Friday, July 22, 2016

Saint Teresa and The Vestry of Monnow

The thing about Saint Teresa of Avila is that her time on earth was the Sixteenth Century which makes it almost irrational to think of her as a Medieval Saint. She spent a lot of time wondering and writing about the ascent of the soul. Her analysis was in every way an exploration of her own mystical experiences, the stages of it, the steps taken as well as the physical experience of it and there are accounts which suggest that while upon earth she was able to levitate, which must be a terrifying experience unless a mind is wholly convinced, or so reckless it no longer cares. She died of an ordinary sort of sickness that through her life she had been a little prone to. It was October of 1582, and oddly 1582 was the year Europe changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, and part of that change involved getting rid of about ten days in the month of October. So, in the absence of a clock any where near her death bed, her death day is sometime a little before midnight on the 4th of October, or a little after midnight on the 15th of October.

 I don't wish to ramble on, but one of the most interesting areas of Saint Teresa's life where her final words, which apparently went like this "My Lord, it is time to move on. Well then, may your will be done. O my Lord and my Spouse, the hour that I have longed for has come. It is time to meet one another." It's an amazing, matter of fact, slightly impatient, way out there statement and it's an inspiration to those of us who have fallen to the "Slope in a Random Place" as their primary guide through life's rich and wondrous tapestry. Naturally there will be those who will argue that Saint Teresa did live in a simpler time, her understandings far too innocent, possible crack-pot for the sophistication of learning that issues from the unflagging efforts of today's Cathedrals who have suggested that many of Saint Teresa's more mystical experiences followed consumption of an hallucinogen found in certain grains. Either way, our hero does still have a Saint Teresa Medallion, and with luck in the Tri-County Asylum your writer of pulp will be able to explain to him why he was given it.

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