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St. Teresa of Avila
Interior Castle

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It may seem to us that we have done everything -- we who wear the religious habit, having taken it of our own will and left all the things of the world and all that we had for His sake (for although, like Saint Peter, we may have left only our nets, yet He esteems a person who gives all that he has as one who gives in fullest measure).68 This is a very good beginning; and, if we persevere in it, instead of going back, even if only in desire, to consort with the reptiles in the first rooms, there is no doubt that, by persevering in this detachment and abandonment of everything, we shall attain our object. But it must be on this condition -- and note that I am warning you of this -- that we consider ourselves unprofitable servants, as we are told, either by Saint Paul or by Christ,69 and realize that we have in no way obliged Our Lord to grant us such favours; but rather that, the more we have received of Him, the more deeply do we remain in His debt. What can we do for so generous a God, Who died for us and created us and gives us being, without counting ourselves fortunate in being able to repay Him something of what we owe Him for the way He has served us70 (I write this word reluctantly, but it is the truth,71 for all the time He lived in the world He did nothing but serve) without asking Him once more for gifts and favours?




68 [Or this clause might mean: "yet a person who gives all that he has thinks that he gives in fullest measure." But the interpretation in the text seems preferable.]


69 [St. Luke xvii, 10.] Gracián, in a note, gives the correct authorship.


70 "For what He has suffered for us" was substituted for the phrase by Gracián but the original text was restored by Ribera.


71 Gracián deleted the words "I write . . . truth" but Ribera wrote in the margin: "Nothing is to be deleted, for what the Saint says is well said."





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