As Pope Benedict XVI's weekly audience catechesis this week and last week spoke of Pope/St. Gregory the Great, I thought I would do a separate post about his writing that influenced St. Teresa of Avila. In her Life, 5:16, she says that St. Gregory the Great's book Morals on the Book of Job helped to sustain her during the serious illness that struck her in early adulthood. She knew the life of Job, she said, from that book. She would have had St. Gregory's book in Spanish translation. Although she quoted from the Biblical Book of Job itself, she may have been careful to mention a source other than Scripture, because she was writing in an era when women were not taught much of the Latin language in which Scripture was usually available, and Spanish translations were under scrutiny for their association with the ongoing Protestant Reformation. Here is the reference:
I was not more than three months in this cruel distress, for it seemed impossible that so many ills could be borne together. I now am astonished at myself, and the patience His Majesty gave me—for it clearly came from Him—I look upon as a great mercy of our Lord. It was a great help to me to be patient, that I had read the story of Job, in the Morals of St. Gregory (our Lord seems to have prepared me thereby); and that I had begun the practice of prayer, so that I might bear it all, conforming my will to the will of God. All my conversation was with God. I had continually these words of Job in my thoughts and in my mouth: "If we have received good things of the hand of our Lord, why should we not receive evil things?" This seemed to give me courage.