SAIN TERESA OF ÁVILA ENCOURAGES US

Many members spend countless nights and days hours going over their memories to see what they did wrong, what could have been done or omitted so as to change their child’s current life choice or their present situation.

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Saint Teresa of Avila has sound advice for us:

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Unredeemed Imagination’s Need for a Sign

The imagination and memory carry on such a war that the soul is left powerless. Since the other faculties have ceased to function, these two are of no avail, not even for doing harm. They do a great deal though by their disturbance. I say “not even for doing harm” because they do not have the strength nor can they concentrate on one thing. Since the intellect gives them neither much nor little assistance in what they represent to it, they don’t rest in anything but flit from one thing to the other; they are like little moths at night, bothersome and annoying: so they go from one extreme to the other. This comparison, I think, gets to the point because they don’t have the strength to do any harm—they are an annoyance to those who see them.

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I don’t know what remedy there is for this since until now God hasn’t made one known to me. I would be glad to find out one, for, as I say, the imagination and memory often torment me. Both our great misery and, very clearly, the tremendous power of God are manifested here. For the faculties that run loose weary and harm us so much; and those that are with his Majesty give us repose.

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The only remedy I have found, after having tired myself out for many years, is the one I mentioned in speaking of the prayer of quiet: to pay no more attention to the memory than one would to a madman.

Saint Teresa of Ávila

Saint Teresa of Ávila († 1582), Doctor of the Church,

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