Saturday, February 26, 2011

Prayer: Teresa of Avila

God has been very good to me, for I never dwell upon anything wrong which a person has done, so as to remember it afterwards. If I do remember it, I always see some other virtue in that person.


  1. Ah, thank you. I will ask this grace :-)))

  2. Claire, I too, will ask God to remind me to think of the virtues of those I judge or criticize.

    John, I'm so glad I found you! I know, you weren't lost, but somehow I lost your blog title. And then a couple of days ago, I found you again. It was like rediscovering a treasure.

    Teresa of Avila has come up in my life's conversations recently with regard to curiousity and recollection. I found myself reading and reading and becoming overwhelmed and basically empty. A friend from church pointed out St. Teresa and mentioned "recollection". I've changed my ways accordingly and the value of what I read has been greatly enriched.

    This may be a stretch but the prayer you posted triggered something I read in my most recent church bulletin. The story is about the Bemba people that live in Zambia. These farming people work very hard, but the soil is poor and they grow just enough to feed themsleves. No one survives long past forty. Yet the Bemba people have a remarkable tradition. When a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he or she is placed in the center of the village, alone and unshackled. All work ceases and everyone gathers in a large circle around the accused person. One at a time, the villagers recite all the good things the person in the center of the circle has done during life. All of the positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are fully described. The ceremony may go on for days until every single person has spoken. Then the circle is broken. A joyful celebration welcomes the person, both symbolically and literally, back into the community. Isn't that lovingly civilized?

    Sorry the "comment" is such a long one, but I wanted to share the story. Thank you to both of you, John and Claire, for sharing your wisdom with me. It's a wonderful world where I can physically be far away from such brilliance and at the same time, have access to all that you both offer. Peace, jer...

  3. Claire, thank you for your good words of appreciation. I very much am inspired by the story of the Bemba people who transform the sinner into a returned functioning member of the community. It is something for me to contemplate even further. Thanks for being a part of our online community. John