Teresa of Avila Images of Self and God Janet K. Ruffing, RSM July 2009
 
 
 
 
Dona Teresa de Ahumada  1515-1582 <ul><li>1515 Birth of Teresa </li></ul><ul><li>1522 Flees with Rodrigo on horseback to f...
<ul><li>1554   Conversion Experience—image of the  suffering Christ (39 years) </li></ul><ul><li>1556   Begins to have vis...
<ul><li>1562 Begins Foundation St. Joseph’s </li></ul><ul><li>1565 Writes the Life  (47 Years old) </li></ul><ul><li>1566 ...
Context <ul><li>Golden Age of Spain </li></ul><ul><li>New World Exploration– her own brothers went to Ecuador, Argentina, ...
 
Central Image <ul><li>The castle—made of diamond or clear crystal.  Many dwelling places within– more than seven </li></ul...
Cont. <ul><li>The Castle requires a king/queen </li></ul><ul><li>An image of royalty, the divine majesty used to show the ...
<ul><li>“ Well, let us imagine that within us is an extremely rich palace, built entirely of gold and precious stones; in ...
Genre:  a narrative account and a teaching <ul><li>Disguised version of her life </li></ul><ul><li>Includes her experience...
Entry to the Castle <ul><li>Castle wall = bodies—never left behind and participate in grace; relatively important at diffe...
Silkworm: Transformation over which one has no control <ul><li>Larvae </li></ul><ul><li>Silkworm </li></ul><ul><li>Cocoon ...
 
 
“Stormy Sea” <ul><li>Internal contradictions within her </li></ul><ul><li>Call to virtue versus the call to the world </li...
Confessions of St. Augustine <ul><li>She saw her experience mirrored in his account: </li></ul><ul><li>“It seemed exactly ...
Self Image -- Christ Image <ul><li>Judge (severe looking Christ disapproving of her relationships)  </li></ul><ul><li>Life...
<ul><li>He shows her his hands and face ( Life 28.1) </li></ul><ul><li>Fiery angel with the golden dart –on fire with love...
<ul><li>[My soul] seemed to me to be like a brightly polished mirror, without any part on the back or sides or top or bott...
Resurrection <ul><li>“ The Lord represented Himself to her, just as He was after His resurrection, and told her that now i...
Teresa’s new Identity: A successor to Mary Magdalene <ul><li>Locution on the Feast of Mary Magdalene </li></ul><ul><li>“Wh...
Teresa’s Magdalene <ul><li>She conflates: Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and the woman who washes Jesus feet in Simon’s ...
<ul><li>“ Martha and Mary never fail to work almost together when the soul is in this state [mystical marriage]. For in th...
Imagery from novels of Chivalry <ul><li>Teresa takes these images and applies them to the interior life </li></ul><ul><li>...
God as King Resides in the Castle  permeates the initial description of the castle <ul><li>From the fourth mansion forward...
Bride of Christ: Combines the role of both  Knight and Lady <ul><li>“  (After the experience of union with God) the soul w...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Teresa of Avila: Images of Self and God

1,664 views

Published on

Third Presentation for psychology group

Published in: Spiritual
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,664
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
6
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
46
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • The Lord desired to show me only his hands which were so very beautiful… After a few days, I saw also that divine face which it seems left me completely absorbed. Since afterward he granted me the favor of seeing him entirely, I couldn’t understand why the Lord showed himself to me…little by little until later I understood that his Majesty was leading me in accordance with my natural weakness.” Life28.1 I saw close to me…an angel in bodily form…very beautiful, and his face was so aflame that he seemed to be one of those very sublime angels that appear to be all afire. I saw in his hands a large golden dart at the end of the iron tip there appeared to be a little fire. It seemed to me this angel plunged the dart several times into my heart and that it reached deep within me. When he drew it out, I thought he was carrying ooff the deepest part of me; and he left me all on fire with great love of God.Life 29.13,10
  • “ Teresa deeply envied male priests, who did not have to suffer, as she did, the bonds of misogynism, lack of formal education, and disqualification from office that kept her from achieving her goals.” Jodi Blinkinhoff. The God of chivalric deeds Teresa summons is one who will permit her to carry out her own chivalirc deeds, which she defines here and elsewhere as “bringing souls to God’ through preaching and teaching.” Carole Slade 311
  • Teresa of Avila: Images of Self and God

    1. 1. Teresa of Avila Images of Self and God Janet K. Ruffing, RSM July 2009
    2. 6. Dona Teresa de Ahumada 1515-1582 <ul><li>1515 Birth of Teresa </li></ul><ul><li>1522 Flees with Rodrigo on horseback to fight the Moors </li></ul><ul><li>1525 Illuminists condemned </li></ul><ul><li>1528 Her mother dies </li></ul><ul><li>1531-2 To Augustinian Convent to recover from seduction (18 mos) </li></ul><ul><li>1535 Runs away to join Carmelite Convent (incarnation) </li></ul><ul><li>1536 Dowry Settled </li></ul><ul><li>1537 Profession </li></ul><ul><li>1538 Becomes ill; lives with her sisters where she reads Osuna’s Spiritual Alphabet </li></ul><ul><li>1545 Council of Trent </li></ul><ul><li>1551 Jesuits Open a House in Avila </li></ul>
    3. 7. <ul><li>1554 Conversion Experience—image of the suffering Christ (39 years) </li></ul><ul><li>1556 Begins to have visions </li></ul><ul><li>1559 the index is established banning her favorite books </li></ul><ul><li>first intellectual vision </li></ul><ul><li>1560 Experience of the Transverberation at Dona Guiomar’s home </li></ul><ul><li> Vision of Hell </li></ul><ul><li> Pedro Alcantara (confessor and supporter of her plans) </li></ul><ul><li> Teresa announces the reform (45 years old) </li></ul>
    4. 8. <ul><li>1562 Begins Foundation St. Joseph’s </li></ul><ul><li>1565 Writes the Life (47 Years old) </li></ul><ul><li>1566 Writes the Way of Perfection (51) </li></ul><ul><li>1567 John of the Cross Volunteers for Medina </li></ul><ul><li>1572 Spiritual Marriage (57 years) </li></ul><ul><li>1574 Writes Foundations </li></ul><ul><li>1577 Writes Interior Castle </li></ul><ul><li>1582 Dies (67 years old) </li></ul><ul><li>1622 Canonized with Philip Neri, Isidore, Ignatius, Francis Borgia </li></ul><ul><li>1970 Doctor of the Church </li></ul>
    5. 9. Context <ul><li>Golden Age of Spain </li></ul><ul><li>New World Exploration– her own brothers went to Ecuador, Argentina, and Peru </li></ul><ul><li>Shaped by Romances and the image of El Cid– the Spanish Hidalgo </li></ul><ul><li>Born 20 years after the expulsion of the moor and after the birth of Ignatius </li></ul><ul><li>25% of the Spanish Population in religious life </li></ul><ul><li>Protestantism on the Rise </li></ul><ul><li>Inquisition begins in Spain (purely Catholic) – Her writings are examined– very violent and anti Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant </li></ul><ul><li>New Testament was available only in Latin </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of Books is clearly in evidence (printing press) </li></ul>
    6. 11. Central Image <ul><li>The castle—made of diamond or clear crystal. Many dwelling places within– more than seven </li></ul><ul><li>Who we already are: a dwelling place for God </li></ul><ul><li>Not unlike Greek theology of imago dei/ image and likeness </li></ul><ul><li>Movement from room to room is constant throughout life </li></ul><ul><li>An image of the center where God and the soul meet –central room corresponds to John of the Cross center of the soul. </li></ul>
    7. 12. Cont. <ul><li>The Castle requires a king/queen </li></ul><ul><li>An image of royalty, the divine majesty used to show the nobility of calling to contemplative life. Always in tension with an attitude of humility. </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to Eckhart’s soul as “aristocrat” </li></ul>
    8. 13. <ul><li>“ Well, let us imagine that within us is an extremely rich palace, built entirely of gold and precious stones; in sum built for a lord such as this. Imagine, too, as is indeed so, that you have a part to play in order for the palace to be so beautiful; for there is no edifice as beautiful as is a soul pure and full of virtues. The greater the virtues the more resplendent the jewels. Imagine, also, that in this palace dwells this mighty King who has been gracious enough to become your Father; and that He is seated upon an extremely valuable throne which is your heart. </li></ul><ul><li>. . .all of this imagining is necessary that we may truly understand that within us lies something incomparably more precious than what we see outside ourselves. Let’s not imagine that we are hollow inside. And please God it may be only women that go about forgetful of this inner richness and beauty. </li></ul><ul><li>… if I had understood as I do now that in this little palace of my soul dwelt so great a King, I would not have left him along so often. I would have remained with Him at times and striven more so as not to be so unclean. But what a marvelous thing, that he who would fill a thousand worlds and many more with His grandeur would enclose Himself in something so small!” (Way of Perfection, 28, 9-11) </li></ul>
    9. 14. Genre: a narrative account and a teaching <ul><li>Disguised version of her life </li></ul><ul><li>Includes her experience with her sisters </li></ul><ul><li>Teresa looks for theories to explain or understand what has already happened </li></ul>
    10. 15. Entry to the Castle <ul><li>Castle wall = bodies—never left behind and participate in grace; relatively important at different stages </li></ul><ul><li>The Door= prayer and reflection, the way to enter </li></ul><ul><li>A fluid metaphor– </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sun shines onto all the rooms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-knowledge is a room, but not one of the 7 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-knowledge is gained in the face of God’s greatness rather than by focusing on ourselves. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 16. Silkworm: Transformation over which one has no control <ul><li>Larvae </li></ul><ul><li>Silkworm </li></ul><ul><li>Cocoon </li></ul><ul><li>White butterfly </li></ul>
    12. 19. “Stormy Sea” <ul><li>Internal contradictions within her </li></ul><ul><li>Call to virtue versus the call to the world </li></ul><ul><li>“a time when she was on “that stormy sea, often falling in this way each time rising again, but to little purpose, as I would only fall once more.” </li></ul>
    13. 20. Confessions of St. Augustine <ul><li>She saw her experience mirrored in his account: </li></ul><ul><li>“It seemed exactly as if the Lord were speaking in that way to me, or so my heart felt. I remained for a long time dissolved in tears, in great distress and affliction” </li></ul>
    14. 21. Self Image -- Christ Image <ul><li>Judge (severe looking Christ disapproving of her relationships) </li></ul><ul><li>Life 7.6-9) </li></ul><ul><li>Christ “raises her from the dead” recovery from illness </li></ul><ul><li>She abandons God, but the Lord turned to her and raised her up by holding out his hand.” ( Life 7.1;6.9) </li></ul><ul><li>The wounded Christ, chained to the pillar of the scourging moves Teresa to conversion. She identifies with his abandonment and darkness. (Life 9.1-7) </li></ul><ul><li>She places herself now in the hands of God. </li></ul><ul><li>Hears words from Christ: </li></ul><ul><li>“ No longer do I want you to converse with men but with angels.” (Life, 24.5) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Do not fear, daughter, for I am, and I will not abandon you; do not fear” (Christ is now “friend”) (25. 17,18,19) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Do not be sad for I shall give you a living book.” ( WISDOM) </li></ul><ul><li>(Life 26.5) </li></ul><ul><li>Felt the human Jesus beside her without seeing him. </li></ul>
    15. 22. <ul><li>He shows her his hands and face ( Life 28.1) </li></ul><ul><li>Fiery angel with the golden dart –on fire with love for God </li></ul><ul><li>Sees “Christ with awesome majesty and glory showing great happiness over what was taking place Thus he told me and wanted me to see clearly that he is always present in conversations like these and how much he is pleased when persons so delight in speaking of him” </li></ul><ul><li>(Life 34.17) </li></ul><ul><li>Offers His hand in marriage, the cross studded with gems </li></ul>
    16. 23. <ul><li>[My soul] seemed to me to be like a brightly polished mirror, without any part on the back or sides or top or bottom that wasn’t totally clear. In its center Christ our Lord was shown to me. . .It seemed to me I saw him clearly in every part of my soul, as though in a mirror. And this mirror also was. . .was completely engraved upon the Lord himself by means of a loving communication I wouldn’t know how to describe.” Life 40.5 </li></ul>
    17. 24. Resurrection <ul><li>“ The Lord represented Himself to her, just as He was after His resurrection, and told her that now it was time that she considered as her own what belonged to Him and that He would take care of what was hers, and he spoke other words more to be heard than to be mentioned” (Castle 7.2.1) (Note herself in the role of Mary Magdalene and the mutuality of this image) </li></ul>
    18. 25. Teresa’s new Identity: A successor to Mary Magdalene <ul><li>Locution on the Feast of Mary Magdalene </li></ul><ul><li>“While I was on earth, I took her [Mary Magdalene] for my friend; but now that I am in heaven, I have chosen you.” (1570?) </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual Testimony 28, 1. </li></ul>
    19. 26. Teresa’s Magdalene <ul><li>She conflates: Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and the woman who washes Jesus feet in Simon’s house. </li></ul><ul><li>She discards the image of Magdalene as prostitute in favor of a Magdalene who combines action and contemplation </li></ul><ul><li>And she espouses Magdalene as an “apostle” who brings souls to Jesus. </li></ul>
    20. 27. <ul><li>“ Martha and Mary never fail to work almost together when the soul is in this state [mystical marriage]. For in the active –and seemingly exterior--work the soul is working interiorly. And when the active works rise from this interior root, they become lovely and very fragrant flowers.” ( Med. Song of Songs. 7.3) </li></ul><ul><li>“ If a peasant girl should marry the king and have children, don’t the children have royal blood? Well, if our Lord grants so much favor to our soul that He joins Himself to it in this inseparable way, what desire, what effects, what heroic deeds will be born from its offspring, if the soul be not at fault1” ( Med. Song of Songs. 3.9) </li></ul><ul><li>For Teresa: religious and social reforms (foundations) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Martha and Mary must work together when they offer the Lord lodging, and they must not entertain Him badly and give Him nothing to eat. And how can Mary give Him anything, seated as she is at His feet, unless her sister helps her? His food consists in our bringing Him souls, in every possible way, so that they may be saved and may praise Him forever”( Castle 7.4.12) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The other objection you will make is that you are unable to bring souls to God, that you do not have the means; that you would do it willingly but that not being teachers or preachers, as were the apostles, you do not know how.” (Castle 7.4.14) </li></ul>
    21. 28. Imagery from novels of Chivalry <ul><li>Teresa takes these images and applies them to the interior life </li></ul><ul><li>She performs the roles of </li></ul><ul><li>both Knight and Lady </li></ul><ul><li>Military Images are applied to spiritual warfare </li></ul><ul><li>She describes: “For more than eighteen of the twenty-eight years since I began prayer, I suffered this battle and conflict between friendship with God and friendship with the world. During the remaining years of which I have yet to speak, the cause of the war changed, although the war was not a small one (Life 8.) </li></ul><ul><li>Advises “courage” “manly virtue” to her nuns </li></ul>
    22. 29. God as King Resides in the Castle permeates the initial description of the castle <ul><li>From the fourth mansion forward, the castle becomes the domain of a lady, and it becomes progressively more beautiful, comfortable, and peaceful. </li></ul><ul><li>The soul begins to anticipate mystical marriage, and they enact the rituals of idealized romantic love. </li></ul>
    23. 30. Bride of Christ: Combines the role of both Knight and Lady <ul><li>“ (After the experience of union with God) the soul would want to enter into the midst of the world to try to play a part in getting even one soul to praise God more. And if it is a woman, she is afflicted by the bondage of her nature because she cannot do this, and she has great envy of those who have the liberty to cry out and proclaim who is this great God of chivalric deeds. Oh, poor little butterfly, bound with so many chains which do not let you fly where you would like.” (Castle 6.6.3-4) </li></ul>

    ×