purpose of st teresa's way of perfection
Although St. Teresa of Avila lived and wrote almost four centuries ago, her inspiring classic on the practice of prayer is fresh. The Saint protests against such ideas as these and lays it down clearly that, as a general rule, there is no way of attaining to union with the Beloved save by the practice of the “great virtues”, which can be acquired only at the cost of continual self-sacrifice and self-conquest. To God with Love, I am yours, I was born for You: What do You want me to do? 31), used to describe the state of the soul in the Prayer of Quiet, which forms one of the most beautiful and expressive expositions of this degree of contemplation to be found in any book on the interior life whatsoever. It was composed by St. Teresa at the express command of her superiors, and was written during the late hours in order not to interfere with the day’s already crowded schedule. The Escorial manuscript bears the title “Treatise of the Way of Perfection”, but this is not in St. Teresa’s hand. Its specific purpose was to serve as a guide in the practice of prayer and it sets forth her counsels and directives for the attainment of spiritual perfection through prayer. 16-26) develops these ideas, and leads the reader directly to the themes of prayer and contemplation. The Way of Perfection was written during the height of controversy which raged over the reforms St. Teresa enacted within the Carmelite Order. There is no direct indication in the manuscript of the date of its composition. To God With Love: St Teresa and The Way of Perfection. There could not possibly have been so many nuns at St. Joseph’s before late in the year 1563, in which Mar de San Jerónimo and Isabel de Santo Domingo took the habit, and it is doubtful if St. Teresa could conceivably have begun the book before the end of that year. Can all souls attain to contemplation? Through the entire Way of Perfection there runs the author’s desire to teach her daughters to love prayer, the most effective means of attaining virtue. No_Favorite. Although St. Teresa of Avila lived and wrote almost four centuries ago, her superbly inspiring classic on the practice of prayer is as fresh and meaningful today as it was when she first wrote it. Both autographs have been preserved in excellent condition, the older of them in the monastery of San Lorenzo el Real, El Escorial, and the other in the convent of the Discalced Carmelite nuns at Valladolid. “I shall speak of nothing of which I have no experience, either in my own life or in observation of others, or which the Lord has not taught me in prayer.”— Prologue. There are souls, too, which make overmuch account of spiritual favours: these she counsels to see to it that, however sublime their contemplation may be, they begin and end every period of prayer with self-examination. Most of what annotations and corrections of this kind there are were made by the Saint’s confessor, P. García de Toledo, whom, among others, she asked to examine the manuscript. St. Teresa then examines a number of other questions, on which opinion has also been divided and even now is by no means unanimous. Since excess is possible even in mutual love, she next turns to detachment. As the remainder, however, are in a feminine hand of the sixteenth century, they may have been dictated by her to one of her nuns: they are almost identical with those which she herself wrote at a later date in the autograph of Valladolid. A complication occurs in the existence, at the end of a copy of the Way of perfection which belongs to the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Salamanca, and contains corrections in St. Teresa’s hand, of a note, in the writing of the copyist, which says: This book was written in the year sixty-two—I mean fifteen hundred and sixty-two.” There follow some lines in the writing of St. Teresa, which make no allusion to this date; her silence might be taken as confirming it (though she displays no great interest in chronological exactness) were it not absolutely impossible to reconcile such a date with the early chapters of the book, which make it quite clear that the community of thirteen nuns was fully established when they were written (Chap. ESCORIAL AUTOGRAPH—The Way of perfection—or Paternoster, as its author calls it, from the latter part of its content—was written twice. Through the entire Way of Perfection there runs the author's desire to teach her daughters to love prayer, the most effective means of attaining virtue. In writing for her Ávila nuns, St. Teresa used language much more simple, familiar and homely than in any of her other works. Categories Podcast, The Discerning Hearts Blog, Way of Perfection Audio Leave a comment Post navigation. She enters at some length into the temptations to which spiritual people are exposed when they lack humility and discretion.
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