Rev. Dr. Mary Luti of Andover Newton Theological School posted, “Here’s something Teresa of Avila really did say!
In the course of explaining to her nuns why they should not be reluctant to believe that they, despite their gender and state in life, could play a crucial role in reforming the Church, Teresa turns to God to intercede for them, saying:
“Since you, my Creator, are not ungrateful, I think you will not fail to do what these women ask of you. Nor did you, Lord, when you walked with us in this world, despise women; rather, you always, with great compassion, helped them. And you found as much love and more faith in them than you did in men… Is it not enough, Lord, that the world tries to intimidate us…so that we we may not do anything worthwhile for you in public, or dare speak the truths we lament over in secret, without your failing to hear so just a petition? I do not believe, Lord, that this could be true of your goodness and justice, for you are a just judge, not like the judges of this world. Since the world’s judges are sons of Adam and all of them men, there is no virtue in women they do not hold suspect. I do not speak for myself…but because I see that these are times in which it would be wrong to undervalue virtuous and strong souls, even though they are women.” The Way of Perfection, 3:7 (1562-66)
By the way, that paragraph was blacked out in the first draft of the book, and rendered completely illegible by her 16th c censors. It was restored to the text only in the 1950’s with the help of special light techniques that could read beneath the ink!”
Having just returned from the Upper Room 5 Day Academy for Spiritual Formation yesterday with God’s call burning in my heart, these words almost leapt off the screen in some cosmic 3D LucasFilms production: “Is it not enough, Lord, that the world tries to intimidate us…so that we we may not do anything worthwhile for you in public, or dare speak the truths we lament over in secret, without your failing to hear so just a petition?” It was as if God was saying, “just because you left the 5 day doesn’t mean I quit talking to you!” In the times given for silence, the message I received was that my time for silence is over. It’s time for me to tell my story because it is in telling our stories that the power of change and transformation happen. We connect with each other through our stories. Grace Iimathiu said, “Stories create space for more than one truth.” That is so true.