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

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

Spanish Carmelite Nun, Theologian, Mystic and Writer of the Counter Reformation

Author Quotes

With all this wide and beautiful creation before me, the restless soul longs to enjoy its liberty and rest beyond its bound.

With the help of our guardian angel we can try to see it reflected in God as in a mirror, for we will never come to know ourselves if we do not try to know God.

You must know that weather or not you are practicing mental prayer has nothing to do with keeping your lips closed. If, while I am speaking with God, I am fully conscious of doing so, and if this is more real to me than the words I am uttering, then I am combining mental and vocal prayer. I am amazed when people tell me that you are speaking with God by reciting the Paternoster even while you are thinking of worldly things. When you speak with a Lord so great, you should think of Who it is you are addressing and what you yourself are, if only that you may speak to Him with proper respect. How can you address a king with the reverence he deserves unless you are clearly conscious of his position and yours?

You ought to make every effort to free yourselves even from venial sin, and to do what is most perfect.

You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.

We shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavoring to know God; for, beholding His greatness, we realize our own littleness; His purity shows us our foulness; and by meditating upon His humility we find how very far we are from being humble.

What a great favor God does to those He places in the company of good people!

What misery to live in this world! We are like men whose enemies are at the door, who must not lay aside their arms, even while sleeping or eating, and are always in dread lest the foe should enter the fortress by some breach in the walls. O my Lord and my all! How canst thou wish us to prize such a wretched existence?

When I think of myself my mind cannot soar to higher things but is like a bird with broken wings.

When I think of the Most Holy Trinity, or hear it spoken of, I seem to understand how there can by such a mystery, and it is a great joy to me.

Whenever I read in the lives of Saints of how they converted souls, I seem to feel much more devout, more tender, and more envious of them than when I read of all the martyrdoms that they suffered. This is an inclination given me by Our Lord; and I think He prizes one soul, which by His mercy and through our diligence and prayer we have gained, for him, more than all the other services we can render Him.

Love turns work into rest.

Pain is never permanent

The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love.

To wish to act like angels while we are still in this world is nothing but folly.

May it please His Majesty that we fear Him whom we ought to fear, and understand that one venial sin can do us more harm than all hell together; for that is the truth. The evil spirits keep us in terror, because we expose ourselves to the assaults of terror by our attachments to honours, possessions, and pleasures. For then the evil spirits, uniting themselves with us, — we become our own enemies when we love and seek what we ought to hate, — do us great harm. We ourselves put weapons into their hands, that they may assail us; those very weapons with which we should defend ourselves. It is a great pity. But if, for the love of God, we hated all this, and embraced the cross, and set about His service in earnest, Satan would fly away before such realities, as from the plague. He is the friend of lies, and a lie himself. He will have nothing to do with those who walk in the truth. When he sees the understanding of any one obscured, he simply helps to pluck out his eyes; if he sees any one already blind, seeking peace in vanities, — for all the things of this world are so utterly vanity, that they seem to be but the playthings of a child, — he sees at once that such a one is a child; he treats him as a child, and ventures to wrestle with him — not once, but often. May it please our Lord that I be not one of these; and may His Majesty give me grace to take that for peace which is really peace, that for honour which is really honour, and that for delight which is really a delight. Let me never mistake one thing for another — and then I snap my fingers at all the devils, for they shall be afraid of me. I do not understand those terrors which make us cry out, Satan, Satan! when we may say, God, God! and make Satan tremble. Do we not know that he cannot stir without the permission of God? What does it mean? I am really much more afraid of those people who have so great a fear of the devil, than I am of the devil himself. Satan can do me no harm whatever, but they can trouble me very much, particularly if they be confessors. I have spent some years of such great anxiety, that even now I am amazed that I was able to bear it. Blessed be our Lord, who has so effectually helped me!

Patience attains All that it strives for. He who has God Finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices.

The most potent and acceptable prayer is the prayer that leaves the best effects. I don't mean it must immediately fill the soul with desire . . . The best effects [are] those that are followed up by actions-----when the soul not only desires the honor of God, but really strives for it.

True perfection consists in the love of God and our neighbor, and the better we keep both these commandments, the more perfect we shall be.

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.

Patient endurance attaineth to all things; who God possesseth in nothing is wanting; alone God sufficeth.

The pain was so sharp that it made me utter several moans; and so excessive was the sweetness caused me by this intense pain that one can never wish to lose it.

Truth suffers, but never dies.

More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.

Praised be the Lord, who has redeemed me from myself.

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

Spanish Carmelite Nun, Theologian, Mystic and Writer of the Counter Reformation