St. Teresa of Avila avoids the sin of detraction and encourages others to do the same

November 15, 2021 • 2 min

From Life of St. Teresa of Avila written by Herself, page 35

It was a great thing for me to have had the grace of prayer which God had wrought in me; it made me understand what it is to love Him.

In a little while I saw these virtues renewed within me; still they were not strong, for they were not sufficient to sustain me in justice.

I never spoke ill in the slightest degree whatever of any one, and my ordinary practice was to avoid all detraction; for I used to keep most carefully in mind that I ought not to assent to, nor say of another, anything I should not like to have said of myself.

I was extremely careful to keep this resolution on all occasions; though not so perfectly, upon some great occasions that presented themselves, as not to break it sometimes.

But my ordinary practice was this: and thus those who were about me, and those with whom I conversed, became so convinced that it was right that they adopted it as a habit.

It came to be understood that where I was, absent persons were safe; so they were also with my friends and kindred, and with those whom I instructed.

Still, for all this, I have a strict account to give unto God for the bad example I gave in other respects. May it please His Majesty to forgive me, for I have been the cause of much evil; though not with intentions as perverse as were the acts that followed.

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