THE WAY OF PERFECTION - Answers by chenboying


									                       THE WAY OF PERFECTION – Answers

Note: When I first wrote this little syllabus, The Study Edition of The Way of
Perfection was not available. Now that it is available, I would greatly
recommend reading that book to supplement what follows.

Months 1 & 2

Note: This first assignment is a lot of reading. Take two months for it. The
following assignments will be much shorter.

As you read ask yourself these questions and write a short essay on each.

1. Why did St. Teresa have to be so careful in discussing and writing about prayer?

       Women were not supposed to teach and they were not supposed to pray
(except simple vocal prayers). They were discouraged from reading spiritual books
and certainly no one expected them to write books. And here is St. Teresa writing
books to teach people about prayer. Amazing and dangerous!

       To be fair to the men, there were women, some quite famous, who claimed
visions and extraordinary revelations, etc. who were found to be frauds, crazy and
even under demonic influence. So Teresa and her confessors feared that she might
be under the delusion of the devil. It was a real fear.

       Therefore Teresa had to be very careful when discussing prayer. That is why
you find her insisting so often that she is only talking about vocal prayer when we
know that she is talking about mental prayer. The catch is, that for Teresa, vocal
prayer said properly, is mental prayer. She plays a lot of word games to keep the
censors at bay.

2. Why did she say she founded “this house” [that is, St. Joseph’s Monastery]?

       One thing to remember about question two because it affects our vocation is
that she wanted a house of prayer so that she and her sisters could pray for priests,
those who were on the front line. So it is still a special vocation for Carmelites to
pray for vocations and for those who are priests that they persevere and are holy.

3. Did St. Teresa feel that all were called to contemplative prayer?

        All are called to prayer, but each person’s prayer experience will be different.
Not all are called in the same way.

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                             THE WAY OF PERFECTION

                                   Chapters 21 - 25

                                    Pages 117 - 132
Month 3

Chapter 21

1. What does Teresa call the path of contemplative prayer, and how does she
describe its importance? (p 117)

       The divine journey, a great treasure, everything else is a trifling.

2. Which trait does Teresa believe is “all important” for souls starting the practice of
prayer? (p 117)

       A great and very resolute determination to persevere.

3. What type of soul is Teresa addressing and what three points does she plan to
explain? (p 118)

       Those who can’t meditate, whose minds are too active and ingenious, never
       satisfied. She plans to show the beginning, means and the end of prayer.

4. In her thoughts on The Our Father, what encouragement does Teresa offer and
what does she say about dangers on the road? (pp. 118, 119)

       There are more dangers from not following the road - the treasure is worth it.
       This is the road chosen by the “king” and followed by the saints.

5. Does Teresa believe that this prayer journey is for everyone? (p 119)

       All must journey towards the fount, but by different ways (all must pray, but
       the way of prayer will vary).

6. What great blessing does Teresa promise on behalf of the Lord? (p 120)

       That God will always provide someone to help, who will show by example
       what is right and wrong and clarify the confusion and lead others back on the
       right path. (St. Teresa herself was such a person.)

7. From the description that she gives of this blessing, what can we learn that is
both relevant to every age and reassuring to each individual? (pp. 120, 121)

       There are always problems and contradictory voices in the church, but God
       will raise up men and women to show the way. (Our age is not the only time
       in history when there was controversy in the church).

8. Does Teresa believe that vocal prayer and contemplative prayer are
contradictory? (p 121)
       No, vocal prayer said with attention is mental prayer for Teresa.

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Chapter 22

1. How does Teresa explain the essential features common to all types of prayer? (p

       Know to whom you are speaking, realize who you are, have a greater
       awareness of Whom you are addressing than what your are saying.

2. Because of her own experiences and trials, Teresa hopes to help other souls avoid
similar mistakes. What very important point does she bring out, and why is it
important to the spiritual journey? (pp. 122, 123)

       She was made afraid of mental prayer; you can’t go on in prayer if you are

3. Note the advice pertaining to prayer that Teresa again emphasizes on pages 123
through 125, especially the comparison with those who plan to marry.

       Think about Who God is, where He is leading you, what you can do to please
       Him, the good things He has promised to give you (§7).

       There are two important points to remember, Whom we are going to speak
       with and who we are. We must understand these two points well before we
       start to pray vocally. This preparation is itself mental prayer.

Chapter 23

1. How many reasons does Teresa give for beginning a life of prayer with great
determination, and what attitude of soul do they express? (pp. 125-127)

       Here are some attitudes of soul I see these passages:
       a. Generosity: really we are giving just a little to One Who has given us so
       much, we should be generous. And giving this little is to our advantage; we
       gain many wonderful things for the little we give. We must have a great
       determination so that we do not take back what we give.
       b. Justice: I should consider the time of prayer as not belonging to me; He
       could demand it of me in justice.
       c. Fidelity: the devil is afraid of determined souls, remain faithful. If you are
       changeable the devil will keep after you.
       d. Courage and confidence: struggle with courage, and confidence because
       God is good.

2. What teaching is especially helpful for beginners who tend to be scrupulous? (p

       Remember that God is not touchy; He does not bother about trifling things.

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3. Teresa makes a very important statement on page 127 indicating the necessity of
contemplative prayer to spiritual growth, and treats of some benefits. (pp. 127-128)
Please summarize her teaching.

       God gives His favors to those who journey on this road. He takes care of
       most of the expenses. There is a hundred fold gain. If you have doubts, little
       would be lost in trying. More is given than we ask for, beyond what we could

Chapter 24

1. Teresa again addresses those souls who find quiet prayer difficult, and states that
some are upset by the spiritual terms, “mental prayer” or “contemplation”. What
common sense advice does she offer in this Chapter to help clear up the
misunderstanding? (pp. 129-130)

       Just try to say your vocal prayers well, that means:
       - be attentive to what you are saying, be sure you understand.
       - be attentive to Whom your are speaking.
       - pray alone as Jesus taught.
       When you do this, it is “mental” prayer.

Chapter 25

1. Through its attentiveness in vocal prayer, God may raise the soul to perfect
contemplation. Note for discussion Teresa’s description of perfect contemplation. (p

       The soul does not know, it does not understand. This is similar to St. John of
       the Cross and his ideas of “night” and “darkness”.

2. Why do you think it is necessary that the faculties be suspended in this prayer?
(p 131)

       Because God is too great to be grasped with our faculties. What God wants to
       give us can’t come to us through our faculties.

3. What would be another name for what Teresa calls “mental prayer” when she
compares it to “perfect contemplation?” (p 131)

       Natural prayer vs. “supernatural” prayer. It is supernatural literally because it
       is above our nature.

4. Are we able to attain perfect contemplation through our own efforts? What is
required? (p 132)

       No - God must act, it is a gift. He must bestow supernatural prayer. But you
       must be faithful to what you can do as a way of being prepared for this gift.

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                            THE WAY OF PERFECTION

                                   Chapters 26 - 29

                                   Pages 133 - 149
Month 4

Chapter 26

1. In Chapter 26, what approach to prayer does Teresa recommend that is possible
for everyone? (p 133)

To acquire the habit of keeping Jesus present: “represent the Lord Himself as close to
you and behold how lovingly and humbly He is teaching you… if we humbly ask Him
for this friendship, He will not deny it to us”.

2. Why would you believe that the spiritual advice Teresa offers is dependable? (p

Because she is speaking from her own experience. See especially § 2.

3. Note for discussion the many simple explanations of how to begin contemplative
prayer, and the aids to prayer that Teresa recommends for beginners. (pp. 133 -

- “I am not asking you to do anything more than just look at Him” (143).
- § 4 & 5: Pray according to your mood. If you are sad you may seek him in His
Passion. When you are happy you may seek him in His glory. Or the reverse.
Maybe when you are sad you can lift yourself out of it by thinking of His glory. St.
Teresa urges us to be free in prayer.
- § 6: speak to Him in words that come from your own heart.
- § 9: carry around an image and speak to Him often.
- § 10: use a book.
See also question 1.

Chapter 27

1. What, in Teresa’s opinion, should be the natural result of humble attentiveness to
the opening phrase, “Our Father, Who art in Heaven?” (p 137)

Perfect contemplation. Be aware that she says this in the same spirit as we hear
spiritual priests say that one “should” be come a saint from one Holy Communion.
Yes, technically we should, all the grace is there. But we know we don’t. Teresa, at
her advanced level can go into ecstasy at thinking of the great gift we have received
in being allowed to call God “Father”. Most of us do not have the degree of spiritual
sensitivity. Maybe after we meditate on this gift for a few years, we will.

2. What priceless blessings are self-evident in this prayer, if one considers them
prayerfully? (p 138)

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Jesus makes us children of the Father, the Father is “obliged” to care for us, forgive
us and make us heirs. We have heaven and everything that goes with it. By making
us children of the Father, Jesus has in effect, given us the “right” to these things.

3. Why are we able trust completely in the promises of Jesus? (pp. 138, 139)

Because He is all-powerful. Whatever He wills He can do.

4. What reassuring reminders does Teresa offer? (pp. 139, 140)

We know the Father is good because He has given us Jesus. He will not reject us.

Chapter 28

1. Where does Teresa tell souls to seek God, and what virtue and attitude does she
recommend? (pp. 140, 141)

To seek God within oneself, with true humility.

2. How does Teresa describe the “prayer of recollection,” and why does she
recommend it so highly? (pp. 141, 142)

Looking at and speaking with the Lord present within oneself.
- it helps a soul with a wandering mind.
- it quiets the intellect.
- it brings many blessings.

(There were those in Teresa’s day who taught that as a person progressed in prayer
the importance of attention to Christ in His humanity would fade and that a person in
really advanced prayer must turn away from the humanity of Christ. Teresa
vigorously disagreed with this. She taught that our prayer must always be
Christocentric. We never cease to need the humanity of Christ.)

3. Discuss some of the many benefits and insights gained from practicing the prayer
of recollection. (pp. 142 - 144)

- persons will journey far in a short time.
- they will gain the prayer of quiet in a shorter time than using any other method.
- the soul is strengthened against the distractions of the body.
- the fire of divine love is more quickly enkindled when they blow a little with the
- the person learns to appreciate the beauty of the soul and learns Who dwells

4. Why does the Lord give divine knowledge gradually, and what cooperation does
He expect from the soul? (pp. 144, 145)

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- He gives divine knowledge gradually so that the soul won’t be overwhelmed.
- That we empty ourselves and give ourselves to Him completely. In the measure
you desire Him, you will find Him (p. 143).

Chapter 29

1. What advice and encouragement does Teresa offer those who are deprived of
sensible consolations? (p 146)

The less you have of external consolations the more He will favor you. He never fails
persons who are afflicted and despised if they trust in Him alone.

2. Pay particular attention to the beautiful paragraph in which Teresa returns to her
explanation of the prayer of recollection. What Scripture passage does it bring to
mind? (p 146)

John 15:5 - the vine and the branches.
Matt 6:6 - go to your inner room.
Martha and Mary
the Garden of Gethsemane, His aloneness.

3. Is the soul capable of practicing the prayer of recollection if it so desires, or must
it be initiated by God? (p 147)

It can desire and achieve it through ordinary means - it is not supernatural. (Of
course, everything requires the help of God’s grace.)

4. What does Teresa consider harmful to interior prayer (p 147), and what practice
does she recommend for uniting vocal prayer with interior prayer? (pp. 147, 148)

- We think He is far away when He is really very near.
- keeping aware of His presence while saying vocal prayers.

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5. Teresa’s advice comes from her own prayer experience (p 148). What are some
of the habits she encourages souls to practice? (p 148)

(Especially from § 6 & 7.)
- be aware of God’s presence. When you are speaking it is to One who is near.
When you are listening it is to One who is close.
- be aware of what you are asking, especially in vocal prayer.
- be aware that He is willing to give us what we ask for.
- be aware how eagerly He remains with us.
- practice recollection often during the day.

6. Teresa believes the benefits of recollection far outweigh the effort of acquiring the
practice. What reassurance does she offer to struggling souls? (p 149)

That if you try, you will succeed, and you will be ready for God to raise you to higher

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                                THE WAY OF PERFECTION

                                        Chapters 30 - 32

                                        Pages 149 - 165
Month 5

Chapter 30

1. Why must the soul be aware of what it is asking for when praying “Thy kingdom
come?” (p 150)

To be sure that what we are asking is good for us, we are inclined to ask for what is
bad for us. Also, so that when it comes we recognize it and not scoff at it.

2. How does Teresa describe this Kingdom, and what spiritual experience does she
compare it to? (p 151)

All our attention is on the Lord, rejoicing in peace, no more distractions from earthly
things. This attentiveness never ends. Everyone hallows and praises the Lord and
blesses His name. No one offends Him, everyone loves Him and thinks of nothing
but loving him. [Sounds like “heaven” to me!] Contemplation is a “sip” of this

3. Why does Teresa insist that vocal prayer be recited humbly and with proper
attention? (p 152)

Because vocal prayer said in this way can lead to contemplation.

4. In addition to the prayer experience, what does Teresa look for in order to
determine whether or not supernatural prayer is genuine? (p 152)

Deeds, how a person lives his/her life.

Chapter 31

1.   May the soul practice the “prayer of quiet” whenever it desires to do so? (p 153)

No, it is a gift; it is supernatural.

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2. What are some of the distinguishing characteristics of the prayer of quiet? (p
153, 154)

- The soul understands that it is close to God, close to union, but it does not
understand how it understands.
- It is like a swoon.
- it experiences great delight in the body and satisfaction in the soul.
- It seems there is nothing else to desire.
- the intellect and memory are stilled.

3. Why is the prayer of quiet such a great blessing? (pp. 154, 155)

You experience being close to God. The active and contemplative life are joined. All
faculties serve the Lord. There is great satisfaction in the will being united with God.
The other faculties are left free to work in His service and they have more ability for
this. But in worldly matters these faculties are dull and at times as though in a

4. What advice does Teresa offer those whom the Lord has brought to this state?
(pp. 155, 156)

-   don’t try to hold on to it, receive it with gratitude (§6).
-   don’t try to do a lot of things, be quiet, a gentle word from time to time (§7)
-   seek solitude
-   don’t try to think or reason, be quiet and enjoy.

5. From her own first-hand experience, Teresa gives important information on
distractions and attitudes. How does she suggest that souls proceed? (pp. 156 -

- don’t fight with distractions, let them come and go.
- don’t go backward by reciting many vocal prayers, they distract in themselves.

Chapter 32

1. This entire Chapter deals with our “fiat,” the surrender of our will, and contains
many valuable insights. (pp. 160 - 162)

- don’t say “Thy will be done” if we don’t mean it or if we are afraid to suffer trials.
- God’s will will be done anyway, make a virtue of necessity and give your will freely.
- we need to understand what we are offering when we say we will abandon our wills
to God. It means trials and suffering. See what He gave Jesus.
- God gives according to the love and courage He sees in us. He gives more to those
who love more. The measure of your love is how much you are willing to suffer.

2. What significant point does Teresa make in regard to suffering? (p 162)

Suffering may very well be the answer to “Thy will be done”.

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3. Why does Teresa state that the surrender of will is the most significant act that
lies within our power? (pp. 163 - 165)

- Unless we give our wills entirely to the Lord we will never experience perfect
- this gift leads to transformation and union and rapture.
- be humble, you cannot arrive through your own strength.

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                              THE WAY OF PERFECTION

                                    Chapters 33 -36

                                    Pages 165 - 182
Month 6

Chapter 33

1. In Teresa’s teachings, what do these words of the Our Father refer to: “Give us
this day our daily bread?” (p 166)

The Blessed Sacrament. General Church teaching is that this refers to daily
sustenance as well as the Blessed Sacrament but Teresa says she does not pray for
such things. Note the section in brackets on page 169. The censors removed this
section because it was theologically incorrect.

2. Why would this gift seem necessary? (p 165)

It will give us the strength to say “Thy Will be done”.

3. There are deep meanings to be realized in prayerfully considering the Lord’s
words. What are some of Teresa’s conclusions? (pp. 166 - 168)

- What we give (our will) is very little compared to what we receive, the Bread of
- He remains totally there for us each day, the great love of the Father in allowing
Jesus to do this (since He leaves Himself open to abuse and irreverence).
- All our good comes at the expense of the Lord Jesus.

Chapter 34

1. How does Teresa interpret the word “daily”? (p 168)

She takes it to mean all the days of this life and going into the next life.

2. What specific teaching does Teresa discern in this phrase? (p 169)

- The Father willed to give us His Son and the Son willed to remain on earth with us.
- He is teaching us to set our wills on heavenly things and to ask that we might
begin enjoying Him even here on earth.

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3. What does Teresa say we should ask for when receiving the Eucharist, and what
attitude does she recommend? (pp. 169 - 171)

- We are asking for Spiritual nourishment, we ask for it this day so that we “will not
be seen in this world without Him”.
- We should ask to receive Him worthily, in such a way that we might merit that the
Lord reveal Himself to the eyes of our souls.

4. Note for discussion Teresa’s own attitude upon receiving the Eucharist. (p 171)
      a. What significant truths does she point out? (pp. 172, 173)

- That It even cures bodily ills.
- It is Christ as present as He was when He walked on earth.
- She knew this by faith even if she did not feel it.
- Do not worry about asking for earthly bread, this we do automatically and more
than we even want to.
- The Master provides for the needs of His servants.

b. In Communion the event is happening now, it is entirely true. We don’t have to
go looking for Him far away, He is here! If we could see Him as He is (which is
impossible, He cannot be seen with bodily eyes) we would not dare approach Him.
He has made it easy for us by hiding under the form of Bread.

5. Why does Teresa believe that meditation immediately after receiving the
Eucharist is particularly beneficial? (pp. 172, 173)

Because Jesus is physically present to us.

a. Does she consider this a good time to use a picture of Christ as an aid to
meditation? (p 173)

No, because He is there, do not ignore the real for the imaginary.

b. How does she advise souls to behave at this time, and what reasons does she
give for her advice? (pp. 173, 174)

Close the eyes of the body and open the eyes of the soul, look into your heart.
Although He comes disguised He can be recognized in many ways. He reveals
Himself to the degree we desire to see Him. (He gives His treasure to those He
knows desire them greatly. St. John of the Cross).

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Chapter 35

1. Teresa considers Eucharistic meditation a form of the “prayer of recollection.”
What analogy does she offer concerning our preparation for receiving the Eucharist?
(pp. 174, 175)

To being warmed by a fire. You must approach it, do not turn your back and hide
your hands. If we seek to remain close to Him He will greatly reward our efforts.

2. Give some of the reasons why Teresa urges her readers not to abandon
Communion meditation. (p 175)

- Because there are so few who do so. Jesus desires souls who will keep Him
present. By this practice the Lord will see how much you love Him.
- To offer to God the Blessed Sacrament He has given to us, to “return” it to Him
and beg Him through the merits of Jesus to remedy all the evils she sees in the

Chapter 36

1. What important teachings does Teresa offer regarding forgiveness? (pp. 177,

That in the Our Father we do not say that we will forgive but that we have forgiven!
(Remember to be aware of your emotions. You may not “feel” forgiveness, but if you
will to forgive, you have forgiven to the extent humanly possible.)

If we ask for our Bread, we should have already forgiven. If we say “Thy will be
done” we should have already forgiven.

The Saints were pleased with suffering wrongs because then they had something to
forgive, something to offer the Lord. We gain so much, i.e., the forgiveness of our
faults which deserve Hell, through so little, the forgiveness of others. But don’t
consider that you are forgiving when it pertains to trifles (p. 180) that should not
have offended you in the first place.

Remember that we come to God with empty hands. [Interesting - this is the title of
one of the best books written about St. Therese, With Empty Hands – recently
reprinted by ICS.]

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2. How does Teresa determine authentic contemplation, and what requirement does
she look for in souls desiring contemplation? (pp. 180 - 182)

Do not trust the prayer of one who does not have a deep resolve to forgive past
injuries and new ones as they happen (real injuries, not trifles). The soul brought to
contemplation does not care whether or not it is esteemed, it does not desire honor
in this world. Contemplatives know the true value of everything. They rejoice in
trials because they know this is an opportunity to gain grace. If you do not see
increase in desire to forgive, do not trust your prayer (§ 13).

Contemplatives are forgetful of self. The prayer of union will be accompanied by a
desire to suffer trials and wrongs. (See all of § 12.) This is one fault she says is not
present in contemplatives although other faults and weaknesses are present. This
lack of forgiveness or concern with honor is never present (because of § 12 - they
have been so close to mercy).

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                             THE WAY OF PERFECTION

                                    Chapters 37 - 42

                                    Pages 183 - 204
Month 7

Chapter 37

1. What spiritual progression does Teresa see contained in the Lord’s prayer? (p

The whole way of prayer from the beginning stages through union.

2. According to Teresa, why was the Lord’s Prayer kept simple? (p 183)

So that persons could pray according to their stage of spiritual development and their
state in life.

3. What two important points of this prayer apply to everyone? (p 183)

Giving Him our will and forgiving others.

4. How will the prayerful attitudes that Teresa recommends benefit the soul? (p

He always give more than what we ask. Those who ask with perfection will be filled
with favors from His Father and reach a high state.

5. At this stage, what is the soul’s source of security? (p 184)

It has a wise and cautious teacher who foresees the dangers and who does not let it
forget (when it is absorbed in delights) that it has enemies and must not be
negligent with regard to them (§ 5).

Chapter 38

1. Do souls on this road to perfection ask to be free from temptations and trials? (p

No - they invite trials as the way to “earn” more (allusion to the soldier in battle).

2. How does Teresa caution the soul to proceed if it has doubts about whether or not
spiritual favors are authentic? (p 186) What Scripture passage does it call to mind?

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Always praise God for the favors and consider that you do not deserve them and
resolve to serve God more because of them. Then the devil is thwarted (if the
“favors” should really be from him). Be on guard and pray not to be put to the test
(Jesus to Peter in the garden).

3. Why is humility so important throughout the entire spiritual journey? Note some
of the problems that may arise without it. (pp. 186, 187)

Humility is important so that
- we don’t think we deserve anything.
- we don’t think we really have a firm hold on any virtue, it is a gift from God and
could be gone at any time.
- if you think you have a virtue you really don’t, you will stop praying for the virtue
and you will never have it. This is real harm (§ 5).

4. How does experiencing its own nothingness benefit the soul? (pp. 187, 188)

It learns the truth that it has nothing it has not received from God, the person of
himself is nothing.

a. What essential Teresian teaching does this experience relate to?

That we are dependent on God for all spiritual progress.

Chapter 39

1. In Chapter 39, what problem does Teresa warn against, what harm might come
from it, and what does she recommend? (pp. 189, 190)

Against false humility that would make you give up prayer or Communion, and loose
confidence in God. She recommends thinking of God’s mercy, how He loves us and
suffered for us [for me, this can make me fearful again]. If nothing else, recognize
that this is a temptation. True humility always comes with peace (note story of the

2. What temptation frequently bothers beginners in prayer, and what advice does
Teresa offer? (pp. 190, 191)

They think they could never go back to their previous faults and pleasures. She
advises that we never have self-assurance, be on guard against occasions of sin. Let
your prayer always begin and end with self-knowledge.

3. Why does Teresa believe that worldly people are surprised by the mistakes of
prayerful souls, and what reminder does she give in this regard? (pp. 191, 192)

People are surprised by what they do not usually see - so the sins of worldly people
don’t surprise them. The sins of prayerful people do. But those who say the Our
Father well are seldom deceived by the devil, the path of prayer is the safe path

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(being in the stands rather than in front of the bull). You will be more quickly freed
from temptations by walking in the path of prayer.

Chapter 40

1. What two virtues help to fortify the soul? (p 192)

Fear and Love. We must walk both in fear (so we watch our steps carefully) and
love, which will quicken our steps.

2. How does the soul recognize whether or not it has the virtue of love?

Love of God means love of all good, all truth, all that is worthy of love, and such a
one cannot love riches, honors or worldly things. If your love of God is genuine it
cannot be hidden from others. (But you cannot be certain you have these virtues.)
You should walk in fear if the love does not show through. [But remember that
mistakes are not sins.]

3. What reassurance and helpful reminders does Teresa offer contemplative souls?
(p 193)

Even if we are wrong, if we walk always in humility and strive after self-knowledge,
and communicate openly with a confessor, we will still gain (§ 4).

4. How are false fears harmful to the soul? (pp. 193, 194)

Fear (that the favors are from the devil but seem to be from God) makes those who
experience them afraid to pray, afraid of deception. More would come closer to God
but don’t try because of fear. [Historical note: remember the problem with women
in her day, see the Introduction.]

5. Why is it so important that we grow in God’s love while still on earth? (pp. 194,

So when we are judged it will be by the One we have loved and we can proceed
without fear.

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Chapter 41

This entire chapter deals with the fear of God. How does Teresa describe its
development, how does she advise souls to proceed, and what attitude does she
encourage souls to practice (pp. 196 - 200)

It is also very noticeable. Persons avoid even the smallest venial sin. To help
develop this fear, reflect often on the seriousness of an offense against God. While
working to gain this fear we should avoid people and occasions that do not help us
come closer to God (not merely those who are wrong, but those that are not right,
are not helpful).

Afterward we may be more free in our dealing with people, they will not harm us and
we may even help them. However we must be careful not to be constrained or
scrupulous, this could turn others away from prayer. Also it could lead us to be
judgmental. We must live and act in a way that draws other to a virtuous life.

Chapter 42

1. What interpretation does Teresa give the phrase “deliver us from evil, amen,” and
what are some of her sufferings as she reflects upon this passage? (pp. 201, 202)

She sees this as a prayer for death. The “amen” means all things are over, but sin
and suffering remain until the end of life so this must be a request for death. [In The
Interior Castle she changes her view on this.]

Some of the sufferings she mentions are; physical suffering (she was plagued with
terrible health and suffering all her life), critics, compliments, favors [do we consider
compliments and favors a cause of suffering !?], weariness, imperfections.

2. How does human will often differ from divine will, and what should be our attitude
of soul? (pp. 202, 203)

We love the lie, not the truth; the temporal, not the eternal; the base, not the great.
So we should force ourselves to request the end of life, yet we must leave it to His
will (§ 3). [Again, in The Interior Castle she changes her ideas on this.]

3. What helpful reminders does Teresa give, as she sums up her thoughts on the
Lord’s Prayer? (pp. 203, 204)

Remember the three points of saying vocal prayers well:
- to Whom you are speaking.
- who is speaking.
- what you are asking for.

Be attentive to these things and it will help keep you focused on the presence of God.

                                                             SEM: WP: 16-Feb-03 # 19

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