TERESA OF AVILA AND POVERTY
Teresa of Avila received the message from Christ to found an order of
stricter observance, she didn't know that the old Carmelite rule enjoined
absolute poverty. Not knowing this, she was about to provide for her houses
revenues so that the religious might be free from all anxiety about their
temporal affairs "not thinking," she writes, "of the many
anxieties which the possession of property brings in its train."
was convinced that poverty was the safer course but she feared that others
would charge her with folly and tell her that she must not be the cause of
sufferings to others.
consulted very spiritual men but none approved of her poverty. "They
had much theology against my plan. But I did not want any theology to help
Jesus, a former novice of the Carmelite Convent of Granada who, during her
novitiate had a revelation, reminded Teresa of the importance of poverty.
St. Peter Alcantara, also, assured her of the worth of poverty.
vacillated until Christ, Himself, appeared to her and told her that her
monasteries must be founded on poverty and they will never be in want of the
necessities of life.
* * *
As Teresa of
Avila entered the Convent of Incarnation, she experienced greater joy in
sweeping the floor than in her past life of vanities.