Saint Teresa of Avila

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Saint Teresa of Avila

TranslationIn the fourth day of the tenth month of the year (October) our lord Jesus Christ of 1582 at Alba de Torme´s village and in my last day. I have the need of writing to everybody that would read this, because you would understand me. Just like this and being to Pedro Poveda School´s time keepers, you can do something so important like what i have prepared for you.

Saint Teresa of Avila, or Sain Teresa of Jesus, was an spanish nun who spendt her life writing, praying and thinking about God and the human being. She was born in march, 28, of 1515, in Avila. She was part of a family that was composed by jewish people that became christian, like her grandfather. Her mom died when she was 14, and because of this, her father sent she to the Augustinian nuns at Ávila. There she adquired a huge devotion to the Virgin Mary and God she wanted to show this to the rest of the world, changing the situation of the Catholic Church.

Saint Teresa of Avila

Once installed at the Carmelite convent permanently, she started to learn and practice mental prayer. Teresa prayed this way off and on for eighteen years without feeling that she was getting results. Part of the reason for her trouble was that the convent was not the safe place she assumed it would be.

When she was 41, a priest convinced her to go back to her prayer, but she still found it difficult. Yet her experience gives us wonderful descriptions of mental prayer. As she started to pray again, God gave her spiritual delights: Sometimes her whole body was raised from the ground. If she felt God was going to levitate her body, she stretched out on the floor and called the nuns to sit on her and hold her down.

Everyone liked her and she liked to be liked. The convent encouraged her to have visitors to whom she would teach mental prayer because their gifts helped the community economy. But Teresa got more involved in flattery, vanity and gossip than spiritual guidance. These weren't great sins perhaps but they kept her from God.Then Teresa fell ill with malaria. Afterwards she was paralyzed for three years and was never completely well. Yet instead of helping her spiritually, her sickness became an excuse to stop her prayer completely: she couldn't be alone enough.

In her books, she analyzed and dissects mystical experiences the way a scientist would. She never saw these gifts as rewards from God. The more love she felt the harder it was to offend God. Her biggest fault was her friendships. she was very attached to her friends until God told her "No longer do I want you to converse with human beings but with angels.". After that God always came first in her life.Some friends, however, did not like what was happening to her and got together to discuss some "remedy" for her. Concluding that she had been deluded by the devil, they sent a Jesuit to analyze her. The Jesuit reassured her that her experiences were from God but soon everyone knew about her and was making fun of her.

She died on October 4 at the age of 67.She is the founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1970 she was declared a Doctor of the Church for her writing and teaching on prayer, one of two women to be honored in this way. Her symbol is a heart, an arrow, and a book. She was canonized in 1622.


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