Where is the life’s turning point? Is there a “conversion”?
Actually Teresa has lived in good virtues since she was a kid. After that, she has been sinned, repented, fell again into sin, and so on, that it’s difficult to find the exact turning point. Until the last end of her autobiography, Teresa still sometimes doubted God, that God rebuked her. However, I think the foundation of St. Joseph’s convent might be her turning point, because after that she could enjoy a totally secluded life from the world. And, as Teresa’s source of sins usually came from her relation with people, it’s good for her to be secluded like that.
For what does the writer apologize? In an apologizing how does the writer justify?
Teresa apologized often for her lack of trust in God. God has blessed her with so many visions and appearances to convince her, however, it’s difficult for he to understand how a sinful person like her could have been blessed so abundantly by God. And so, she doubted some times, whether it did not come from the devils who wanted to lure her from God. I think in this, Teresa justify God’s Infinite Mercy. He never judges His servants by their pureness, but by their love and persistency to serve Him. Most of the Saints were sinned severely against Him at first, and because they (including Teresa) felt the Infinite Mercy and Love from God, their repentance are perfect, and so, they don’t want anything else than serving God faithfully.
What is the model—the ideal—for this person’s life?
Teresa didn’t mention about her ideal, but as she is a severe doubter, stubborn, and has a lack of humility (something she often admitted), the ideal might be a more tender and flexible person with more determination. However, there is no perfect human being, and God chose Teresa anyway, with all her weaknesses. So, I believe the ideal would be someone who love God and trust his/her life completely to Him.
What is the end of the life: the place where the writer has arrived, found closure, discovered rest?
After the St. Joseph’s convent has been founded, Teresa’s duty for God has been fulfilled, and so He granted her chance to be out of the world, and be with Him entirely, and this could prevent her from doing sins again.
“I do not know whether it is for this reason that His Majesty has placed me in this retired place, where I am so strictly enclosed and where I am so much like a dead thing that I once thought no one would remember me again.”
“For the Lord has awakened my soul from the state in which, being neither mortified nor dead to the things of this world, I used to have such feelings; and His Majesty will not let me become blind again.”