Translated from the original by Ana Giménez.
THE GROWTH OF VIRTUES
When I was recently re-reading saint Teresa´s chapters devoted to meditation prayer, I realised that it was impossible to summarize all its richness in a few lines. That´s why I prefer to advise spiritual walkers to read her several times as a spiritual reading and allow each one of us to discover its wealth, helped by the Holy Spirit. It is convenient to read the second mansion slowly; chapters 11-13 of Life. Chapters 21-27 of The Way of Perfection. Recollection prayer is viewed in the third mansion.
It has been rightly said that Teresa is master of prayer. It´s true, although not enough. For me, she is a master in the art of teaching us how to live. Spiritual life-according to her-confirms that prayer is the entrance door to the castle. Prayer has compulsory consequences: the gradual change of the person and consequently action. One curious point is that The Way of Perfection, book which teaches us to pray with the Lord’s Prayer, devotes the first chapters to talk about the virtues.
The warning about its importance is explained in Life 12, 2 “In this state it can make many acts of resolution to do great things for God and it can awaken its own love. It can make other acts which will help the virtues to grow”
Virtues are what nowadays is called Ethics and Values. It is a synonym of another term: “effects” She also frequently uses, which means the compulsory behavioural changes that are born from meditation prayer. Therefore, virtues, in our case, are the way Jesus had of viewing life which we are discovering with meditation practice. Those changes, unnoticeable at the beginning, are “bequeathing” us, that is, they are preparing us for deeper encounters with the Sacred Humanity of Christ. We will try with those changes, to become more and more alike to Jesus.
I will show a few changes in the second mansion and others in the third mansion. Some of them have already been mentioned: knowledge of ourselves, the value of our dignity of free persons, sons of God in the Son, determination, etc.