Translated from the original by Ana Giménez.
Cuca Muro is a watercolour painter of great standing. I´m really fond of her and her husband. She kindly gave us one of her paintings entitled “Allegory of the wish to fly” On a mail, She explains its meaning: “This picture aims to explore the wish of human kind to transcend, the need to connect with something mysterious, enormous, unattainable…to which one is attracted as if it were a magnet, but to whom one may also be fearful of…” Thanks Cuca on behalf of all of us.
Looking at the picture for days now, I am going to concentrate on the role of the third Person of the Trinity, The Holy Spirit (HS). We keep on looking for help to persevere in meditation prayer and we are now in the main one.
The HS is basically the renewal and sanctifying power. Its revelation was slow, always through the meditation of the mysteries of the life of Christ, Nativity, baptism, etc. The HS sustains Christ´s life, The Father creates, The Son recreates, the HS transcreates, that is, He leads creation up to the end. He is the one who transforms our lives and gives us strength to live.
Find out from experience the importance of the third Person. St Teresa´s character flaw was a particular difficulty in praying, because the images of the people she would meet -and in particular friends-would stick in her memory. Her confessor tells her to commend herself to the HS and to recite the hymn “Veni, Creator Spiritus”
In such an easy way she finally frees herself from those inconvenient images (Life 24.5) As a result she gains an unknown freedom to control her thoughts:
“Blessed for ever be God, Who in one moment gave the freedom which, despite all the efforts I had been making for so many years, I had never been able to attain, though sometimes I had done such violence to myself that it badly affected my health. As it was the work of One Who is almighty and the true Lord of all, it caused me no distress.” (Life 24.8)
The HS is the soul of a Christian sanctity, with Christ and the Virgin Mary (Relations 25.2). On the 29th of May 1563 she had a peak experience. The whole text can be read at the end.
(Up to here I have quoted Ciro Garcia´s dictionary, published by Monte Carmelo)
In those hard times it was dangerous to over quote the HS and even more in the case of women. She had to be careful with bloodhounds of orthodoxy, the Inquisition. Although in her personal letters she had no qualms about opening them by writing His name, in her books she prefers to be quiet so as not to be misled by an “alumbrada” some women (illuminati) an heretical derivation of los recogidos to which some women were followers. That is why the HS is often mentioned with symbols: water, fire, dove, etc. (very well explained by Jesús Castellano, a teresian expert, who help me when I was young)
Due to this quiet behaviour she didn´t talk about the function of the third Person in spiritual initiation until the fifth Mansion:
“The silkworm is like the soul which takes life when, through the heat which comes from the Holy Spirit, it begins to utilize the general help which God gives to us all, and to make use of the remedies which He left in His Church — such as frequent confessions, good books and sermons, for these are the remedies for a soul dead in negligences and sins and frequently plunged into temptation. The soul begins to live and nourishes itself on this food, and on good meditations, until it is full grown” (Mansions 5.2.3)
I consider this text essential. The HS is collaborating to the birth of our spiritual life from the very beginning by giving us warmth and life, helping the servant of God in the sacraments. He is guest and company. He gives us “strength” to lock us up in Christ and put to death the old man. I also believe that the HS is the source of joy born from love, as we will enjoy in the sixth mansion.
“One day – it was the vigil of Pentecost – I went, after Mass, to a very solitary spot, where I used often to say my prayers, and began to read on Carthusian’s Life of Christ about this festival. As I read about the signs by which beginners, proficients and perfect may know if the Holy Spirit is with them, it seemed to me, when I had read about these three states, that by the goodness of God, and so far as I could understand, He was certainly with me then. For this I praised God and remembered a previous occasion when I had read this passage and when I lacked much that I now have; this I saw very clearly, and, as I became aware how different I am now, I realized what a great favour the Lord had granted me. So I began to meditate on the place in hell which I deserved for my sins, and I gave great praises to God, for so changed was my life that I seemed not to recognize my own soul. While I was meditating in this way a strong impulse seized me without my realizing why. It seemed as if my soul were about to leave the body, because it could no longer contain itself and was incapable of waiting for so great a blessing. The impulse was so exceedingly strong that it made me quite helpless. It was different, I think, from those which I had experienced on other occasions, and I did not know what was the matter with my soul, or what it wanted, so changed was it. I had to seek some physical support, for so completely did my natural strength fail me that I could not even remain seated. While in this condition, I saw a dove over my head, very different from those we see on earth, for it had not feathers like theirs but its wings were made of little shells which emitted a great brilliance. It was larger than a dove; I seemed to hear the rustling of its wings. It must have been fluttering like this for the space of an Ava María. But my soul was in such a state that, as it became lost to itself, it also lost sight of the dove. My spirit was calmed by so gracious a guest, though I think it must have been disturbed and alarmed at experiencing this marvellous favour; as it began to rejoice in it, however, its fear left it, and with its joy came a return of its tranquillity, and it remained in rapture.” (Life 38, 9-10)