Monday, November 28, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - The Constitutions - 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  

 Constitutions For The Sisters 
   Of The Order Of Our Lady 
   Of  Mount Carmel 
   Of The Primitive Rule Unrelaxed, 
 Given By The Most Reverend Father 
    Fray Juan Bautista Rubeo, 
 General Of The Said Order, 
    In The Year 1568.                                [1] 

      The Constitutions     Contents
1. The divine office. — 
2. Rising and chanting. — 
3. Communion. — 
4. Vespers. — 
5. Compline. — 
6. Spiritual reading. — 
7. Books. — 
8. Solitude. — 
9. Maintenance of the sisters. — 
10. All ownership forbidden. — 
11. The habit. — 
12. Furniture of the house. — 
13. En-closure and visitors. — 
14. Visits. — 
15. The attendant sister. — 
16. Kindred. — 
17. Novices. — 
18. Poverty. — 
19. Lay sisters. — 
20. Service of the house. — 
21. Special needs. — 
22. The infirmary. — 
23. Work done by the sisters. — 
24. Alms received in the day. — 
25. Meals. — 
26. No food to be taken between meals. — 
27. Recreation. — 
28. Rest after recreation. — 
29. Particular friendships. — 
30. Correction of faults; — 
31. Gifts. — 
32. Simplicity. — 
33. Penances. — 
34. The monastery to be poorly built. — 
35. The sick and the dead. — 
36. Of the prioress. — 
37. The sub-prioress and 
       the keepers of the keys. —
38. The sacristan. — 
39. The treasurer and the portresses. — 
40. Zelators. — 


1. The divine office. — 
 Let matins be said after nine o'clock, 
   not before, 
   nor so long after 
        as not to leave 
             when they shall have been said 
        a quarter of an hour 
             for the examen of  conscience 
             touching the spending of the day. 
A signal  shall be given for the examen, 
   and one of the sisters, 
        appointed by the mother prioress, 
   shall read in Spanish 
        the mystery 
    on which the meditation is to be made
        the next day.                                     [2] 
The time to be spent herein 
    shall be such 
  that precisely at eleven o'clock 
      a bell shall be rung, 
   the nuns shall withdraw 
       for the night's rest. 
All the nuns must be together in choir 
    during the time 
   of the examen and prayer, 
and once the office begun 
   no sister may go out of the choir 
        without leave. 
2. Rising and chanting. — 
In summer they are to rise 
    at five, 
         and continue in prayer till six; 
in winter 
    at six, 
          and continue in prayer till seven. 
When prayer is over,
    the office is to be said 
    as far as None, 
    unless it be a holy day, 
    or the festival of a saint  
       to whom the sisters have 
              a special devotion; 
    then they will stop at Terce, 
       which they will sing before the mass. 
On Sundays and holy days mass, 
   vespers, and matins are to be sung; 
on the holy days of Easter, 
   or other solemn feasts,
         lauds may be sung, 
especially on the feast 
     of the glorious S. Albert. 
The singing must never be in harmony, 
   but in unison, the voices even; 
 ordinarily the office is to be said, 
   so also the mass, 
 for our Lord will be pleased to let us 
     have a little time to earn 
  what is necessary for us. 
Let every one be careful 
    never to be absent from choir 
 for light causes: 
when the office has been said,
   let them go to their duties in the house. 
Mass is to be said 
     in summer at eight,  
     in winter at nine. 
They, who go to communion,
    may remain awhile in the choir. 
3. Communion. — 
The days of communion are 
     - all Sundays, 
     - the feasts 
            of our Lady and 
            of our Lord, 
            of S, Albert and 
            of S. Joseph, 
     - whatever other days 
          the confessor may think meet,
   according to the devotion and spiritual 
                 state of each sister, 
         with the leave of the mother prioress. 
Communion is to be given also 
     on the feast-day of the house. 
Shortly before dinner signal shall be made 
    for the examen of  conscience 
touching what they have been doing 
    up to that time, 
 the gravest fault they may discover 
    let them 
            try to correct, and s
            ay one paternoster 
       to obtain grace from God for that end. 
Wherever each one may be at the time, 
   let her 
        kneel down and 
        make her examen briefly.             [3]
4. Vespers. — 
At two o'clock vespers are to be said, 
   unless it be Lent, 
when they are to be said at eleven: 
at the end of  vespers, 
   when said at two o'clock, 
let there be spiritual reading for an hour. 
In Lent 
    the hour of spiritual reading is two o'clock,
it is understood 
   that the bell rings for vespers at two. 
The vespers,
       being those of a feast, 
   the hour of spiritual reading 
       must be after compline. 
5. Compline. — 
    in summer
         is to be said at six o'clock 
    in winter 
         at five. 
At eight, 
         both in summer and winter, 
   let the signal be given for silence, 
         which must be kept strictly 
          till after prime of the following day: 
at all other times 
    no sister may speak to another 
            without leave, 
    except those who are in office, 
    and then only when necessary. 
The prioress grants leave to speak 
   when she thinks 
          it will serve to quicken
                  more and more 
           the love of the Bridegroom. 
If a sister, 
       being in trouble or temptation, 
   speaks to another 
   in order to receive consolation from her, 
       she may do so: 
the prohibition does not extend to 
        a word, 
        a question, 
        an answer, 
   for so much may be done without leave. 
6. Spiritual reading. — 
The signal for prayer is to be given 
    an hour before matins: 
    during this hour of prayer 
        they may read a spiritual book, 
     beside the other hour 
       so to be spent after vespers: 
if they find they have the spiritual strength 
    to spend that hour in prayer, 
   let them do so 
     if they see it contributes the more 
         to recollection. 
7. Books. — 
Let the mother prioress see 
   that they have good books  —           [4]
    - the Carthusian, 
    - Flos Sanctorum, 
    - Contempus Mundi 
    - the Oratory of Religious, 
    - Fray Luis of Granada, or  
    - Fray Peter of Alcantara; 
   for this nourishment 
         is in part as necessary for the soul 
             as food is for the body. 
    Every sister must remain, 
           the whole time she is not
               present with the community, 
               discharging the duties 
                   of  her office, 
     either in her cell 
     or       in the hermitage 
      which the prioress shall have assigned her
         as the place of her retreat, 
            doing some work there, 
             except on the holy days; 
    The whole time she is not
               present with the community, 
               discharging the duties 
                   of  her office, 
     every sister must remain,        
        either in her cell 
        or       in the hermitage 
    which the prioress shall have assigned her
         as the place of her retreat, 
            doing some work there, 
             except on the holy days; 
and in the loneliness of this retreat, 
    fulfilling that which the rule enjoins, 
every sister shall be alone.                          [5] 
8. Solitude. — 
No sister may go into the cell of another
     without the leave of the prioress. 
9. Maintenance of the sisters. — 
They must always live on alms, 
   having no revenues whatever; 
and so long as they can bear it,
   there must be no begging; 
but they may provide for themselves 
  by the work of their hands, 
     as S. Paul did;                                  [6]
for our Lord will furnish them 
    with what is necessary, 
if they do not ask for more, 
     and are satisfied without comforts; 
He will not fail them, 
    and they will be able to support life; 
if they labour with all their might 
    to please our Lord 
 His Majesty will take care 
   that they shall want nothing. 
They will earn their bread, 
    not by any fine work 
    but by spinning — 
    not by anything that requires great skill,
    lest it should occupy their thoughts 
       and withdraw them from our Lord; 
  they must not work in gold or silver, 
  they must not bargain about the price, 
  but accept at once 
       what may be offered, 
  if they find that work unprofitable 
     let them take up some other work. 
10. All ownership forbidden. — 
The sisters may not have anything 
    as their own in any way whatever, 
  nor is that ever to be allowed them, 
  either for their food or their clothing; 
they may not have a box or dish 
    or drawer or cupboard, 
unless they have some office 
   in the community: 
nothing is to be the property 
   of any one separately, 
and everything must be in common. 
This is of grave importance, 
for it is by little things 
   the devil is enabled to enter 
and destroy the perfection of poverty:
the prioress therefore 
    must be very careful, 
         should a sister be attached 
                 to anything, 
         whether it be a book or cell 
                or anything else, 
   to take it away from her. 
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
 Should a sister be attached to anything, 
  whether it be a book or cell or anything else, 
the prioress therefore must be very careful, 
  to take it away from her. 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
11. The habit. — 
They must keep a fast 
    from the feast of the Exaltation 
           of the Cross, in September, 
     till Easter Day, Sundays excepted. 
They are never to eat meat 
    except in cases of necessity, 
according to the rule.                                [7]
The habit is to be 
    of frieze or some coarse cloth, 
    dark in colour, 
    without any ornament; 
and as little stuff as possible 
     is to be used in it, 
with sleeves, 
     not large, 
     nor wider at the wrists
          than at the shoulder; 
it must be 
     without plaits, 
     not longer behind than in front, 
     reaching to the feet. 
The scapular is to be 
     made of the same stuff, 
     but shorter than the habit by four inches; 
the mantle to be worn in choir is to be 
     of the same material, 
     white in colour, 
      of the same length with the scapular, 
      as little stuff to be used in it as possible, 
      due regard being had 
           to what is necessary. 
12. Furniture of the house. — 
The coifs must be 
    of coarse linen, 
   not plaited; 
the tunics of serge, 
the sheets also; 
the sandals of hemp, 
and for decency stockings, 
    but of frieze or hempen cloth; 
the pillows must be of serge, 
   unless necessity requires it 
         to be otherwise, 
   when they may be made of coarse linen; 
there must be no feather beds, 
   but only straw mattresses. 
      who are neither strong nor healthy,
    have tried it, 
    and these things can be dispensed with. 
There are to be 
     no curtains of any kind 
     except in cases of necessity, 
and then only a matting of rushes 
    or a door-screen, 
which may be either a blanket of sackcloth 
    or any thing of that kind, 
but it must be poor. 
Each nun is to have her own separate cell: 
there are to be 
    no carpets 
          except in the church, 
    nor cushions to sit upon. 
All this belongs to the order, 
and  must be observed: 
it is spoken of thus distinctly 
because when laxness begins 
we forget 
   what the order and our obligations demand. 
There shall be nothing in colours, 
    either in their dress 
    or on their bed, 
         even if only so trifling a thing 
         as a bandage. 
They are never to use sheepskins, 
and if any one be unwell 
   she may have a gown of frieze. 
They must wear their hair close cut, 
   that they may waste no time 
        in dressing it: 
they must have nothing about them 
  of fine workmanship, 
but everything must show 
  a disregard of self 
13. Enclosure and visitors. — 
No nun may appear unveiled 
     before anyone, 
except a father or mother or brother or sister, 
    unless it be for some purpose, 
    and then only before persons who 
           edify us rather, 
           help us in our practices of prayer, 
               for spiritual consolation, 
                not for recreation. 
A third person must be always present, 
  except when matters 
          relating to the soul 
       are discussed. 
The key 
        of the grating and 
        of the enclosure door
   must be kept by the prioress, 
and whenever 
          the physician or 
          the surgeon, or 
          any other person necessary 
                for the house,  or 
          the confessor, 
   comes in, 
      two nuns must always go forward 
           before him; 
when a sick sister makes her confession 
    the nun in attendance must stand 
          out of  the way, 
          yet not out of sight, 
          but she must not speak 
               to the confessor herself 
          unless it be in answer to a question 
               put to her by him. 
The novices, 
          no less than the professed, 
   may receive visitors, 
       -  that it may be known
          if  they are at all discontented
              — for we do not aim 
                   at keeping them 
                   except with their full consent — 
      - that they may have an opportunity 
           of making known their discontent
          if they are not perfectly willing 
                 to remain, 
14. Visits. — 
They are to have nothing to say 
    about matters of this world, 
 they are not to converse about them, 
      unless it be on occasions 
 when they can 
      - help those who come 
           to them to speak about them, 
     - establish them in the way of truth, 
     - console them 
             in any of their troubles. 
If those, who visit them, 
     aim at no good herein, 
let them put an end to the conversation 
      at once, 
as they are directed to do: 
it being of great importance 
  - that they who visit us 
       should derive some good
            from their visit, 
       without any waste of time, 
 -  that we too should 
        have some profit thereby. 
15. The attendant sister. — 
The nun in waiting 
    must see that this is observed, 
for she is bound to tell the prioress 
     if it is not, 
whenever she does not tell 
    she must undergo the same penance 
which she has to undergo
    who has transgressed. 
Let her have two warnings, 
and for the third offence 
    let her remain 
         for nine days in the prison, 
    and on the third day 
         submit to the discipline 
           in the refectory,
 for it is a matter of great concern 
     in religion. 
16. Kindred. — 
Let them avoid all converse 
    with their kindred 
as much as they can, 
    for their interests will 
     - make a great impression on them, 
             and thereby 
     - make it difficult for them to refrain 
          from talking about worldly affairs. 
Let them be very careful in conversing 
     with those who are in the world,
 though they be their kindred: 
if they do, 
  it must be very rarely, 
the conversation must be soon ended. 
17. Novices. — 

Great care must be taken 
that they, 
         whom they receive, 
   be persons who 
        give themselves to prayer, 
         aim at all perfection and contempt 
                  of the world; 
for if  they are not detached 
          from the world 
    when they come 
 they will hardly bear 
    with the observances of the house, 
it is better to look to this beforehand
   than to send them away afterwards. 
They should be 
        to recite the office, and 
        to assist in choir: 
let no one be allowed 
        to make her profession 
   of whom, 
         during the year of her novitiate,
    it shall not have been ascertained 
that she has the temper and the other gifts
   necessary for the observances of the order: 
if in any one of these 
   she be found wanting 
let her not be suffered 
   to make her profession,
 unless indeed she be 
     - a great servant of our Lord 
     - useful in the house, 
     - one of whom we might be assured 
         that she will occasion 
              no disturbance in it, 
         that it would please our Lord
              if we yielded to her holy desires. 
If one,
       in whom these desires are not strong,
   come in, 
       yet whom we feel 
          that our Lord is calling to this state, 
   but who is without the means 
       of giving anything to the house 
            in the way of alms, 
   such an one must not be refused
            on that account 
   as we have never done to this day; 
but if she 
      has anything to give, and 
      wishes to give it, 
and if afterwards for some reason or other
    it is not given, 
there must be no lawsuit to obtain it, 
   nor must she on that account 
       be refused profession. 
18. Poverty. — 
Great care must be taken 
 that interest has no sway in the matter, 
lest avarice creep in by degrees,
 and thereby the alms to be received 
   be more thought of 
   than the goodness and the fitness 
      of the novice: 
this must on no account be done, 
  for it would be a great evil: 
let them always 
   - keep the poverty they profess 
           before their eyes    
   - consider that it is not alms 
        that really uphold the monastery, 
      but rather faith and 
             the practice of perfection: 
   - trust in God alone. 
Let this constitution be 
    - well considered, and 
    - observed as is fitting, 
    - read to the sisters. 
When any one is to be accepted,
   it must be with the consent 
of the greater number in the house; 
so also 
   when any one is to make her profession. 
19. Lay sisters. — 
The lay sisters, to be received, 
   must be 
       strong, and 
       such as are known to be willing 
              to serve our Lord. 
Let them remain for a year 
      without wearing the habit, 
 - that it may be seen 
      whether they are such
            as ought to be received,
 -  that they themselves may see 
      whether they can bear the work. 
They are not to wear a veil 
    over their faces, 
  nor are they to have the black veil, 
     until at the end of two years 
     they shall have been professed, 
  unless their exemplary life should have 
     justified an abbreviation. 
Let them be treated 
   with all charity and sisterly affection, 
and furnished with food and raiment
    like the others. 
20. Service of the house. —
The first on the list of those 
       who are to sweep the house 
   is to be the mother prioress, 
that in all things 
   she may give a good example. 
Let much be made of those 
    who have the charge 
  of the wardrobe and the storeroom. 
Let them furnish the sisters in all charity 
  with what is required for their subsistence,
  with everything else. 
No more must be done 
    according to the rule 
         for the prioress and the older nuns 
         than for any of the others, 
 but it must be 
       as the necessities and the age 
       of each demand, 
and necessity should be regarded 
    rather than age,                             [8] 
 for very often 
       the older the nun 
       the fewer the wants: 
Great attention should be paid to this 
   in general, 
because it is necessary for many reasons. 
Let no sister ever speak of her food, 
  whether she has little or much, 
  whether it be well or ill dressed. 
Let the prioress or the sister, 
   who is over the storeroom,
 take care that they are content with
   whatever our Lord may supply them, 
let that be well prepared, 
  so that they may be satisfied 
with what He has given them, 
   seeing that they have nothing else. 
21. Special needs. — 
The sisters are bound 
          to make their wants known 
     to the mother prioress,
the novices 
     to their mistress, 
  whether of food or of raiment; 
if they require anything out of the way, 
      however great their want may be, 
 they must in the first place
     lay it before our Lord, 
  - nature very often asks 
       for more than we have need of, 
 - Satan from time to time helps it, 
      to make us afraid of penance and fasting. 
22. The infirmary. — 
Let the sick sisters be tended with 
        delicacy, and
     consistently with our poverty, 
let them give thanks to our Lord 
 when they are well provided for; 
if they want anything 
   to lighten their pain 
which the wealthy have in sickness
   they must not be less cheerful 
           on this account, 
for they came among us 
   resolved to bear it, 
for to be poor is to be in want, 
  perhaps in the greatest necessity. 
The mother prioress must 
    take great care of this, 
for the nuns who are well 
    must give up 
       what is necessary for themselves 
 before certain delicacies should be 
       withheld from the sick. 
The sick are to be 
      visited by the sisters and 
an infirmarian is to be placed over them, 
   possessed of 
         the strength and 
         the charity 
     requisite for the discharge of her duty; 
the sick sisters must then strive
   to show the perfection 
            they have gained when in health, 
            and the
       asking for the fewest things possible; 
when the sickness is not great 
let them be obedient to the infirmarian,
  - that she might profit, 
  - that they may 
          -- merit, by the illness, 
          -- edify the sisters. 
Let them 
    have the use of linen and
    be treated with all charity. 
23. Work done by the sisters. — 
No task-work must be laid on the sisters, 
each should contrive to work, 
   that all may eat. 
Consider carefully the prescription 
   in the rule,                                             [9] 
that she,
         who would eat, 
    must work, 
          as S. Paul did. 
If any one, of her own will, 
     undertake a certain work, 
     and to finish it daily, 
         she may do so, 
     but if the work be not finished 
          no penance is to be given 
          for the failure. 
24. Alms received in the day. — 
Every day, after supper or collation, 
   when the sisters are all together, 
the nun of the turn shall declare 
   - what alms had been received 
           during the day, 
   - with the names of the givers, 
that the sisters may be careful 
   to remember them
      in their prayers unto God. 
25. Meals. — 
As for dinner we cannot be regular,
   because that must be as our Lord gives. 
When we have anything to eat,
   the meal shall be in winter at eleven, 
and in summer 
   the signal for it shall be given at ten. 
Before sitting down to eat, 
  if our Lord inspires a sister 
        to do an act of mortification, 
  let her ask leave, 
  let not this good practice be lost, 
     out of which some profit is derived; 
  but it must be quickly done, 
  so that it shall not be in the way 
      of the reading. 
26. No food to be taken 
               between meals. — 
No sister may eat or drink 
   without leave 
    except at dinner or supper. 
27. Recreation. — 
When they come out from dinner,
      the mother prioress may dispense 
         with silence,
 that they may talk all together 
   - of anything they like; 
   - only it must be about things 
          a good religious may speak of, 
 let each of them have 
      her distaff and her work. 
All games are forbidden, 
    for our Lord will enable 
some of the sisters to amuse the others. 
Let them be all together at recreation, 
  for that is time well spent. 
28. Rest after recreation. — 
Let them strive 
   not to be wearisome one to another, 
but their words and their merry sayings
   must be in discretion. 
When the hour of recreation is over,
   they may sleep for another hour in summer, 
and she who does not sleep 
   must keep silence. 
After compline and collation, 
   in summer and winter, 
          as it is said before,
 the mother may dispense with silence, 
    and the sisters may speak all together, 
         each, as before, 
              having her own work; 
the length of the recreation shall be 
   at the discretion of the mother prioress. 
29. Particular friendships. — 
No sister may embrace another 
     or touch her face or her hands. 
There must be no particular friendships, 
but all must address themselves 
     to all in general 
as Jesus Christ commanded His Apostles; 
it will be easy for them to do so, 
  because they are so few. 
Let them earnestly 
     regard their Bridegroom, 
who for us gave His life. 
To love one another all alike 
   is a matter of  great importance. 
30. Correction of faults; —
A sister may not correct another 
    for faults she may see her commit; 
if the faults be grave 
   let her remind her of them charitably 
when they are alone, 
and if no amendment follow 
   after three admonitions 
let her speak to the mother prioress. 
There are correctors of faults 
   who must look to this: 
let the others 
    be easy, and 
    bear with what they see; 
let them 
    look to their own faults, 
    meddle not with those 
        which are committed 
              in the discharge of the duties 
         of the house, 
    unless it be something grave, 
        which, as we have just said, 
        they are under obligations to observe. 
Let them be very careful 
  never to defend themselves 
      when found fault with, 
  unless it be on occasions 
     on which it is necessary, 
     for they will make great progress 
The correctors of faults must be 
     very careful to mark 
   what is done amiss, 
by order of the prioress, 
at times 
    give the correction in public,
 though it be 
         by the younger to the elder nuns, 
    in order to try their humility; 
and therefore 
let no sister make answer, 
    though she be blameless. 
31. Gifts. — 
No sister may give or receive anything, 
   even from father or mother 
       without leave of the prioress, 
   to whom must be taken 
        whatever is received as alms. 
32. Simplicity. — 
Neither the prioress 
nor any of the sisters 
   may be ever addressed as ' madam.' 
33. Penances. — 

The punishment 
   for faults and shortcomings herein 
             — for everything is according 
                  to the rule — 
 shall be the penances laid down 
   at the end of these constitutions 
   for the lighter and more grievous faults; 
the mother prioress may dispense,
  according as she shall judge it 
       to be right to do so, 
       prudently and charitably, 
she may not bind them 
   to perform the penance 
          under pain of sin, 
   unless it be in a grave matter. 
34. The monastery to be poorly built. — 
There shall be
    no adornment  of the house, 
    but only of the church, 
    nor shall there be anything costly 
        about it. 
It shall be made of coarse material, 
   small in size 
   with low rooms 
          — a house to satisfy wants, 
               without anything unnecessary: 
let it be 
   as strong as it can be made, 
   surrounded by a high wall, 
 let it have a field 
 wherein to make hermitages 
    into which the nuns may withdraw 
          for prayer, 
    as our holy fathers used to do. 
35. The sick and the dead. — 
The Sacraments must be administered 
 according to the ritual for the dead; 
for the funeral rites and 
      the burial vespers 
   are to be said with a Missa Cantata        
    (Blog note: 'Sung Mass'  (Latin)
if  possible 
    let the Masses of St. Gregory be said  [10] 
if  that cannot be, 
    let the whole convent say 
        the Office of  the Dead. 
This for the nuns of the house. 
For the other nuns 
   either the Office of the Dead 
   or a Missa Cantata. 
This for the nuns of the primitive rule. 
For the nuns of the mitigation, 
   the Office of the Dead once.                [11]
36. Of the prioress. — 
The duty of the mother prioress is, 
   - to be very careful 
     that the rule and constitutions be
          in all things kept, 
  - to watch diligently over 
          the modesty 
          enclosure of the house; 
  - to see that all the nuns do their duty, 
                   and also
  - to provide for their wants, 
          both spiritually and temporally; 
  - to be loved with the love of a mother, 
          in order to be obeyed. 
The prioress is to appoint 
     a portress and 
     a sacristan, 
     whom she can trust, 
     whom she may remove 
          whenever she pleases, 
      lest it should give occasion 
           for making offices perpetual. 
To the other offices in the house,
    the prioress appoints, 
but not to that of sub-prioress, 
         with the keepers of the keys, 
    is to be elected by the nuns. 
These must be able 
    to write and 
    to keep accounts, 
  at least two of them, 
37. The sub-prioress and 
       the keepers of the keys. —
The mother sub-prioress is 
   - to have the care of the choir 
         for her charge, 
   - to see that the singing 
         and reciting of the Divine Office 
      is performed with the proper pauses. 
This must be well looked to. 
In the absence of the prioress,
   she will 
      - take her place, 
      - be constantly with the community,
      - correct the faults made 
             in choir and refectory, 
    when the prioress is not present. 
The keepers of the keys 
    are to render their accounts 
      - month by month 
      - to the treasurer 
      - in the presence of the prioress,  
         -- must take their opinion 
               in grave matters, 
         -- have a chest with three keys 
                for the deeds and the funds 
                       of the convent 
             one of which 
                 the prioress is to hold, 
             the other two 
                 the two senior keepers of the keys. 
38. The sacristan. — 
The duty of the sacristan is 
  - to take care of everything 
          belonging to the church, 
  - to see that all things therein 
           for the service of our Lord 
    are reverently and cleanly kept: 
she is to see 
  - that the nuns go orderly to confession, 
- that they do not fail to do so, 
         unless they have leave, 
    under pain of grave fault 
    — unless it be 
         that they are going to confession 
            to some one appointed 
            for the purpose. 
39. The treasurer and the portresses. — 
The duty 
                 of the treasurer and 
                 of the first portress, 
           who are one and the same, 
      - is to buy for the house 
           whatever may be necessary for it, 
       if our Lord from time to time 
           supplies the means; 
   - to speak gently to edification 
           at the turn, and 
   - charitably regard the necessities 
           of the sisters ; 
   - to keep an account in writing 
           of the expenditure and receipts; 
   - when buying anything for the house, 
       not to bargain, 
       but on being twice told the price 
          to take it or leave it. 
She is 
    - to let no sister go 
       without leave to the grating; 
    - to call the second portress to the turn
       when she herself has to go to the parlour; 
    - never to tell anyone 
       what goes on there, 
           except the prioress: 
    - not to give letters to anybody 
           but to her, 
           who is to read them first; 
    - never to give a message to anybody, 
       nor to send one out, 
          without first telling the prioress of it, 
       under pain of  grave fault. 
40. Zelators. —
The correctors of faults
          — for theirs is an important office — 
   must be careful 
     - to observe the faults committed, 
     - to tell the prioress of them, 
             as before. 
41. Mistress of novices. — 
The mistress of novices must be a nun 
   of great prudence, prayer, and spirituality: 
she must be careful to
   - read the constitutions to the novices, 
   - teach them all they have to do 
         in the observances of the house, 
                     as well as
         in their mortifications; 
greater stress must be laid 
    on what is inward
 than on what is outward. 
She must have from them every day 
   an account 
       - of their progress in prayer, 
       - of their meditation 
             on the mystery assigned them, 
      - of the profit 
             they have derived therefrom; 
she must teach them 
  - how to make use of that profit, 
  - how to demean themselves 
        in times of dryness, 
  - how to go onwards 
        in subduing their own will, 
     even if only in trifles. 
Let her, 
        who is mistress of novices,
   see that she neglects nothing, 
for her work is 
   - to bring up souls 
         in whom our Lord may dwell. 
Let her 
   - treat them tenderly and lovingly, 
   - never surprised at their shortcomings, 
for they must advance step by step, 
 let her mortify every one of them, 
      according to her judgment 
         of what the spiritual state 
     of each  can bear: 
let her think 
  more of failure in goodness 
  than of  severity in penance. 
Let the prioress give orders 
  that one of the sisters help her 
    in teaching them to read. 
42. Manifestation of the interior state. — 
Let all the sisters, 
       once in each month,
   give the prioress 
      - an account of their progress 
           in the way of prayer 
           — how our Lord 
                is leading them on — 
for if they are not on the right road 
   His Majesty will give her light 
         to guide them: 
   the doing of which is 
         an act of humility 
         a mortification. 
To produce much fruit, 
it must be done willingly by her subjects. 
43. The prioress may be mistress 
         of novices. — 
When the prioress shall see
 that there is no nun qualified 
       to be mistress of novices 
she must 
   - be mistress herself, and 
   - undertake that duty, 
       which is so important 
   - bid one of her sisters help her. 
44. Hours of prayer, — 
When any sister,
          having duties to fulfill,
    shall be hindered 
        from making her prayer 
        during the hour set apart for it 
  let her take another hour 
      during which she shall be less occupied; 
  that is to say, 
    an hour 
       during which, 
      during the greater part of which, 
  she may be able 
       to give the time to prayer. 
45. Alms. — 
Any alms 
     our Lord may give us in money 
  shall be always placed forthwith 
     in the chest of three keys, 
  unless it be a small sum, 
     which the nun 
             who has received it 
    may give to one 
             of the keepers of the keys, 
and every night 
    before the signal for silence is given,
she must give a minute account 
    to the prioress, 
    to the keeper of the keys 
           already mentioned; 
 the account given, 
let the whole of the alms 
   be entered in one sum 
       in the book kept for that end 
   in the convent, 
that it may be accounted for 
   to the visitor every year. 
46. Chapter of  faults. — 
The chapter of faults is to be held, 
      according to the Rule, 
  once in each week; 
the faults of the sisters are 
  to be corrected with charity. 
The sisters must always 
    come to the chapter fasting, 
and then, 
when the signal is given and 
          the nuns are all assembled in chapter, 
        whose office is that of reader 
               on a sign from the prioress 
               or the president, 
       read the constitutions 
                and the rule. 
The reader shall say                             
       'Jube, Domine benedicere'              
   ( Blog Note: 'Lord, grant me Thy blessing')
She, who holds the chapter,  shall answer,  
      'Regularibus disciplinis nos instituere
       digneris Magister  caelestis'; 
       (Blog note: Rough translation
        'Instruct us  
          by standard / principles education
       in determining 
          (what is fitting / worthy /   
            deserved/suitable ),
      Heavenly Lord'. )
and all the nuns,
Then let the mother prioress, 
  if it seem good to her 
      to say a few words
         either as to the reading 
         or on the correction of the sisters, 
  say before beginning,  
  the sisters, 
     prostrating themselves, 
     and so remaining till bidden to rise. 
Then when they have risen, 
let them return to their places; 
the novices and lay sisters are to begin, 
  and then the elder sisters, 
who are to 
    - come two and two
       into the middle of the chapter-room,
   - tell their open faults and shortcomings 
      to the president; 
first of all, 
   the novices and lay sisters 
       should be dismissed, 
   with those who have 
        neither voice 
        nor seat in the chapter, 
47. Accusation of others. — 
The sisters may not speak in chapter 
       - to tell 
              their own or 
              a sister's faults 
      - in answer to a question 
           from the president. 
Let her,
          who accuses another,
    take care she does not speak 
          from mere suspicion. 
If any one should do so,
   she shall undergo the punishment 
         due to the fault 
   of which she has accused her sister; 
so also shall it be done to her,
   who shall accuse another 
       of a fault  for which she has 
       already made satisfaction. 
Lest evil habits or shortcomings 
   should be kept secret, 
a sister may tell 
       the mother prioress or the visitor 
   what she has seen or heard. 
    who shall accuse another sister falsely,
 shall be punished in the same way, 
and be obliged further 
    to make restitution of her good name 
to the utmost of her power. 
The sister accused 
   may not answer 
       unless ordered to do so, 
       then she must answer humbly 
   if she betrays any impatience 
         in her answer, 
   then let her have a heavier penance, 
       according to the discretion 
            of the president, 
    when she shall have recovered her temper. 
48. Correction of faults. — 
The sisters must be careful 
   not to make known or reveal, 
         in any way whatever, 
   the deliberations or the secrets 
          of the chapter. 
No nun may ever make known, 
   by way of murmuring, 
any corrections or decisions made 
   by the mother in chapter, 
   for thereby 
      - disagreements ensue, 
      - the peace of the convent is destroyed, 
     -  the duties of the elders invaded. 
Let the mother prioress or the president, 
          the zeal of charity and 
          the love of justice, 
       without any dissembling, 
        the faults lawfully, 
        those which shall be clearly 
           discovered or confessed, 
     according to what shall be here laid down.

The mother prioress may 
      soften or shorten the penance 
        due to a fault 
         — at least the first, 
                 or the second, 
                 or the third time committed, 
              if not done maliciously, 
but if she finds any sister transgressing
         through an evil habit, 
  she must 
    - make the appointed penances heavier, 
    - neither forgive 
      nor lessen them 
        without authority from the visitor. 
Let the nuns,
      who habitually commit 
             the slight faults, 
   undergo the penance 
             of the greater faults, 
likewise for other faults 
   let the appointed penances 
            be made heavier
   if' they are committed habitually.        [12]
When the faults have been 
      heard and corrected 
  let them say the Psalm,
       'Deus misereatur'        
                        ( Blog Note:
                          "May God Be Merciful' 
                           Psalm 66? 
                         'May God have mercy on us' )                     
          according to the ritual, 
the chapter ended, 
  let the president say. 
      'Sit nomen Domini benedictum'       
        ( Blog Note:
          'Blessed be the Name of the Lord' )

and the sisters answer, 
      'Ex hoc nunc et usque in speculum'. 
      ( Blog Note:
         'Ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum'. 
         'From now for all time"
49. Of slight faults. — 
1. A slight fault is committed 
    if a sister, 
             on the signal being given, 
       delays to prepare herself 
             with due speed and haste
       to come to the choir, 
              orderly and composedly, 
       when she ought to do so. 
2. If any sister 
     enters the choir 
         after the office is begun, 
     reads or chants badly, 
     makes a mistake, 
     does not at once 
           make an act of  humility before all. 
3. If any sister through negligence 
      is without her breviary, or the book 
      out of which she is to recite. 
4. If any sister shall not be ready 
      with the lesson assigned to her 
     to read at the proper time. 
5. If any sister in choir 
       makes another laugh. 
6. If any sister 
           makes light of and 
           does not duly observe 
       the prostrations, 
       the bowings, 
       other ceremonies. 
7. If any sister causes 
         any disturbance or noise 
    in choir, or 
    in the dormitory or the cell. 
8. If any sister shall come late 
         into the chapter 
         or the refectory, 
         or to her work. 
9. If any sister shall 
          be guilty of, or 
          listen to, 
               any idle conversation, 
          make a disorderly noise. 
10. If any sister 
          shall handle carelessly
               the books or clothing, 
               or anything 
                  belonging to the monastery, 
         shall break or lose anything used 
               in the service of the house. 
11. If any sister shall eat or drink 
      without leave from her 
           who has authority to give it. 
12. Let the sisters,
                accused of these faults, 
        who accuse themselves 
                of anything of the kind, 
       have for their penance given them 
         - to say a prayer or  prayers 
               according to the nature of their fault, 
         - some act of humility, 
         - silence for a specified time 
             for having broken the silence 
                   of the order, 
         - abstinence from some kind of food 
              at some meal of the community. 
OF GRAVER FAULTS                   [13]
50. Of graver faults. — 
1. It is a graver fault 
    if a sister shall not have entered the choir 
      when the first Psalm is over, 
     whenever they come in late 
         they must 
              prostrate themselves, 
              and so remain 
          till the mother prioress bids them rise. 
2. If any sister presumes to chant or read 
       in any other than the usual way. 
3. If anyone, 
       not attending to the divine office 
           with downcast eyes, 
       shall betray the levity of her  spirit. 
4. If any one irreverently handles
      the ornaments of  the altar. 
5. If any one 
         does not come 
             to the chapter, 
             to her work, 
             to the sermon, 
         shall be absent 
                  during  the common meal. 
6. If any one knowingly neglects 
         a general order. 
7. If any one is found careless 
         in the office assigned her. 
8. If any one speaks in chapter 
             without leave. 
9. If any one, being accused, 
      makes a noise during her accusation. 

10. If any one out of revenge 
          presumes to accuse another 
       by whom she, herself, 
          has been accused the same day. 
11. If any one behaves herself disorderly 
         in gait or  gesture. 
12. If any one swears or talks disorderly, 
       and, what is more serious,
         if she is in the habit of doing so. 
13. If a sister is quarrelsome, 
        or says anything 
       by which her sisters may be offended. 
14. If any one, on being asked, 
         refuses to forgive another 
       who has offended her. 
15. If any one in the offices 
        enters the monastery without leave: 
Of these and the like faults 
   let the correction be made in chapter, 
   one discipline to be ministered 
         by the president 
         by her whom she may order: 
She, who accused the guilty one, 
   is not to minister it, 
   nor may a young nun minister it 
         to the elders. 
51. Of grievous faults, —                               
1. It is a grievous fault 
         if a sister disputes with another 
     in an unseemly way. 
2. If any one is found 
        repeating or uttering maledictions, 
        using disorderly language, 
            unbecoming a religious, 
        angry with any one. 
3. If any one 
       forswears herself, 
       upbraids a sister 
           with any fault previously committed
              for which she has made satisfaction, 
          with any natural defects 
                or others of her forefathers. 
4. If any one defends 
        her own or another's fault. 
5. If any one is found to have 
      deliberately told an untruth falsely. 

6. If any one is in the habit 
      of not observing silence. 
7. If any one is in the habit of telling 
    what takes place in the world, 
          at her work or anywhere else. 
8. If any one, 
          without cause and without leave, 
     breaks the fasts of the order, 
     especially those appointed by the Church. 
9. If anyone exchanges cell or habit 
      with another, 
10. If any one, 
             during the hours of sleep, 
             or at any other time,
         enters the cell of another 
             without leave or 
             without pressing necessity. 
11. If any one is seen, 
                 without special leave 
                 from the prioress, 
           at the turn or 
           in the parlour 
        when strangers are by. 
12. If a sister shall in anger 
          threaten another sister, 
          shall raise her hand, 
                or anything else, 
             to strike her,
    let the penalty of the grievous fault 
          be doubled for her. 
          who ask forgiveness 
              for faults of this kind, 
          who are not accused, 
     shall receive in the chapter 
           a double correction, 
     - fast two days on bread and water, 
     - take their meal on one day 
          below all the tables 
       in the sight of the whole community,      
         without a table or the furniture thereof; 
    but those who have been accused        [14]
         shall have one correction in addition 
          (to that of the one 
                who accuses themselves)
          one more day of fasting 
                   on bread and water. 
52. Of the more grievous faults. —      
1. A more grievous fault is, 
     if any one shall dare 
        to dispute in an unmannerly way, 
        to speak uncivilly to 
             the mother prioress or the president. 
2. If any one maliciously strikes her sister,
     such an one, 
           in the very act,
      lies under sentence of  excommunication,  
      must be separated from the others. 
3. If any one is found 
        sowing discord or misunderstandings
               between the sisters, 
        in the habit to 
              slandering or evil-speaking in secret. 
4. If any one presumes 
           to speak to strangers 
       without leave from the mother prioress,
       without a companion as witness 
           who distinctly hears what is said. 
53. Modes of correction. — 
If the nuns accused 
            of these or the like faults
    be found guilty, 
let them prostrate themselves at once, 
    asking forgiveness, and
    laying bare their shoulders 
          to receive the sentence 
          due to their deservings; 
let the discipline be given them 
   according to the discretion 
         of the mother prioress, 
and then, 
when bidden to rise, 
  let them withdraw 
         to the cell 
     assigned them by the mother prioress; 
None of the sisters may 
          go near them, 
          speak to them, 
          send them anything, 
 that they may see 
    that they are 
       - severed from the community, 
       - deprived of the society 
                 of the angels. 
So long as they are in penitence 
   they may 
      not go to communion, 
      nor be appointed to any office, 
      nor be entrusted with any duty, 
      nor bidden to do anything whatsoever: 
  rather they must be deprived 
     of any office they may hold, 
  and in chapter 
     they may neither vote nor sit, 
   unless it be to add to their own penance. 
They must be the last of all the nuns 
   until they have made full amends. 
In the refectory
    they may not sit with the rest, 
but in the middle of the refectory 
  let them sit, in their mantles; 
  let them have bread and water, 
      unless out of compassion 
   the mother prioress order anything else 
       to be given them. 
Let the mother prioress 
   deal tenderly with them, 
   send a sister, 
             if she sees that 
                  they humble themselves 
            from their heart, 
    - to console them, 
    - to help them in their good resolutions. 
Nuns thus sorrowing
    let the whole community 
               in the same way     
      - help and 
      - be kind to, 
let the mother prioress make no objection 
   to their being thus compassioned, 
          sooner or later, 
          more or less, 
     according to 
         the nature of the offense 
         the necessities of the case. 
54. Rebellion. — 
If any sister shall 
     openly rebel 
              against the mother prioress 
              or her superiors, 
     imagine anything against them 
        which is neither becoming nor lawful, 
let her 
    - do penance over and above 
         that already defined for forty days, 
    - be deprived 
          of her vote and seat in chapter, 
          of any office she may hold; 
let her be punished in the same way 
   if she have done this 
       at the instigation of another, 
       in virtue of a wicked agreement. 
55. The constitutions. — 
Then let them keep the constitutions
     continually in mind, 
and that will enable them, 
     by the grace of our Lord, 
   to advance greatly in perfection: 
let them diligently read them 
     from time to time, 
and for that end
     there must be many copies of them 
           in the community, 
    so that every sister may be able,
        if she wishes it, 
    to take one with her into her cell. 
56. Discipline. — 
As to the discipline, 
   the ritual orders it 
        to be taken 
     when the ferial office is said, 
      and in Lent and in Advent 
           every day 
      on which the ferial office is said. 
   During the rest of the year, 
    on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 
      if on those days the ferial office is said; 
    but it is to be taken 
        every Friday throughout the year 
    for the increase of the faith, 
    for those who have done us good, 
    for the souls in purgatory, 
    for captives, 
    for those who are in mortal sin, 
      one 'Miserere mei' 
          with the prayers for the Church 
       and the other intentions mentioned; 
    for those taken...  
In choir after matins,
     twigs are to be used 
 as the ritual prescribes; 
let no one 
    exceed these rules or 
    do any penance whatever without leave: 
Each sister shall take the discipline 
    by herself. 

                  Foot Notes:
  The father-general never had any   
      jurisdiction in or over 
   the Monastery of the Conception 
             in Alcala, 
      which Maria of Jesus had founded, 
      and could not therefore 
         give it any constitutions. 
    The inscription, then, 
        shows that the constitutions 
     which S. Teresa gave the monastery, 
     at the request of the nuns, 
       were copied literally from those 
      which the Saint took with her 
              to Pastrana 
        (Foundations, ch. xvii. 3). 
       The Saint, ch. iii. 17, 
        makes mention of these constitutions 
        as being in force 
            in Avila and Medina. 
  The chronicler of the order 
    (reforma, bk. 1. ch. 1. 6)  says
   that this was changed 
          at a Later time, 
    experience having shown it to be better 
        to read the points of meditation, 
    not the night before, 
    but immediately before prayer . 
  The chronicler, ut supra, says 
   - that this was also changed 
        by the reformers of the constitutions, 
  - that the nuns were to make 
        their examen in the choir, and 
    not in their cells or elsewhere. 
   Mary of S. Francis
      a Carmelite of Medina, 
   in the depositions she made 
      to the process of the Saint, 
   says that the books she used to read 
          the Morals of S. Gregory, 
          the writings of the Carthusian, 
          the Abecedario of Francisco de Osuna,
          The Ascent of Mount Sion, 
          the works of Luis of Granada, 
          The Art of Serving God, 
          the Contemptus Mundi. 
   The Carthusian is Ludolf of Saxony,  
       about whose Life of Christ 
       see Life, ch. xxxviii. 2, note 6; 
    Flos Sanctorum is the Spanish name
        of the Legenda Aurea
    There were two versions of the work, 
        the first called Vitae Patrum
     of which editions appeared 
          in 1498, 1511, 1538, and  1553, 
      one or other of which was 
          known to and 
          utilized by S. Teresa, 
    but the work was put on the Index of 1559
    and is therefore not mentioned  
          among the books to be placed 
          at the disposal of the nuns. 
    The other version bears the title,
            Flos Sanctorum 
     of which four editions 
          are known to have existed, namely 
      one the date 
          of which is not on record, 
     one of 1511, 
     another of 1521 
     one of about the middle 
          of the sixteenth century; 
     Contemptus Mundi is the titles 
        of the Imitation of Christ 
      (see Way of Perfection, ch. xi. 3). 
     The Oratory of  Religious, 
          by Antonio de Guevara, 
      appeared first 
           at Valladolid in 1542, 
                   and again 
           at Saragossa 
                   in the following year, 
          at Valladolid in 1567, 
                 and later on, 
                 after the publication 
                      of the Constitutions, 
         at Salamanca and Medina del Campo. 
     The books of Fray Luis de Granada 
         are probably 
           the Guide of Sinners and 
         the Book on Prayer
   On the writings of S. Peter of Alcantara,
        see Life, ch. xxx. 6. 
   For the works mentioned 
       by Mary of  S. Francis,
       see the notes to the Life of S. Teresa,   
       namely on 
        - the Moralia of S. Gregory the Great, 
           ch. x. 16; 
       - the Abecedario of Francisco de Osuna,  
           ch. iv. 8; 
       - the Ascent of Mount Sion 
            by Bernardino de Laredo, 
            ch. xxiii. 13; 
      - the Art of Serving God 
            by Alonso de Madrid, 
            ch. xii. 2. 
      See A. Morel-Fatio, 
      Les lectures de Sainte Therese, 
      Bulletin Hispanique, 
      Bordeaux and Paris, 
      January — March 1908. 
  See § 3 of the Rule. 
 {  Added here by blog
    "3. Cells and refectory. —   
    [Each of you shall have her own cell 
       in the place 
   wherein you shall have 
       made up your minds
           to dwell, 
      separated and apart each 
           from the other, 
      as it shall have been assigned you 
      by the prioress and the community, 
        or by the greater part thereof...
     None of the sisters 
        may change the place and cell 
             assigned her, 
       make an exchange with another, 
            without leave from the prioress 
              for the time being. 
         [ Foundations: The Carmelite Rule]  }
   I Thessal. iii. 8. 
   Nocte ac die operantes nc 
      quern vestrum gravaremus. 
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  Blog's rough translation:
   'Night and day working,
    that  we would not burden you'
      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  Douay Rheims:  Thessalonians  2:9
  "For you remember, brethren, 
    our labour and toil: 
  working night and day, lest we should be
     chargeable to any of you
  we preached among you the Gospel of God."
  See Rule, §§ 10, 11. 
  See Rule, § 8. 
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  Blog Note:
  See  'Carmelite Rule': Paragraph #7
  In "The book of the Foundations"
 "and let every sister have 
      what she requires...    
  the age and necessities of each sister 
    being most carefully considered."
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  See §13. 
    . . .  . . .  . . . . .
  Blog Note:
   See  'Carmelite Rule': Paragraph #13
   In "The book of the Foundations"
  See Paragraph #9 above in this writing
       and its Foot Note #6.
     . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . .  .
  That is to say (offer ) thirty Masses 
      distributed over a whole month. 
  This is another proof of the antiquity 
      of these constitutions, 
      of their having been received 
          in the monastery of Maria of Jesus 
           ( at Alcala de Henares )
      as they were given by S. Teresa; 
   the nuns of that house had nothing to do 
     with the Carmelites of the mitigation, 
   and therefore were under no obligation
     to pray specially for them. 
   But it was not so 
     with S. Teresa, and 
     with many nuns of S. Joseph's in Avila, 
      and in other foundations of the Saint, 
         who had been once nuns 
       of the monastery of the Incarnation 
              (De la Fuente).
  In the edition of Don Vicente,
        the text is:
  ' no lo tuvieren de costumbre
    (except when committed habitually). 
  The particle no is  clearly 
        out of place. 
  . . . . . . . . .  . .  . . .  .
  Blog Note:
     no lo tuvieren de costumbre
     not having the custom of 
     not having as usual 
  . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Media culpa— Middling faults. 
  That is, 
  those who take the first opportunity of
    acknowledging and asking forgiveness 
         for their fault 
   are punished less severely 
   than those who wait 
   until they have been publicly accused
       by another. 

             End of  The Constitutions 
                     of the 
          Book of the Foundations
             of S. Teresa of Jesus 
  of the Order of our Lady of Carmel 

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