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The Spiritual Life: St. Teresa of Avila and Pope Francis, Pt. 3
At the beginning of her consecrated life, St. Teresa experienced a “surprising” joy: “I was filled with a joy so great, that it has never failed me to this day…I was filled with a new joy that surprised me, nor could I understand whence it came.”[i] At the same time, though, she was also attracted by worldly vanities, which tempted her even in the cloister.[ii] How did she become able to sacrifice immediate “vain” joys for lasting joy? She needed to experience a true conversion, a kind of liberation. Like Mary Magdalene, she reached joy through the experience of tears. Fidelity to prayer was, for Teresa, the path of her conversion and the way to reach true joy.