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“Truth is sacred; and if you tell the truth too often nobody will believe it.”-Chesterton
15 October 2017

Saint Teresa of Avila Would Have Converted Harvey Weinstein

Mandeville, LA -Today is the feast day of St Theresa of Avila the first woman ever recognized by The Church as a Doctor of The Church. After reading St Theresa it is pretty easy to see why: she was bolder in her hyper-informed faith than most anyone alive today or for that matter in the last 50 years.

Men should believe that since these women have lost their shame before God (for women are obliged to modesty more than men), they can be trusted in nothing; for they will stop at nothing so as to hold on to this friendship and passion the devil has placed in them. – Saint Theresa

There is one incident in Saint Theresa’s writings that retells the story of a man our Saint was introduced to who was the 16th century equivalent of notorious pervert Harvey Weinstein who was a Catholic priest! (I will reproduce the story in its entirety below but will provide an abridged version first.)

There was a cleric of excellent intelligence and social status who lived in that place where I went to be cured. He was learned, although not greatly so. I began to confess to him, for I was always fond of learning. When I began then to confess with this cleric I mentioned, it happened that he became extremely fond of me; for at that time even after I became a nun I had little to confess compared to what I had later on. His affection for me was not bad; but since it was too great, it came to no good. He had learned from me that I was determined not to do anything grave against God for any reason, and he also assured me of the same; and so we conversed a great deal. But I was so fascinated with God at that time that what pleased me most was to speak of the things of God. And since I was so young, it threw him into confusion to observe this; and by reason of the strong love he had for me, he began to explain to me about his bad moral state.

Saint Theresa then describes what that bad state was and how it gave her such pain to know that this sinful activity was going on.

This was no small matter, because for about seven years he had been living in a dangerous state on account of his affection and dealings with a woman in that same place; and, despite this, he was saying Mass. The association was so public that he had lost his honor and reputation, and no one dared to admonish him about this. To me it was a great pity for I loved him deeply. I was so frivolous and blind that it seemed to me a virtue to be grateful and loyal to anyone who loved me.

In other words she was tempted to have fondness for this priest because he showed her attention which initially she mistook for religious attention but then saw it for what it was.

This was no small matter, because for about seven years he had been living in a dangerous state on account of his affection and dealings with a woman in that same place; and, despite this, he was saying Mass. The association was so public that he had lost his honor and reputation, and no one dared to admonish him about this. To me it was a great pity for I loved him deeply. I was so frivolous and blind that it seemed to me a virtue to be grateful and loyal to anyone who loved me.

In this effort we learn that the world that Saint Theresa of Avila lived in was not much different from the one we inhabit. We hear our “traditionalist” friends drone on endlessly about the pathetic state of the lukewarm and the heretical priests that assist their timidity. We glorify the past with the assertion that this was never the state of the Catholic Church in the Age of Faith, but time and again in reading the lives of the saints and martyrs we discover that this is not the case at all. Saint Theresa dashes this view.

Damned be such loyalty that goes against the law of God! This is the kind of nonsense that goes on in the world, which makes no sense to me: that we consider it a virtue not to break with a friendship, even if the latter go against God, whereas we are indebted to God for all the good that is done to us. Oh blindness of the world! You would have been served, Lord, if I had been most ungrateful to all that world and not the least bit ungrateful to You! But it has been just the reverse because of my sins.

Theresa did not tolerate the affection nor did she spare any moment of praying and working with this wretched man to stop his sin and return him to holiness. Note the presence of pagan or Satanic worship in the acts of the woman who was sinning with the priest. Is this any different than placing the “charm” of pornography and serialized feminine immodesty around our necks today?

I endeavored to get more information from other persons in his household. I learned more about his bad moral state and saw that the poor man was not so much at fault. For the unfortunate woman had put some charms in a little copper idol she asked him to wear around his neck out of love for her, and no one was influential enough to be able to take this away from him.

Again, the parishioners knew this man was a scandal and yet did nothing about it including having a simple conversation over fraternal correction. Sound familiar? The love Saint Theresa had for this one poor soul and the effort she put into helping him kick his sex addiction is the piece of the Harvey Weinstein story you will not read about because there are no women like Theresa of Avila in Hollywood today, yet the women of Hollywood have reached the pinnacles of mortal achievement and stature and indeed, despite their dubious outrage at Weinstein, give their “charms” to the production of media that makes normal Weinstein’s behavior. We should pray that one of them might read Saint Theresa of Avila someday:

Once I knew about this charm, I began to show him more love. My intention was good; the deed bad. For in order to do good, no matter how great, one should not commit the slightest wrong. I used to speak with him very often about God. This must have profited him, although I rather believe that it prompted him to love me greatly. For in order to please me, he finally gave me the little idol, which I then threw in a river. Once he got rid of this, he began — like someone awaking from a deep sleep — to recall everything he had done during those years. And being frightened about himself and grieving over his bad moral state, he at last began to abhor the woman. Our Lady must have helped him greatly, for he was most devoted to her Immaculate Conception; and he celebrated this feast with great solemnity. Finally, he stopped seeing this woman entirely, and he never tired of thanking God for having given him light.

It is fascinating to note the simplicity that Saint Theresa uses to convey what must have been an arduous, long protracted and patience-trying affair. Also note that during her time, the 16th century, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception was not yet made official, yet there is an unambiguous reference to it here. Protestants and the ill-catechized reading this should take away the fact that oral and practical Church tradition is as powerful as what is dogmatic, doctrinal and written. And what was the end result of Saint Theresa’s treatment of her Harvey Weinstein?

Exactly one year from the first day I met him, he died. He was very devoted to the service of God, for I never thought that the great affection he bore me was wrong, although it could have been more pure. But there were also occasions on which, if we had not remained very much in God’s presence, there would have been more serious offenses. As I said, once I understood a thing to be a mortal sin, I then avoided it; and it seems that his observing this in me helped him to love me. For I believe that all men must be more friendly toward women who they see are inclined toward virtue. And this is the means whereby women ought to gain more of what they are seeking from men, as I shall say later. I am certain that he is on the path of salvation. He died a very good death and completely detached from that occasion. It seems the Lord desired that by these means he would be saved.

Saint Theresa gives a modest account the “occasions” she endured with this man and the fact that mortal sin could have become of it but it didn’t. Finally, Saint Theresa warns men about ambitious women.

Men should believe that since these women have lost their shame before God (for women are obliged to modesty more than men), they can be trusted in nothing; for they will stop at nothing so as to hold on to this friendship and passion the devil has placed in them.

Saint Theresa of Avila, Oremus.


The Complete text, taken from Chapter 5 Saint Theresa of Avila – The Book of Her Life

There was a cleric of excellent intelligence and social status who lived in that place where I went to be cured. He was learned, although not greatly so. I began to confess to him, for I was always fond of learning. Half-learned confessors have done my soul great harm when I have been unable to find a confessor with as much learning as I like. I have come to see by experience that it is better, if they are virtuous and observant of holy customs, that they have little learning. For then they do not trust themselves without asking someone who knows, nor do I trust them; and a truly learned man has never misguided me. Those others certainly could not have wanted to mislead me, but they didn’t know any better. I thought that they really knew and that I was obliged to no more than to believe them, especially since what they told me was liberal and permissive. If it had been rigid, I am so wretched that I would have sought out others. What was venial sin they said was no sin at all, and what was serious mortal sin they said was venial. This did me so much harm that it should not surprise anyone that I speak of it here in order to warn others against so great an evil. I see clearly that in God’s eyes there is no excuse for me, for that the things by their nature were wrong should have been enough for me to have been on guard against them. It was on account of my sins, I believe, that God permitted these confessors to be mistaken themselves and to misguide me. And I misled many others by telling them what these confessors told me. I went on in this blindness for I believe more than seventeen years until a Dominican Father, a very learned man, enlightened me about many things. And the Jesuit Fathers made me fear everything so much, by showing me how wrong those theories were, as I shall tell later.

When I began then to confess with this cleric I mentioned, it happened that he became extremely fond of me; for at that time even after I became a nun I had little to confess compared to what I had later on. His affection for me was not bad; but since it was too great, it came to no good. He had learned from me that I was determined not to do anything grave against God for any reason, and he also assured me of the same; and so we conversed a great deal. But I was so fascinated with God at that time that what pleased me most was to speak of the things of God. And since I was so young, it threw him into confusion to observe this; and by reason of the strong love he had for me, he began to explain to me about his bad moral state. This was no small matter, because for about seven years he had been living in a dangerous state on account of his affection and dealings with a woman in that same place; and, despite this, he was saying Mass. The association was so public that he had lost his honor and reputation, and no one dared to admonish him about this. To me it was a great pity for I loved him deeply. I was so frivolous and blind that it seemed to me a virtue to be grateful and loyal to anyone who loved me. Damned be such loyalty that goes against the law of God! This is the kind of nonsense that goes on in the world, which makes no sense to me: that we consider it a virtue not to break with a friendship, even if the latter go against God, whereas we are indebted to God for all the good that is done to us. Oh blindness of the world! You would have been served, Lord, if I had been most ungrateful to all that world and not the least bit ungrateful to You! But it has been just the reverse because of my sins.

I endeavored to get more information from other persons in his household. I learned more about his bad moral state and saw that the poor man was not so much at fault. For the unfortunate woman had put some charms in a little copper idol she asked him to wear around his neck out of love for her, and no one was influential enough to be able to take this away from him. I do not believe with certainty that it is true that charms have this power. But I will mention this that I have seen so as to advise men to be on their guard with women who desire to carry on in this way. Men should believe that since these women have lost their shame before God (for women are obliged to modesty more than men), they can be trusted in nothing; for they will stop at nothing so as to hold on to this friendship and passion the devil has placed in them. Even though I have been so wretched, I have never fallen into anything of this sort, nor have I ever tried to do evil; nor, even if I could have, would I ever have desired to force anyone to love me, for the Lord has protected me from this. But if He should have let me, I would have done the evil that in everything else- 1 did, for there is nothing trustworthy in me.

Once I knew about this charm, I began to show him more love. My intention was good; the deed bad. For in order to do good, no matter how great, one should not commit the slightest wrong. I used to speak with him very often about God. This must have profited him, although I rather believe that it prompted him to love me greatly. For in order to please me, he finally gave me the little idol, which I then threw in a river. Once he got rid of this, he began — like someone awaking from a deep sleep — to recall everything he had done during those years. And being frightened about himself and grieving over his bad moral state, he at last began to abhor the woman. Our Lady must have helped him greatly, for he was most devoted to her Immaculate Conception; and he celebrated this feast with great solemnity. Finally, he stopped seeing this woman entirely, and he never tired of thanking God for having given him light.

Exactly one year from the first day I met him, he died. He was very devoted to the service of God, for I never thought that the great affection he bore me was wrong, although it could have been more pure. But there were also occasions on which, if we had not remained very much in God’s presence, there would have been more serious offenses. As I said, 5 once I understood a thing to be a mortal sin, I then avoided it; and it seems that his observing this in me helped him to love me. For I believe that all men must be more friendly toward women who they see are inclined toward virtue. And this is the means whereby women ought to gain more of what they are seeking from men, as I shall say later. I am certain that he is on the path of salvation. He died a very good death and completely detached from that occasion. It seems the Lord desired that by these means he would be saved.

 

 

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