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The selection The Raptures of St Avila that appears here concerns St Teresas visions of Jesus and angels She describes her visions very carefully in this chapter saying that at first she was able to see only the hands of Jesus than later his face and eventually his body She goes into great detail that she saw his human form as resurrected and that sometimes Jesus showed her his wounds Sometimes she saw Jesus appearing with a crown of thorns and sometimes bearing the cross These visions normally disturbed her confessors some of whom were convinced that she was being deceived by the devilPart of the teaching of the Carmelites insisted on the union of the individual with God The visions of St Teresa strengthened this teaching stressing her direct contact with Jesus But the special qualities of her visions emphasize a personal rapture and ecstasy that seem to exceed normal human feelings Teresa points them with special care reminding her readers that she realizes that no one who has not experienced the visions could ever understand what they are like or follow the meaning they have in religious life At the end of this chapter Teresa strongly talks of the ecstatic feelings that escort one of her most profound experiences with the arrival of an angel The outcome is to communicate the expansiveness of the religious acquaintance rather than to confine her to discussing the advantages of discipline aloneAdditionally St Teresa discusses the visions she had and the problems that are associated with them She explains that she believed of such a possibility right away but that it is hopeless Teresa also solves how her confessors taught her to confront the vision of Jesus to determine whether it is a fiendish fraud When she uncovers her conflicted emotions as she snaps her fingers at Jesus one might understand how she feels even though one has never had her visions She is able to help
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