Saturday, June 10, 2006

Begging Your Patience - Teresa of Avila and Me

Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila is such a great read that I pick it up constantly and reread things that I read (sometimes) only days before. One thing that has always struck me (on a less profound level - personal, not theological) is the following passage:
"These interior matters are so obscure to the mind that anyone with as little learning as I will be sure to have to say many superfluous and even irrelevant things in order to say a single one that is to the point. The reader must have patience with me, as I have with myself when writing about things of which I know nothing; for really sometimes I take up my paper, like a perfect fool, with no idea of what to say or of how to begin. I fully realize how important it is for you that I explain certain interior matters to the best of my ability;...The trouble, as I have said, is that, before I can get to them, I shall have to explain many things that are well known - it is bound to be so when a person is as stupid as I."
So, although I have never attempted to explain anything remotely close to such that is contained in this book, nor have I been blessed with a profound understanding of anything above those basic things which Teresa mentions, I relate in her struggle to say anything of meaning without surrounding it with "many superfluous and even irrelevant things". So then if I were to rewrite it to suit my own needs it would beg patience and understanding of my readers, so far as I have with myself. If I frustrate or disappoint, or most importantly, speak against that which the Church has taught to be True, it is out of ignorance and I pray that it is not held against God or His Church or any of the Church's people. It is me who is made a fool and me alone.

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