SEEING their beautiful baby girl, born on March 28, 1515, the parents -- of Spanish nobility -- had her baptized Teresa Sanchez de Cepeda y Ahumada. As many had expected, the girl grew up a tall, lovely and stately lady.
Her relatives and friends hoping her to marry a Spanish caballero were surprised when Teresa became a Carmelite nun, assuming the name, Sor Teresa de Jesus.
Monastery life was not exactly ideal. The Carmelites, with some nuns having their own maidservants and visitors coming at will, needed reform badly. Sor Teresa undertook the painful task of reforming the Order. Opposition was fierce.
Added to her hardships at reform were temptations from the devil who tempted her in her cell. Strongly believing in the power of the holy water, Sor Teresa drove the demon away time and again with holy water.
One day, however, the devil ferociously tempted the holy nun while she was sitting on her “morning throne.” Satan tried seducing her saying, “Teresa, give yourself to me, and I will make you princess in my kingdom!”
The holy nun replied, “Demonyo, the best of me I have given to Jesus. But whatever goes out behind me as I sit on this throne, is for you.”
Shocked, Satan fled shrieking from the nun’s cell.
The temptation over, St. Teresa complained, “Lord, I thought you love me. Where were you when I was terribly tempted?
Jesus replied, “Teresa, when you were terribly rocked by Satan, I was gently sleeping in your heart.”
St. Teresa of Avila wrote “Interior Castle” a book comparable to Descartes’ “Meditations on the First Philosophy.”
She, one of the 5 women acknowledged as Doctor of the Church, returned home on October 15, 1582.