Medium Saint Teresa of Avila.  Spain

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 Saint Teresa of Avila Medium

 28.4 1515  -  15.10 1582


Saint Teresa of Avila (known in religion as Teresa de Jesus, baptised as Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada) was a Spanish Roman Catholic mystic and monastic reformer; born at Avila (53 miles north-west of Madrid), Old Castile, March 28, 1515; died at Alba de Tormes October 15, 1582. Detail of the Ecstasy of St Teresa, by Bernini, Cornaro Chapel, Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. One of Bernini's most famous sculptures, this work depicts a scene described in Teresa's mystical writings, in which an angel has pierced her heart with a dart of divine love and withdrawn it.

The deeply pious and ascetic ideal after the example of saints and martyrs was early instilled in her by her father, the knight Alonso Sánchez de Cloister Cepeda , and especially by her mother, Life. Beatrix d'Avila y Ahumada . Their family were Jewish converts. Teresa was fascinated by accounts of the lives of the saints, and ran away from home several times as a girl to find martyrdom. Leaving her parental home secretly one morning in 1534  she entered the monastery A monastery is the habitation of monks. Originally: a hermit's cell. Christian monasteries are also called abbey, priory, charterhouse, friary, and preceptory The habitation of nuns is also called a convent. The communal life of a monastery is called ceno of the Incarnation of the Carmelite nuns Origin and Early History Carmelites (in Latin Ordo fratrum Beatae Virginis Mariae de monte Carmelo is the name of a Roman Catholic order founded in the 12th century by a certain Berthold (d. after 1185) on Mount Carmel, whence the order receives its name. at Avila. In the cloister, Cloister of Saint Trophimus, in Arles, France A Cloister is part of cathedral's and abbey's architecture. A cloister consists usually of four corridors, with a courtyard or quad in the middle. Cloisteral life is another name for the life of a monk or nun., she suffered much from illness.

Early in her sickness, she experienced periods of spiritual ecstasy. Another article on a related topic is titled ecstasy. Religious ecstasy is a trance-like state that is deliberately induced using a variety of techniques, including prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, dancing, fasting, thirsting, and the consumption through the use of the devotional book, Abecedario espiritual , commonly known as the "third" or the "spiritual alphabet" (published, six parts, 1537 This work, following the example of similar writings of the medieval mystics, consisted of directions for tests of conscience and for spiritual self concentration and inner contemplation, known in mystical nomenclature as oratio recollectionis or oratio mentalis . Besides this, she employed other mystical ascetic works; such as the Tractatus de oratione et meditatione of Peter of Alcantara , and perhaps many of those upon which Ignatius Loyola based his Exercitia , and not improbably this Exercitia itself.

She professed, in her illness, to rise from the lowest stage, "recollection", to the "devotions of peace" or even to the "devotions of union", which was one of perfect ecstasy. With this was frequently joined a rich "blessing of tears". As the merely outer and void Roman Catholic distinction between mortal and venial sin dawned upon her, she came upon the secret of the awful terror of sinful iniquity, and the inherent nature of original sin. With this was correlated the consciousness of utter natural impotence and the necessity of absolute subjection to God.

The intimation on the part of various of her friends (c. 1556) of a diabolical, not divine, element in her supernatural experiences led her to the most horrible self-inflicted tortures and mortifications, far in excess of her ordinary asceticism, until Francisco Borgia , to whom she had made confession, reassured her. On St. Peter's Day of 1559 she became firmly convinced that Christ was present to her in bodily form, though invisible. This vision lasted almost uninterruptedly for more than two years. In another vision, a seraphim drove the fiery point of a golden lance repeatedly through her heart, causing an unexampled, as it were, spiritual-bodily pain. The memory of this episode served as an inspiration in determining her long struggle of love and suffering, from which emanated her life-long passion for conformation to the life and endurance of Jesus, to be epitomized in the cry usually inscribed as a motto upon her images: "Lord, either let me suffer or let me die."



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