See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Catholic Princesses


There is a pejorative term - sometimes even used by Jewish people - referring to a spoiled daughter or wife as a Jewish Princess or JAP (Jewish American Princess).  Every culture has their term for their prima donnas, and of course we have always had our Catholic princesses as well.  Even real ones.  Watching the Spanish documentary of Teresa of Jesus last evening, the story of the Princess of Eboli unfolded for those of us following the mini series on EWTN.  What a hoot.  Yet what a good lesson for and about beginners...

Both Teresa and John of the Cross discuss at length the faults and presumptions of beginners in the spiritual life, as do the other masters, Garrigou-Lagrange, Marie-Eugene, Tanquerey, and others.  I constantly re-read these passages, but nothing has sunk in yet.  (I'll have to post about it another time however.)

That said - if you get a chance to see the film, Teresa of Jesus, please do.  There is a scene where Teresa is obliged to accept the position of prioress over the community at the monastery of the Incarnation in Avila, and the nuns literally revolt...  I couldn't help think of the Apostolic Visitation of American women religious in the works today - it just demonstrates that it's not unusual for nuns to be rebellious.

But back to the Princess of Eboli and some of the other characters who annoyed St. Teresa.  There is so much to be learned from them - and they also help us understand why some people find many religious people to be so insufferable.  (I'll have to post about it another time however.)

10 comments:

  1. Terry--I knew by your title "Catholic Princesses" you were talking about me :)

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  2. Terry, I still remember tat scene from the movie "Teresa de Jesus". Princess of Eboli, the wife of the late Don Roy of Pastrana.

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  3. Tara, you beat me to that one. :>

    I think I'm a Catholic princess, but no one wants to recognize me as such. :>

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  4. Tara and susan - yes - but you are good princesses.

    Fr. Gary - I've always thought St. Teresa's vow of obedience was weird with Gratian - nothing bad - just odd. That is one part of her life I do not get. Any thoughts?

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  5. Interesting that nuns always revolt when people want them to behave like nuns.

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  6. LarryD has already anointed me Duchess of Idaho...so that would make me a Catholic Duchess of Idaho. Not as important as princess but I'm a modest sort.

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  7. Anonymous4:02 PM

    I'm watching the series on EWTN, and it's really interesting, since I didn't know all that much about Madre Teresa la Grande before. She is my new Role Model -- I want to be just like her when I grow up, even though I'm 62, LOL! Seriously, this series is very well done, with Concha Velasco doing a superb job in the title role. I'll be sorry when it's over!

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  8. My cats are princesses.

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  9. One may obtain the DVD set of Teresa of Avila. Why watch it only when EWTN plays it? I watch it often. The Princess Eboli reminds me of the usual female staff that infest every parish office and who dominate and control almost every aspect of parish life. They use money and their "generous" contributions to the parish to maintain control of priests, liturgy and catechesis. It is often they who influence the pastors to refrain from bringing the extraordinary liturgy (Tridentine Mass) to the parish in keeping with the Motu Proprio, rather they pursuade to have "Life Teen Masses" to keep their rebellious spawn amused instead teaching them reverence. Their granddaughters and nieces are often "altar girls" and their husbands and sons usually play the the out-of-tune guitars used in "choir" when they sing that all time Haugen hit "Gather Us In". Yes Eboli is a "type" of one of the baleful spirits insuffulated into the sanctuary along with the Smokes of Satan and the malign demon "The Spirit of Vatican II".

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  10. Leo - I will have to order the DVD - thanks for the advice - and the modern day examples of the princess. ;)

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