172. Jesus Christ seen/heard over centuries. Part four
We were discussing the visions and locutions of St Teresa of Avila.
Jesus also advised her to send to Rome, and to follow a certain procedure, which he also described to her.
She was also assured by St. Claire on St. Claire’s day, as she appeared to her in great beauty.
A lady was in great distress and lived in a large city twenty leagues away. This lady was well acquainted with the Provincial. She had heard of ‘this poor sinner’, St Teresa. The Lord gave her a very great desire to see St Teresa. The lady approached the Provincial, who ordered St Teresa to visit her.
St Teresa did not want to go to that lady. The reason was that she thought that the lady considered that St Teresa had some good in her while she thought she ( Teresa) was so wicked. But Jesus told her to go without fail, because it would help the project of the convent. He told her that the Devil had organized a great plot. However she had nothing to worry because he was going to help her.
While she was staying with that lady, a religious arrived. A great desire grew in St Teresa to talk to him. She curbed the desire three times, but finally she went to that gentleman. They talked for quite a bit. That man asked her to commend him often to God. She vehemently begged God to take that man and make him His servant. The Lord told her to say certain things to that person. She was shy to convey His message, because she did not know how a third person would receive such a message. So she wrote it down and gave it to that person. The effect on that person was tremendous, because he thought that the message was from God and he resolved to give himself to God. The Lord had, through her, told him certain truths which were so suitable that he was astounded.
She was talking to a religious of the order of St Dominic. Her soul was filled with love of God. She became almost absorbed. She writes: ‘It confused me to see him listening so humbly as I was telling him certain things about prayer………It helped me so much to be with him that he seemed to have left my soul ablaze with a new longing……..And my soul in such a state that it could not endure so much joy. I fell into a deep rapture……….I saw Christ, in the greatest majesty and glory, manifesting his great satisfaction…….This he told me, and said that he wanted me to realize clearly that he was always present at conversations of this kind, for he was very pleased when people found their delight in talking of him.’
‘All the prophecies about this house, and of other matters, which the Lord told me, have been fulfilled, some three years later. I always mention them to my confessor and that lady. She, as I have learnt, repeated them to other persons, who thus know that I am not lying.’
One day the Lord told her that she must on no account fail to found the convent in poverty, for that was his Father’s will, and his own will, and he would help her.
On another occasion he told her that money only leads to confusion and he said other things in praise of poverty, and assured her that none of the persons will ever lack the necessities of life if they served him.
She did not want to become a Superior. She considered this post as a great torment. But the Lord told her to go. She writes: ‘if I wanted a cross, there was a good one all ready for me and I was not to reject it but go on bravely, for he would help me…… I was terribly worried and nothing but weep’
The discussion for endowment (see footnote) had started. St Teresa was tired and worn out by the continuous battle for the establishment of the house. She narrates: ‘ On the very night before it was to be concluded, the Lord told me that I must not agree to such a thing (endowment), for, if once we had an endowment, we should never be allowed to give it up again’
Finally she got permission to establish the convent.
“Before entering the convent, while at prayer in the church, I all but went into rapture, and saw Christ, Who seemed to me receiving me with great love, placing a crown on my head and thanking me for what I had done for his Mother……On another occasion I saw Our Lady in the greatest glory, clad in white mantel, beneath which she seemed to be sheltering us all. From this I learned what a high degree of glory the lord would give to the nuns in this house.”
To be continued
Footnote. A financial endowment is a donation of money or property to a not-for-profit organization for the ongoing support of that organization.