Author Topic: Quotes: The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila  (Read 863 times)

Offline Beatrice

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Quotes: The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila
« on: October 15, 2014, 09:21:47 PM »
As it is her feast day today, it seems only appropriate to start this thread! I'm (somewhat slowly) reading the autobiography right now, and find it full of beautiful and edifying passages. Lots of wisdom. So, my intention with this thread is to post the passages I highlight as I read through the book. Hopefully some of you will find it of use, and/or a good introduction to a very great saint. :)

May He be blessed for ever who waited for me so long.

Teresa of Avila (2004-07-29). The Life of St Teresa of Avila by Herself (Classics) (p. 22). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

I do not think that You left anything undone to make me Yours entirely, even from my youth.

Teresa of Avila (2004-07-29). The Life of St Teresa of Avila by Herself (Classics) (p. 25). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

His Majesty seems to have been seeking and seeking how He could bring me back to Himself. Bless you, Lord, for having suffered so much from me! Amen.

Teresa of Avila (2004-07-29). The Life of St Teresa of Avila by Herself (Classics) (p. 29). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

I would recommend anyone to whom a good inspiration repeatedly comes, never to neglect it out of fear. If he turns nakedly to God alone, he need not be afraid of failure, since God is all-powerful. May He be blessed for ever! Amen.

Teresa of Avila (2004-07-29). The Life of St Teresa of Avila by Herself (Classics) (p. 34). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

My joy at having been the means whereby the multitude of Your mercies has been made known certainly moderates my sorrow for my great sins.

Teresa of Avila (2004-07-29). The Life of St Teresa of Avila by Herself (Classics) (p. 34). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

O my God, how I longed for the health to serve You better, and this was the cause of all my undoing! When I saw myself so paralysed and still so young, and how the physicians of the world had dealt with me, I decided to invoke those of heaven to heal me. For though I bore my illness most joyfully, I still wanted to get well. But sometimes I reflected that I might regain my health and yet be lost, and that it would be better to stay as I was. But I always thought that I should serve God much better if I recovered. This is our mistake, never to resign ourselves absolutely to what the Lord does, though He knows best what suits us.

Teresa of Avila (2004-07-29). The Life of St Teresa of Avila by Herself (Classics) (p. 47). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

On lax/bad religious:

I do not know why we are surprised that there are so many evils in the Church, when these, who should be the models from whom all derive virtue, so nullify the work wrought on the religious Orders by the spirits of the saints of old. May His divine Majesty be pleased to find a remedy for this, as He sees needful. Amen.

Teresa of Avila (2004-07-29). The Life of St Teresa of Avila by Herself (Classics) (p. 52). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.
Suffer me not to be separated
And let my cry come unto Thee.

(~T. S. Eliot, "Ash Wednesday")

May He be blessed for ever who waited for me so long. ~ St. Teresa of Avila
 

Offline Bernadette

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Re: Quotes: The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 03:11:58 AM »
I love St. Teresa of Avila! She has had more influence on me spiritually than any other Saint, except for the Blessed Virgin. I'm really inspired by the strength of her conviction. She really put into practice the things that most of us feel at one time or another, but rarely devote ourselves to: the idea that serving and loving God, even in suffering, is our reason for being on earth, and that doing the will of God is more important than any difficulties that might arise from it.

St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!  :pray3:
 

Offline Bernadette

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Re: Quotes: The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 03:19:08 AM »
This reminds me: here are some meditations that I posted on another forum- never got around to posting them here.  :-[

This is one of my absolute favorite excerpts from St. Teresa's writings. From The Way of Perfection, Ch. 28:

"You know that God is everywhere; and this is a great truth, for, of course, wherever the king is, or so they say, the court is too: that is to say, wherever God is, there is Heaven. No doubt you can believe that, in any place where His Majesty is, there is fulness of glory. Remember how Saint Augustine tells us about his seeking God in many places and eventually finding Him within himself. Do you suppose it is of little importance that a soul which is often distracted should come to understand this truth and to find that, in order to speak to its Eternal Father and to take its delight in Him, it has no need to go to Heaven or to speak in a loud voice? However quietly we speak, He is so near that He will hear us: we need no wings to go in search of Him but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us. Nor need we feel strange in the presence of so kind a Guest; we must talk to Him very humbly, as we should to our father, ask Him for things as we should ask a father, tell Him our troubles, beg Him to put them right, and yet realize that we are not worthy to be called His children."

The first time I read this, I immediately thought of Deuteronomy 30:11-14:

[11] This commandment, that I command thee this day is not above thee, nor far off from thee: [12] Nor is it in heaven, that thou shouldst say: Which of us can go up to heaven to bring it unto us, and we may hear and fulfill it in work? [13] Nor is it beyond the sea: that thou mayst excuse thyself, and say: Which of us can cross the sea, and bring it unto us: that we may hear, and do that which is commanded? [14] But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou mayst do it."

Only now it's not just a commandment that God has put so close to us, in our very heart, but the Word Himself.  :) It's really amazing to think about it: that God is with us, within us all the time, waiting for us to "enter into our souls" and "look upon Him." Such a comforting thought.  :)

I absolutely love St. Teresa. She has a way of really getting down to "brass tacks" which I find incredibly helpful in my daily life, especially in my current situation of only having access to useless, superficial homilies. I never have to try too hard to figure out what her "point" is, or how to apply it to my life. In her own words (another favorite quote): "May His Divine Majesty be pleased that I may practice what I understand." ( emphasis mine) I think this is really the crux of her spirituality. She took the spiritual truths that are in most people's heads (i.e. that the world is passing, but the rewards of Heaven are eternal, so whatever price we may have to pay here in order to "purchase" them is incredibly cheap; that we should count all personal sufferings nothing compared to the sufferings that Christ was willing to endure for us; that we should strive to truly give our will entirely to God, instead of trying to "snatch it back out of His hands" when things don't go our way) and devoted herself to conforming her life to them.