Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

St Teresa 500

Today is the quincentenary of the birth of that very great saint Teresa of Avila.


St Teresa of Avila

A posthumous portrait by Peter Paul Rubens from 1615
Kunsthistorische Museum

Image: Wikimedia

I find her robust and practical common sense a very attractive feature - you feel she would have been fun to meet and talk to. Equally she impresses by her steelly determination to achieve what she set out to do. Her Autobiography and her account of her Foundations of Discalced Carmelites as well as her Letters make fascinating reading, full of incident and insight, a rich portrait of the world she inhabited. Most of us are not mystics - but maybe that should not, indeed ought not, stop us trying to be one - and St Teresa is awonderfully human companion on that journey of exploration. Indeed her travels through Castile can be seen as an image and allegory of her interior journey just as much as her Interior Castle is a tour of her own soul.

File:Teresa de Jesús.jpg 

St Teresa of Avila and her signature 

Copy of a contemporary painting of 1576 when she was 61 by Fray Juan de la Miseria
Carmelite Convent Seville

Image: Wikimedia 

May St Teresa continue to pray for us all


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