St. Teresa of Avila prays for patience in illness and receives both

November 5, 2021 • 2 min

From Life of St. Teresa of Avila written by Herself, page 25
By St. Teresa of Avila

There was then in the house a nun labouring under a most grievous and painful disorder, for there were open ulcers in her body, caused by certain obstructions, through which her food was rejected. Of this sickness she soon died. All her sisters, I saw, were afraid of her malady.

I envied her patience very much; I prayed to God that He would give me a like patience; and then, whatever sickness it might be His pleasure to send, I do not think I was afraid of any, for I was resolved on gaining eternal good, and determined to gain it by any and by every means.

I am surprised at myself, because then I had not, as I believe, that love of God which I think I had after I began to pray. Then, I had only light to see that all things that pass away are to be lightly esteemed, and that the good things to be gained by despising them are of great price, because they are for ever.

His Majesty heard me also in this, for in less than two years I was so afflicted myself that the illness which I had, though of a different kind from that of the sister, was, I really believe, not less painful and trying for the three years it lasted, as I shall now relate.

When the time had come for which I was waiting in the place I spoke of before—I was in my sister’s house, for the purpose of undergoing the medical treatment—they took me away with the utmost care of my comfort; that is, my father, my sister, and the nun, my friend, who had come from the monastery with me—for her love for me was very great. At that moment Satan began to trouble my soul; God, however, brought forth a great blessing out of that trouble.

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