Skip to comments.Film explores spiritual life and sexuality of 'sassy' Saint Teresa
Posted on 08/25/2006 6:20:55 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
THE Church is facing another onslaught from film-makers. After the furore over The Da Vinci Code, it is now contending with an allegedly blasphemous account of the life of St Teresa of Ávila.
Geraldine Chaplin heads the cast of Teresa: Death and Life, a feature film about one of the great Christian figures.
The writings of the saint a mystic who said that Christ conversed with her are revered as spiritual masterpieces four centuries after her death.
But film-makers dont do spirituality as easily as sexuality and, in exploring the saints sex life, they find themselves accused of treading sacrilegiously.
On being told about the films content, [Benedicta Ward, nun and Oxford University Historian] said: The stress on her virginity and her sexuality are entirely modern interests as if she were living now. Thats not fair. She is the greatest of the mystics. She has visions and writes about them and analyses them in an extraordinary way.
[Diurector Ray Loriga] was prepared for a possible controversy, but said: The vision we have been offered of St Teresa is very close to a holy image."
He added: This is the 21st century and I think certain opinions about St Teresa, such as the question of her virginity, could change.
Loriga said: Im convinced shell be the sexiest Saint Teresa ever seen on screen. ...
So far, [the Catholic Church has]only offered two models to women The Virgin Mother, which, in my opinion, is an aberration and quite harmful to women, and the redeemed whore symbolised by Mary Magdalene. These role models worry me. The Church hasnt been able to find a better explanation for women within the context of our relationship with God.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
If I were as ignorant as the person responsible for the above quote, I hope to God I'd never open my mouth in public.
The Catholic Church has canonized over 1,500 women as examples of heroic holiness and raised them "to the honor of the altar." Four of them (Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Terese of Lisieux, and Edith Stein of Auschwitz) have been proclaimed Doctors of the Church, who teach the Church --and the human race--- what it means to be holy!
Catholics admire St. Elizabeth Seton, teacher; Zelie Martin (St. Therese of Lisieuxs mom),lacemaker; Elizabeth Anscombe, Cambridge University professor; Maisie Ward, publisher/writer/lecturer; Dorothy Day, mother and journalist and servant of the poor; Gianna Beretta Molla, mother, physician, and martyr.
The Catholic Church urges us to recognize many outstanding women and to imitate their virtues: women writers, nuns, physicians, servants, mystics, philosophers, University presidents, foundresses of hospitals and schools, missionaries, poets, servants and queens.
This list could extend from here to heavenand does.
I read the headline too fast, and read it as "Mother" rather than "Saint" Theresa..... how do I get that picture out of my head?!?!?!?
LOL! Me too.
I suppose she's next...
While I don't trust moviemakers generally, I would aver that sainthood and sex aren't mutually exclusive.
Saint Teresa was born in Avila, Spain, March 28, 1515. She died in Alba, October 4, 1582. Her family origins have been traced to Toledo and Olmedo. Her father, Alonso de Cepeda, was a son of a Toledan merchant, Juan Sanchez de Toledo and Ines de Cepeda, originally from Tordesillas. Juan transferred his business to Avila, where he succeeded in having his children marry into families of the nobility. In 1505 Alonso married Catalina del Peso, who bore him two children and died in 1507. Two years later Alonso married the 15-year-old Beatriz de Ahumada of whom Teresa was born.
Sure. One of the more famous examples is St. Thomas More. He had children. But St. Teresa was a nun. She took a vow of celibacy. She wouldn't be a saint if she broke it.
You're quite right. God made all of us sexed, and thought it was "very good." It's a constitutive element of a sacrament, and a sacred image of the relationship of Christ to theChurch, and of the soul to God.
And St. Teresa of Avila was reputed to be beautiful and also vivacious and charming and attractive, as well as being a virgin and mystic who had what you could call an unblushingly passionate love of God.
What sets off the warning signals is the filmmaker's apparent abysmal ignorance. Anyone who thinks the Catholic Church has "suppressed" examples of feminine holiness, or confined women only to virgin-or-whore images, or -- as the director remarks elesewhere in the article --- that the Church would have burned Teresa at the stake if she weren't so pretty (!)(!), is clearly turkey-stupid about Catholicism.
So is it surprising that I have misgivings about the his portrayal of Teresa's God-given sexuality?
If the Church still had that supposed attitude, St. Gianna Molla wouldn't be a saint today!!!
Anyone who has read her very frank and colloquially-written autobiography would know that.
St. Teresa was a brilliant, funny, no-nonsense lady who loved Jesus more than life itself.
And it is so amusing that people continue recycling this "madonna/whore" image.
Something less than 1% of Catholic women have been either consecrated virgins or reformed prostitutes.
99% have been wives and mothers.
The primary image of women among Catholic men is that of mother - either his mother or the mother of his children.
The secularist trash who are making this m,ovie despise motherhood, and it's telling that they don't mention what St. teresa of Avila was called before she was a saint: Mother Teresa.
I see now. :-) http://www.karmel.at/eng/teresa.htm
I guess any such speculation would have to be surrounding a time when she considered marriage, but there is nothing I can see to suggest she was unchaste before her vows or that she ever broke them afterward.
Thanks for the ping!
How does this meathead think that the Virgin Mother is harmful to women? That is insane.
It would have been absolutely unthinkable for Theresa to have not been a virgin...daughters were chaperoned and protected from male influence before marriage. Does no one know anything anymore?
Besides that, we have a pretty frank and clear description of St. Theresa's life.
You raised up St. Teresa by Your Spirit so that she could manifest to the Church the way to perfection. Nourish us with the food of heaven, and fire us with a desire for holiness.
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