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When St. 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."


The saint 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.


Teresa 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 me."


Maria de 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.


But Teresa 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.



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As Teresa of Avila entered the Convent of Incarnation, she experienced greater joy in sweeping the floor than in her past life of vanities.












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