Today is the feast of St. Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church and one of the greatest spiritual writers of all time. When reading her works, I will often find pithy statements which strike me by their depth and wisdom. Here are a few of my favorites:
- “Prayer and comfortable living are incompatible.”
- “It is true that we cannot be free from sin, but at least let our sins not be always the same.”
- “How is it, Lord, that we are cowards in everything save in opposing you?”
- “Be gentle to all, and stern with yourself.”
- “I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him.”
- “Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.”
- “There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.”
- “Pain is never permanent.”
And, of course, one of her most famous quotes shows that the good saint had a sense of humor:
- “Lord, if this is the way you treat your friends, it’s no wonder you have so few!”
If you are interested in reading some of St. Teresa’s works, I recommend starting with The Way of Perfection. It is relatively easy to read, yet contains a wealth of spiritual treasures.
St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!