Teresa of Ávila lived in Spain (1515–1582) and was a contemporary—and close friend—of John of the Cross. They worked together to reform the Carmelite convents and monasteries throughout Spain. Teresa is known for her visions and ecstasies, also for her ability to attract friends and her pragmatic and honest manner of dealing with the life of faith. She is best known for her Autobiography, The Interior Castle, and The Way of Perfection. Her writings on mental (contemplative) prayer have yet to be matched; in 1970 she was named a Doctor of the Church. As editor Carol L. Flinders put it, “No one writing in the Catholic tradition has made the practice of interior prayer more comprehensible.”
It’s easy to find all sorts of St. Teresa of Ávila quotes. What isn’t so easy is sitting with them awhile and allowing them to sink in. Here is ample material for some meditation this week:
However much we do to avoid them, we shall never lack crosses in this life if we are in the ranks of the Crucified.
There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.
How is it, Lord, that we are cowards in everything save in opposing thee?
Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.
You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.
One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to God, and many a time he is praying much more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer.
Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing.
From silly devotions and from sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.
Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world.
It’s said that St. Teresa used this quote as a bookmark:
Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.