Teresa of Avila, Teacher of the Faith, 1582
I cry aloud to God; I cry aloud to God and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I have sought the Lord; by night my hand is stretched out and does not tire; my soul refuses comfort. I think upon God and I groan; I ponder, and my spirit faints. You will not let my eyelids close; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I consider the days of old; I remember the years long past; I commune with my heart in the night; my spirit searches for understanding.
Will the Lord cast us off for ever?
Will he no more show us his favour?
Has his loving mercy clean gone for ever?
Has his promise come to an end for evermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he shut up his compassion in displeasure?
And I said, ‘My grief is this: that the right hand of the Most High has lost its strength.’
I will remember the works of the Lord and call to mind your wonders of old time.
I will meditate on all your works and ponder your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy; who is so great a god as our God?
You are the God who worked wonders and declared your power among the peoples. With a mighty arm you redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw you, O God;the waters saw you and were afraid; the depths also were troubled.
The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered; your arrows flashed on every side; The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lit up the ground; the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was in the sea, and your paths in the great waters, but your footsteps were not known. You led your people like sheep by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
1 Kings 22.29-45
So the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.’ So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. Now the king of Aram had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, ‘Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.’ When the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, ‘It is surely the king of Israel.’ So they turned to fight against him; and Jehoshaphat cried out. When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. But a certain man drew his bow and unknowingly struck the king of Israel between the scale-armour and the breastplate; so he said to the driver of his chariot, ‘Turn around, and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.’ The battle grew hot that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans, until at evening he died; the blood from the wound had flowed into the bottom of the chariot. Then about sunset a shout went through the army, ‘Every man to his city, and every man to his country!’
So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; they buried the king in Samaria. They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria; the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord that he had spoken. Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house that he built, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel? So Ahab slept with his ancestors; and his son Ahaziah succeeded him.
Jehoshaphat son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of King Ahab of Israel. Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. He walked in all the way of his father Asa; he did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord; yet the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and offered incense on the high places. Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.
Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his power that he showed, and how he waged war, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah?
In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who joined in this conspiracy. They went to the chief priests and elders and said, ‘We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the council must notify the tribune to bring him down to you, on the pretext that you want to make a more thorough examination of his case. And we are ready to do away with him before he arrives.’
Now the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush; so he went and gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul. Paul called one of the centurions and said, ‘Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him.’ So he took him, brought him to the tribune, and said, ‘The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you.’ The tribune took him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked, ‘What is it that you have to report to me?’ He answered, ‘The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more thoroughly into his case. But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they kill him. They are ready now and are waiting for your consent.’ So the tribune dismissed the young man, ordering him, ‘Tell no one that you have informed me of this.’
Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, ‘Get ready to leave by nine o’clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen. Also provide mounts for Paul to ride, and take him safely to Felix the governor.’ He wrote a letter to this effect:
‘Claudius Lysias to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings. This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, but when I had learned that he was a Roman citizen, I came with the guard and rescued him. Since I wanted to know the charge for which they accused him, I had him brought to their council. I found that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but was charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. When I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.’
So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him during the night to Antipatris. The next day they let the horsemen go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. On reading the letter, he asked what province he belonged to, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia, he said, ‘I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.’ Then he ordered that he be kept under guard in Herod’s headquarters.
who by your Spirit raised up your servant Teresa of Avila to reveal to your Church the way of perfection: grant that her teaching may awaken in us a longing for holiness, until we attain to the perfect union of love in Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.