Saint Teresa of Ávila, aka Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada

Saint Teresa of Ávila, aka Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada
1515
1582

Spanish Mystic, Roman Catholic Saint, Carmelite Nun, Theologian, Writer of the Counter Reformation, Co-Founder of the Discalced Carmelites and Reformer of the Carmelite Order

Author Quotes

She becomes brutally aware of her insignificance and realizes how little we would be able to do to help ourselves if the Beloved ever decided to abandon us.

Do not dismayed daughters, at the number of things which you have to consider before setting out on this divine journey, which is the royal road to heaven. By taking this road we gain such precious treasures that it is no wonder if the cost seems to us a high one. The time will come when we shall realize that all we have paid has been nothing at all by comparison with the greatness of our prizes.

God rewards here and in the life hereafter our poor little demonstrations of generosity and always above measure. He is so grateful that whoever so much as raises his mind to think of him will not miss his reward.

I had one brother almost of my own age, whom I loved best... We used to read the lives of the Saints together. And when I read of the martyrdoms which they suffered for the love of God, I used to think that they had bought their entry into God's presence very cheaply. Then I fervently longed to die like them, not out of any conscious love for Him, but in order to attain, as quickly as they had, those joys which, as I read, are laid up in Heaven. I used to discuss with my brother ways and means of becoming martyrs, and we agreed to go together to the land of the Moors, begging our way for the love of God, so that we might be beheaded there. I believe that our Lord had given us courage enough even at that tender age, if only we could have seen a way. But our parents seemed to us a very great hindrance.

It is here, my daughters, that love is to be found -- not hidden away in corners but in the midst of occasions of sin. And believe me, although we may more often fail and commit small lapses, our gain will be incomparably the greater.

Let us look at our own faults, and not at other persons'. People who are extremely correct themselves are often shocked at everything they see; however, we might often learn a great deal that is essential from the very persons whom we censure. Our exterior comportment and manners may be better — this is well enough, but not of the first importance. We ought not to insist on every one following in our footsteps, nor to take upon ourselves to give instructions in spirituality when, perhaps, we do not even know what it is. Zeal for the good of souls, though given us by God, may often lead us astray, sisters; it is best to keep our rule, which bids us ever to live in silence and in hope. Our Lord will care for the souls belonging to Him.

Our greatest gain is to lose the wealth that is of such brief duration and, by comparison with eternal things, of such little worth; yet we get upset about it and our gain turns to loss.

Souls without prayer are like bodies, palsied and lame, having hands and feet they cannot use.

Do you think it is only a little thing to possess a house from which lovely things can be seen?

God speaks to souls through words uttered by pious people, by sermons or good books, and in many other such ways. Sometimes he calls souls by means of sickness or troubles, or by some truth He teaches them during prayer, for tepid as they may be in seeking Him, yet God holds them very dear.

I have stepped from that region of me that did not love all the time.

It is impossible for a person who prays regularly to remain in serious sin; because the two are incompatible, one or the other will have to be given up.

Let us remember that within us there is a palace of immense magnificence.

Our Lord understands our weaknesses; the soul knows by a strong inward surmise whether it truly loves Him.

Suffering is a great favor. Remember that everything soon comes to an end . . . and take courage. Think of how our gain is eternal.

Don't be curious of matters that don't concern you; never speak of them, and don't ask about them.

God, wishing His elect to realize their own misery, often temporarily withdraws His favors: no more is needed to prove to us in a very short time what we really are.

I know a person who, though no poet, composed some verses in a very short time, which were full of feeling and admirably descriptive of her pain: they did not come from her understanding, but, in order the better to enjoy the bliss which came to her from such delectable pain, she complained of it to her God. She would have been so glad if she could have been cut to pieces, body and soul, to show what joy this pain caused her. What torments could have been set before her at such a time which she would not have found it delectable to endure for her Lord's sake?

It is love alone that gives worth to all things

Life is to life in such a way that we are not afraid to die.

Our prayer must, therefore, be very earnest for those who give us light. What should we be without them in the midst of these violent storms which now disturb the Church.

Take care not to miss this wonderful opportunity. Say the 'Our Father' slowly without rushing. He is listening very close to you. This is the best way to praise and honor His name.

Don't let your sins turn into bad habits.

Granting that we are always in the presence of God, yet it seems to me that those who pray are in His presence in a very different sense; for they, as it were, see that He is looking upon them, while others may go for days on end without even once recollecting that God sees them.

I know that many persons who say vocal prayers are raised by God to high contemplation without their knowing how.

Author Picture
First Name
Saint Teresa of Ávila, aka Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada
Birth Date
1515
Death Date
1582
Bio

Spanish Mystic, Roman Catholic Saint, Carmelite Nun, Theologian, Writer of the Counter Reformation, Co-Founder of the Discalced Carmelites and Reformer of the Carmelite Order