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

TERESA OF AVILA, attributed, The New Catholic Treasury of Wit and Humor

Souls without prayer are like bodies, palsied and lame, having hands and feet they cannot use.

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

The soul of the just man is but a paradise, in which, God tells us, He takes His delight. What do you imagine, must that dwelling be in which a King so mighty, so wise, and so pure, containing in Himself all good, can delight to rest? Nothing can be compared to the great beauty and capabilities of a soul; however keen our intellects may be, they are as unable to comprehend them as to comprehend God, for, as He told us, He created us in his own image and likeness.

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

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

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

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.

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

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

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

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?

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

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

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

God, wishing His elect to realize their own misery, often temporarily withdraws His favours: no more is needed to prove to us in a very short time what we really are.

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

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.

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

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.

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

From moment to moment one can bear much.

TERESA OF AVILA, attributed, Soul Weavings

To seek God within ourselves avails us far more than to look for Him amongst creatures.

TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle

Let nothing disturb thee,
Let nothing affright thee;
All passeth away:
God only shall stay.
Patience wins all:
Who hath God, needeth nothing;
For God is his All.

SAINT TERESA OF AVILA, Exclamations of the Soul to God

I saw an angel close by me, on my left side, in bodily form. This I am not accustomed to see, unless very rarely. Though I have visions of angels frequently, yet I see them only by an intellectual vision, such as I have spoken of before. It was our Lord's will that in this vision I should see the angel in this wise. He was not large, but small of stature, and most beautiful -- his face burning, as if he were one of the highest angels, who seem to be all of fire: they must be those whom we call cherubim. Their names they never tell me; but I see very well that there is in heaven so great a difference between one angel and another, and between these and the others, that I cannot explain it.

SAINT TERESA OF AVILA, The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus


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