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

All the trials we endure cannot be compared to these interior battles.

From moment to moment one can bear much.

He has borne with thousands of foul and abominable sins which you have committed against Him, yet even they have not been enough to make Him cease looking upon you. Is it such a great matter, then, for you to avert the eyes of your soul from the outward things and sometimes to look at Him?

If this is the way you treat your friends, it's no wonder you have so few! [said of God]

Let him never cease from prayer who has once begun it, be his life ever so wicked, for prayer is the way to amend it, and without prayer such amendment will be much more difficult.

All the way to heaven is heaven.

From silly devotions and from sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.

Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one.

If we plant a flower or a shrub and water it daily it will grow so tall that in time we shall need a spade and a hoe to uproot it. It is just so, I think, when we commit a fault, however small, each day, and do not cure ourselves of it.

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.

All things fail; but Thou, Lord of all, never failest! They who love Thee, oh, how little they have to suffer! oh, how gently, how tenderly, how sweetly Thou, O my Lord, dealest with them! Oh, that no one had ever been occupied with any other love than Thine! It seems as if Thou didst subject those who love Thee to a severe trial: but it is in order that they may learn, in the depths of that trial, the depths of Thy love. O my God, oh, that I had understanding and learning, and a new language, in order to magnify Thy works, according to the knowledge of them which my soul possesses! Everything fails me, O my Lord; but if Thou wilt not abandon me, I will never fail Thee. Let all the learned rise up against me, — let the whole creation persecute me, — let the evil spirits torment me, — but do Thou, O Lord, fail me not; for I know by experience now the blessedness of that deliverance which Thou dost effect for those who trust only in Thee. In this distress, — for then I had never had a single vision, — these Thy words alone were enough to remove it, and give me perfect peace: Be not afraid, my daughter: it is I; and I will not abandon thee. Fear not. It seems to me that, in the state I was in then, many hours would have been necessary to calm me, and that no one could have done it. Yet I found myself, through these words alone, tranquil and strong, courageous and confident, at rest and enlightened; in a moment, my soul seemed changed, and I felt I could maintain against all the world that my prayer was the work of God. Oh, how good is God! how good is our Lord, and how powerful! He gives not counsel only, but relief as well. His words are deeds. O my God! as He strengthens our faith, love grows.

Give me wealth or poverty, give me comfort or discomfort, give me joy or sorrow... What do you want to make of me?

How is it, Lord, that we are cowards in everything save in opposing Thee?

In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel.

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

All things must come to the soul from its roots, from where it is planted.

God aids the valiant...both to you and to me He will give the help needed.

However many years life might last, no one could ever wish for a better friend than God.

It constantly happens that the Lord permits a soul to fall so that it may grow humbler.

Anyone who truly loves God travels securely.

God bestows two remedies for all the temptations and trials that we have to endure: Love and Fear... Love makes us quicken our steps, while fear will make us look where we are setting our feet so that we shall not fall.

I am afraid that if we begin to put our trust in human help, some of our Divine help will fail us.

It is encouraging to see that trials which seemed to us impossible to submit to are possible to others, and that they bear them sweetly. Their flight makes us try to soar, like nestlings taught by the elder birds, who, though they cannot fly far at first, little by little imitate their parents.

As to the aridity you are suffering from, it seems to me our Lord is treating you like someone He considers strong: He wants to test you and see if you love Him as much at times of aridity as when He sends you consolations. I think this is a very great favor for God to show you.

God gave us faculties for our use; each of them will receive its proper reward. Then do not let us try to charm them to sleep, but permit them to do their work until divinely called to something higher.

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