Burgo de Osma 
      on Wednesday, 
      eve of the Octave of Corpus Christi,
      that is, 
           since Corpus Christi in 1581 
              fell on 25th May, 
          on Wednesday 31st May. 
  They spent the Thursday at that place 
      and continued the journey on Friday, 
    arriving at Soria towards evening. 
    ' y luego otro dia 
       que era de nuestro padre San Eliseo 
           se dijo, '
    and on the very next day 
         which was that of our father S. Eliseus
    the first mass was said.' 
    That would lead us to Saturday 
          3rd June, 
     but the feast of S. Eliseus, 
      ever since it was introduced
     into the Carmelite breviary in 1399 
       was kept on the 14th, 
        not on the 3rd. 
    Various attempts have been made 
         to reconcile these statements. 
   The Bollandists suggest 
       that the mass on the 3rd 
          was a votive mass of  S. Eliseus,
   and Mr Lewis went so far, 
        in support of this opinion, 
   as to alter the text, saying :
      ' and forthwith the next day 
          mass was said in honour 
             of our father S. Eliseus.' 
   It has further been suggested 
     that perhaps at that time 
    the Spanish Carmelites celebrated 
         S. Eliseus...on the 4th of June, 
    in proof whereof it is alleged
      that Isabel of Jesus, 
           prioress of Palencia, 
     is stated
                     [Fuente, Obras, vi. 83) 
         to have made her profession 
              on  4th June, on the feast day 
              of S. Eliseus of our Order.' 
    But against this is the circumstance
        that S. Teresa does not speak 
           of the 4th 
           but of the 3rd of June, 
                 and also 
       that there is no evidence whatever
            of the alleged Spanish custom. 
    The French Carmelite nuns 
         are of opinion 
     that S. Teresa mixes up
          two different things, 
              the first mass on the third and 
              a solemn mass on the 14 th 
                 on the occasion 
                     of the official inauguration 
                     of the convent after the bell 
                         had been hung 
                       and other formalities fulfilled. 
   In support of this 
      they quote the act of Donation, 
             dated 14th June, 
    whereby Dona Beatriz de Beaumont 
       gave to the convent 
           a rent of five hundred ducats. 
    This act was signed and sealed 
         previous to the departure 
               of Father Nicholaus Doria 
    as we learn from a letter 
          dated 13th July 1581. 
    Although it is impossible
            to settle the difficulty satisfactorily,
      it appears to the present writer 
     that the opinion of the French Carmelites
        does the smallest violence to the text 
     and has more in its favour than any other. 
______________
 [14]
  August 6th. 
   On the feast of the Assumption following,
      the Saint gave the habit to two novices 
             [ Rcforma, bk. v. ch. xx. 5]. 
______________
 [15]
  The preacher was Father Francis Carrera
            [ Ribera, iii. II]. 
______________
 [16]  
   See Foundations: Ch. 30:  § 2 (above)
______________
 [17]
  The Saint 
      left Soria August l6, 1581,    
      reached Burgo de Osma 
           on the 18th, 
      was in Segovia on the 23rd, and 
       arrived in Avila September 5. 
   The monastery 
        which she had founded, and 
        which she had carefully trained, 
    was now, 
             to the great distress of the Saint, 
       less fervent in spirit, 
       and therefore in great temporal need. 
   The nuns had been too much indulged 
      by an indiscreet confessor
           (Father Julian Davila) 
      who dispensed with the observance 
                of the rule and constitutions 
            without difficulty. 
    The presence of the Saint changed 
           all that was amiss, 
    and on the airival of the provincial,
    to whom the state of the convent 
        was made known 
    — he came to Avila from Salamanca, 
         where he had been occupied 
         in founding the college 
             of the friars — 
      and with his consent, 
          and desired by the nuns, 
         Mary of Christ gladly resigned 
               her place of prioress 
              [ Yepes, ii. 34]. 
        The nuns 
              then elected S. Teresa prioress,
                 September 10, 1581, 
         but she withheld her consent 
               on the ground of her age 
               and need of rest. 
       The provincial, Fray Jerome, 
           bade her kiss the ground, 
        whereupon the nuns intoned 
            the Te Deum, 
         and led her into her seat 
            in the choir. 
         The provincial, 
              to make her burden as light 
                   as he could, 
          gave her as subprioress 
               Mary of S. Jerome 
            [ Reforma bk. v. ch. xxi. 3] 
            [ Fray Antony, Letter]. 
      The monastery, 
              which had elected her 
                   ' through sheer hunger,' 
       as she says 
                   (Letter of 8th Nov. 1581),    
        recovered itself 
               temporally and spiritually, 
       but not without much trouble to the Saint,
     for the nuns had been 
            receiving dispensations 
      without discretion from the confessor, 
      who was none other 
              than Julian of Avila, 
              her great friend, 
       but who in this instance seems 
         not to have understood her spirit, 
        or the ends she had in view 
           in making this reform. 
        She complains of him 
             to the provincial 
          in a letter written to him 
          in the following October, 
            and deplores the sad results 
              of his negligent direction, 
          and ends by saying,
       ' God deliver me from confessors
         who have been so for many years' 
                    (Letter of 26th Oct. 1581). 
_____________
 [18]
   Diego de Yepes
       her biographer, 
     met her in Burgo de Osma 
       on the 18th. 
   He was then on his way to Rioja, 
     his priorate in Zamora ended. 
   He had heard from his friend the Bishop,
       Don Alonso Velasquez,
    that the Saint was expected. 
   She arrived about eight o'clock 
      in the evening, and 
   Yepes went to receive her on her alighting 
       from the carriage. 
   Yepes spoke to her, and she asked him 
        who he was. 
    He answered, ' Fray Diego de Yepes,' 
        and the Saint made no reply. 
    Fray Diego was uneasy, thinking that 
     either the saint had forgotten him 
  or that his presence was disagreeable to her.
  Afterwards speaking to her, 
     he asked the reason of her silence, 
    and she replied that it was owing 
       to one of two things — 
      one, that she thought he had been 
           penanced by his superiors, 
      or that God wished thus to repay her 
      for the troubles of the foundation 
       by meeting him there. 
     Yepes was pleased, 
      and said that the first was the truth, and 
        that God did not intend the second. 
    She then told him how long 
         his penance would last, and 
      that he would be ashamed of himself 
        at the end thereof;
      ' thereby showing,' says Yepes, 
     'how well she knew my disinclination 
        to suffer, seeing that I made so much 
            of trifles' 
       [  Yepes, ii. 33]
______________
 [19]
  The Saint made Catherine of Christ
       whom she sent for from Medina, 
                   prioress
    with Beatriz of Jesus, sub-prioress
  Catherine was born in Madrigal; 
    her father, of kin to the Saint, 
        was Christobal de Balmaseda, and 
    her mother was 
       Dona Juana Bustamante y San Martin. 
   She gave herself up 
        from her earliest years 
       to penance and good works, 
   and went to Medina 
       to become a Carmelite 
    when the Saint was making 
       the foundation there. 
    She was refused at first
         because the house was full, 
     but she persevered, 
          and the Saint accepted her. 
   When she was sent to Soria, 
       Fray Jerome of the Mother of God 
    remonstrated with the Saint, 
    and said that Catherine 
        was not the proper person 
               to be prioress, 
    because she could not write 
      and had had no experience in governing, 
     whereupon the Saint said 
          to the provincial,
     'Hold your peace, Father: 
        Catherine of Christ 
           loves God much, 
           is a very great saint, and 
           requires nothing more to govern well.' 


           End of  Chapter 30 
                     of the 
          Book of the Foundations
             of S. Teresa of Jesus 
  of the Order of our Lady of Carmel

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I tried to indicate Helpful and Interesting,
at the above "Reactions",
but it seem to register.
J.

student self-study said...

Thanks,
It seems the "reactions" don't get registered unless
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