Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

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

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

"To reach something good it is very useful to have gone astray, and thus acquire experience."

"Let nothing disturb you, Nothing dismay you; All things are passing: God never changes. Patient endurance Attains all that it strives for; Those who have God Find they lack nothing. God alone suffices."

"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."

"A shadow may move but it has no real power of its own."

"Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul."

"Alas, O Lord, to what a state lost Thou bring those who love Thee!"

"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."

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

"Anyone who truly loves God travels securely."

"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."

"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 we seldom consider and so we trouble little about carefully preserving the soul's beauty."

"Be gentle to all and stem with yourself."

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

"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."

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

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

"Don't let your sins turn into bad habits."

"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."

"Each of us has a soul, but we forget to value it. We don’t remember that we are creatures made in the image of God. We don’t understand the great secrets hidden inside of us."

"For if the will has nothing to employ it and love has no present object with which to busy itself, the soul finds itself without either support or occupation, its solitude and aridity cause it great distress and its thoughts involve it in the severest conflict."

"For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God."

"From moment to moment one can bear much."

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

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

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

"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."

"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."

"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."

"God prefers your health, and your obedience, to your penance."

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

"Have confidence in Him. Be of good heart because His Majesty is very solicitous to what we need. Have no fear that you will be lacking anything."

"He always gives us more than we ask him for. Always."

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

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

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

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

"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."

"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."

"I delighted in being well thought of, and was particular about all that I did; and all this seemed to me a virtue, though that will not serve me for an excuse, for I knew how to get my own pleasure out of everything, and so my wrongdoing cannot be excused by ignorance ."

"I derived great comfort from those saints who have sinned and yet whom the Lord has drawn to Himself. I thought that I could obtain help from them, and that as the Lord had pardoned them he might pardon me."

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

"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."

"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."

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

"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?"

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

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