The Book of the Foundations of St. Teresa

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She wrote several books and was a prominent Roman Catholic saint and theologian. She spent her life in Spain and died in Teresa of Jesus. Format: Digital. Publisher: Thomas Baker. Be the first to rate this. For this reason the work often cites her dialogue in prayer with the Lord. It makes fascinating reading because not only does the Saint recount that she is reliving the profound experience of her relationship with God but also demonstrates it.

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It was composed for the 12 novices of the Carmel of St Joseph in Avila. Teresa proposes to them an intense programme of contemplative life at the service of the Church, at the root of which are the evangelical virtues and prayer. Among the most precious passages is her commentary on the Our Father, as a model for prayer.

21 Book of the Foundations by St. Teresa of Avila

She wrote it in when she was in her prime. It is a reinterpretation of her own spiritual journey and, at the same time, a codification of the possible development of Christian life towards its fullness, holiness, under the action of the Holy Spirit.

The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, vol. 3 (includes The Book of Her Foundations)

Teresa refers to the structure of a castle with seven rooms as an image of human interiority. She simultaneously introduces the symbol of the silk worm reborn as a butterfly, in order to express the passage from the natural to the supernatural. St Teresa devoted the Libro de la fundaciones [book of the foundations], which she wrote between and , to her activity as Foundress of the reformed Carmels. In this book she speaks of the life of the nascent religious group. I would like to mention a few essential points.

General Audience of 2 February Saint Teresa of Avila | BENEDICT XVI

In the first place St Teresa proposes the evangelical virtues as the basis of all Christian and human life and in particular, detachment from possessions, that is, evangelical poverty, and this concerns all of us; love for one another as an essential element of community and social life; humility as love for the truth; determination as a fruit of Christian daring; theological hope, which she describes as the thirst for living water.

Then we should not forget the human virtues: affability, truthfulness, modesty, courtesy, cheerfulness, culture.


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Secondly, St Teresa proposes a profound harmony with the great biblical figures and eager listening to the word of God. She feels above all closely in tune with the Bride in the Song of Songs and with the Apostle Paul, as well as with Christ in the Passion and with Jesus in the Eucharist.

The Saint then stresses how essential prayer is. Prayer is life and develops gradually, in pace with the growth of Christian life: it begins with vocal prayer, passes through interiorization by means of meditation and recollection, until it attains the union of love with Christ and with the Holy Trinity. Obviously, in the development of prayer climbing to the highest steps does not mean abandoning the previous type of prayer.


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Rather, it is a gradual deepening of the relationship with God that envelops the whole of life. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Skip to content. Like this: Like Loading