By Sam Harris
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The cardinal's religious zeal probably opened his sympathies to the ecstatic woman whose excessive piety and disciplines exemplified the austerities she taught. And because I, Lord, am such an enemy of this life that I do not seem to have been born on this sad island and because in my opinion I am made of its dross, I despair to see the goal so near and our sight so short. The controversy is a key chapter Page 46 in the story of the Dominican attempts at reform, in which both Sor María and Cardinal Cisneros figure prominently.
Sor Inés adamantly claimed that the wound was genuine and stated that she herself had seen the side open not once but many times. Announcing that he could take away the pain with the sign of the cross, Vitoria blessed Sor María and immediately the pain disappeared. He suspected that there was pretense but it was on her part rather than on theirs. Certainly her prophecy that the monastery of Santo Domingo had to be reformed must have put heart into the faction that was agitating for increased austerities in the order.
Although the humanist basis to the program at Alcalá is unmistakable, Cisneros's primary intention was to provide the finest theological education possible, and all studies had value in that light. The Page 44 7 Enchiridion was published in Spain in 1524 or perhaps 1526, at about the same time that Lutheran books made their way into the peninsula. How this man, who was knowledgeable in the ways of the world and hearts of men, could have been duped by a simple woman is not an easy question to answer, but if on the one hand the cardinal was learned and astute, on the other he was a Franciscan at heart who was searching for God in the purity and simplicity of the devout life.