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From… The Life of St. Teresa of Avila

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st_teresa.jpgLast night I was finishing up The Life of St. Teresa of Avila by Herself and came across this rather striking passage: 

29. Once, when I was going to Communion, I saw with the eyes of the soul, more distinctly than with those of the body, two devils of most hideous shape; their horns seemed to encompass the throat of the poor priest; and I beheld my Lord, in that great majesty of which I have spoken, held in the hands of that priest, in the Host he was about to give me. It was plain that those hands were those of a sinner, and I felt that the soul of that priest was in mortal sin. What must it be, O my Lord, to look upon Thy beauty amid shapes so hideous! The two devils were so frightened and cowed in Thy presence, that they seemed as if they would have willingly run away, hadst Thou but given them leave. So troubled was I by the vision, that I knew not how I could go to Communion. I was also in great fear, for I thought, if the vision was from God, that His Majesty would not have allowed me to see the evil state of that soul.

30. Our Lord Himself told me to pray for that priest; that He had allowed this in order that I might understand the power of the words of consecration, and how God failed not to be present, however wicked the priest might be who uttered them; and that I might see His great goodness in that He left Himself in the very hands of His enemy, for my good and for the good of all. I understood clearly how the priests are under greater obligations to be holy than other persons; and what a horrible thing it is to receive this most Holy Sacrament unworthily, and how great is the devil’s dominion over a soul in mortal sin. It did me a great service, and made me fully understand what I owe to God. May He be blessed for evermore!

Source: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/teresa/life.viii.xxxix.html

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Author: Michael Clark

I'm the administrator of Earthpages.org | Earthpages.ca with a Joint Honours B.A. in Psychology/Sociology at York and Trent U, an M.A. in Philosophy and Religion at Visva-Bharati, India, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at UOttawa.

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