May the Lord, because of who He is, not allow anyone in this house to undergo the trial that has been mentioned; that is, to find oneself in this affliction of body and soul. Nor may He allow a situation in which if the prioress gets along well with the confessor no one dares to speak either to him about her or to her about him.
The result of this state of affairs will be the temptation to omit the confession of very serious sins for fear of being disturbed. O God help me, what harm the devil can cause here, and how dearly the nuns will pay for this restriction and concern about honor! For while they think that by dealing with no more than one confessor they are doing something great for religious life and the reputation of the monastery, the devil manages in this way to catch souls, since he cannot in any other.
I ask, for the love of the Lord, that this holy freedom be allowed by the one who is superior. May she always ask permission from the bishop or the provincial that, besides speaking with the ordinary confessors, she and all the others might sometimes speak and discuss their souls with learned persons, especially if the confessors, however good, may not be learned.
Learning is a great help for shedding light upon every matter. It will be possible to find both learning and goodness in some persons. And the more the Lord favors you in prayer, the more necessary it will be that your prayer and good works have a good foundation.
Having true light at our disposal for the sake of keeping the law of God with perfection is all our good; prayer is well founded on such light. Without this strong foundation and if the Sisters are not given freedom to confess and discuss their souls with persons like those I have mentioned, the whole building will be wobbly. Thus they must speak to spiritual and learned persons.
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Way of Perfection: Chapter 5
We wish to offer our sincere greetings and fervent prayers to Silvio José Báez, O.C.D., Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, Nicaragua on the 36th anniversary of his priestly ordination. St. Teresa wrote that it is possible “to find both learning and goodness in some persons.” We offer our brother and her loving son, Bishop Báez, as a prime example. Ad multos annos!
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.