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

At night a hooded monk passed by where there were no lamps. I could not see his face. I only heard these words he kept repeating: Teach me, dear Lord, all that you know. I knew instantly a great treasure had entered my soul.

God has been very good to me, for I never dwell upon anything wrong which a person has done, so as to remember it afterwards. If I do remember it, I always see some other virtue in that person.

I cannot think why we should be astonished at all the evils which exist in the Church, when those who ought to be models on which all may pattern their virtues are annulling the work wrought in the religious Orders by the spirit of the saints of old.

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.

Blessed be He, Who came into the world for no other purpose than to suffer.

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 do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him.

It is love alone that gives worth to all things.

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 save us from gloomy saints!

I feared them so little, that the terrors, which until now oppressed me, quitted me altogether; and though I saw them occasionally, — I shall speak of this by and by, — I was never again afraid of them — on the contrary, they seemed to be afraid of me. I found myself endowed with a certain authority over them, given me by the Lord of all, so that I cared no more for them than for flies. They seem to be such cowards; for their strength fails them at the sight of any one who despises them. These enemies have not the courage to assail any but those whom they see ready to give in to them, or when God permits them to do so, for the greater good of His servants, whom they may try and torment.

It is no small pity, and should cause us no little shame, that, through our own fault, we do not understand ourselves, or know who we are. Would it not be a sign of great ignorance, my daughters, if a person were asked who he was, and could not say, and had no idea who his father or mother was, or from what country he came? Though that is a great stupidity, our own is incomparably greater if we make no attempt to discover what we are, and only know that we are living in these bodies and have a vague idea, because we have heard it, and because our faith tells us so, that we possess souls. As to what good qualities there may be in our souls, or who dwells within them, or how precious they are — those are things which seldom consider and so we trouble little about carefully preserving the soul's beauty. All our interest is centred in the rough setting of the diamond and in the outer wall of the castle – that is to say in these bodies of ours.

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 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 of great importance, when we begin to practice prayer, not to let ourselves be frightened by our own thoughts.

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

God withholds Himself from no one who perseveres.

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

It is only mercenaries who expect to be paid by the day.

Don't let your sins turn into bad habits.

God, deliver me from sullen saints.

I know the power obedience has of making things easy which seem impossible.

It is our prayer that the Lord gives light to understanding His truths.

Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.

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