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The humility of St. Teresa of Avila in retrospect to her childhood

2 min • Digitized on October 22, 2021

From Life of St. Teresa of Avila written by Herself, page 5
By St. Teresa of Avila

I remember that, when my mother died, I was about twelve years old a little less. When I began to understand my loss, I went in my affliction to an image of our Lady, and with many tears implored her to be my mother. I did this in my simplicity, and I believe that it was of service to me; for I have by experience found the royal Virgin help me whenever I recommended myself to her; and at last she has brought me back to herself.

It distresses me now, when I think of, and reflect on, that which kept me from being earnest in the good desires with which I began.

O my Lord, since Thou art determined to save me—may it be the pleasure of Thy Majesty to effect it!—and to bestow upon me so many graces, why has it not been Thy pleasure also—not for my advantage, but for Thy greater honour—that this habitation, wherein Thou hast continually to dwell, should not have contracted so much defilement?

It distresses me even to say this, O my Lord, because I know the fault is all my own, seeing that Thou hast left nothing undone to make me, even from my youth, wholly Thine.

When I would complain of my parents, I cannot do it; for I saw nothing in them but all good, and carefulness for my welfare.

Then, growing up, I began to discover the natural gifts which our Lord had given me—they were said to be many; and, when I should have given Him thanks for them, I made use of every one of them, as I shall now explain, to offend Him.

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