Saint Teresa of Avila was a 16th century Spanish mystic and Doctor of the Church. Her writings on mental prayer constitute an important contribution to the Church’s body of teaching on mystical theology. She’s also a favorite patron of the Theology of the Body Institute! In honor of her October 15th feast day, here are ten of our favorite quotes from this wise, witty, and deeply prayerful saint:
1. “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing make you afraid. All things are passing. God alone never changes. Patience gains all things. If you have God, you will want for nothing. God alone suffices.”
2. “Many people are good at talking and bad at understanding.”
3. “Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.”
4. “Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.”
5. “The surest way to determine whether one possesses the love of God is to see whether he or she loves his or her neighbor. These two loves are never separated. Rest assured, the more you progress in love of neighbor the more your love of God will increase.”
6. “Take God for your spouse and friend and walk with Him continually, and you will not sin, will learn to love, and the things you must do will work out prosperously for you.”
7. “May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”
8. “The closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes.”
9. “. . . it is presumptuous in me to wish to choose my path, because I cannot tell which path is best for me. I must leave it to the Lord, Who knows me, to lead me by the path which is best for me, so that in all things His will may be done.”
10. “Either we are the brides of this great King or we are not.”