Now we are all at peace, calced and discalced; no one can hinder us from serving our Lord. Hence, my Brothers and Sisters, since His Majesty has heard your prayers so well, let us make haste to serve Him. Let those in the present who are eye-witnesses, consider the favors He has granted us and the trials and disturbances from which He has delivered us. And those who are to come, when they find everything running smoothly, let them, for the love of our Lord, not neglect anything relating to perfection. May that which is said of some orders that praise their beginnings not be said of them. Now we are beginning, and let them strive to advance always from good to better. Let them beware, for the devil through very small things drills holes through which very large things enter. May it not happen that those who are to come say: “These things are not important; don’t go to extremes.” Oh, my daughters, everything that helps us advance is important.
For love of our Lord I beg you to remember how soon everything comes to an end, to remember the favor our Lord has granted us in bringing us to this order and the great punishment that will befall anyone who might introduce some mitigation. Rather, fix your eyes always on the ancestry from which we come, those holy prophets. How many saints we have in heaven who have worn this habit! Let us adopt the holy presumption that with the Lord’s help we will be like them. The battle will be brief, my Sisters, and the end is eternal. Let us set aside these things that in themselves are nothing, using only those that lead us to this end without end, so as to love Him and serve Him more, for He will live forever and ever, amen, amen. Thanks be to God.
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Foundations, 29.32–33
We are grateful to the artist, Belita William, for her kind permission to share this new work with our readers. You can view more of Belita’s artworks at belitawilliamart.com.
Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.