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Book Title: The Way of Perfection|
The author of the book: Teresa of Ávila
Edition: Hovel Audio
The size of the: 728 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: September 1st 2009
ISBN 13: 9781596448230
Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 7.2
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There’s a reason I keep coming back to this book. Prayer – like anything you want to learn to do well – requires training, practice, time, diligence, patience, and discipline. Most people don’t understand this, or they don’t accept it. They recognize these things are necessary for sports or hobbies, but prayer? Or a relationship with God? You just pray when you need to, however you want.
Teresa’s advice in Way of Perfection, though written 500 years ago to a group pf cloistered nuns, is as applicable and relevant today to people living in the world as it was then, so long as one can get past some of the terminological obstacles.
Her methods are simple, but effective. Place yourself in the presence of ‘the Master Himself’. Where can you find a better companion? Let Him be your teacher, do everything to please Him and realize how close He always is to you. Remain with Him, conscious of His presence and grateful for such a good friend. ‘As you grow accustomed to having Him present at your side, and He sees that you do so with love and that you go about striving to please Him, you will not be able – as they say – to get away from Him; He will never fail you; He will help you in all your trials; you will find Him everywhere. Do you think it's some small matter to have a friend like this at your side? O Sisters, those of you who cannot engage in much discursive reflection with the intellect or keep your mind from distraction, get used to this practice! Get used to it! See, I know that you can do this; for I suffered many years from the trial – and it is a very great one – of not being able to quiet the mind in anything. But I know that the Lord does not leave us so abandoned; for if we humbly ask Him for this friendship, He will not deny it to us. And if we cannot succeed in one year, we will succeed later. Let's not regret the time that is so well spent. Who’s making us hurry? I am speaking of acquiring this habit and of striving to walk alongside this true Master.’
By such simple means we fulfill His command to ‘remain in Him’ and we learn to ‘pray always’ and ‘change and become like little children’.
If I had mastered Teresa’s excellent teaching on prayer I would have no need to read this again. But unfortunately I have not—and (probably) never shall—so I’ll be back to read it again, God willing. Teresa is most encouraging when she is most humble; assuring her sisters (and us) that all is grace, even our virtues. Yes, and even her virtues. Today we think we are ‘progressing’ in prayer. Tomorrow we succumb to our gravest fall. God allows this for our humility.
Wonderful book! Thank you dear Teresa!
Listened to this again. This version is read by Tavia Gilbert and produced by Christian Audio. I confess to a preference for listening to Teresa’s work’s read aloud. I'm not sure if it’s because of the way she writes (somewhat rambling and off the top of her head, not unlike myself but still not always easy to follow) or because I can feel like one of her ‘daughters’ listening to her talking to me. Whatever the reason, as I listen, I will pick up a thread here or there, follow it for a while, set it down in favor of another I like more when it comes along, and so on. I know I don't begin to exhaust the richness of the text. I wonder how many ‘listenings’ it would take to actually to accomplish, were it even possible...
Listened to Juliana Clapp’s reading. Really liked it—I think she read it as Santa Teresa would have spoken it to her sisters, as indeed, this book was written for them.
I love Teresa. She is down-to-earth, forthright, and doesn’t pussy-foot around a subject. If she thinks someone needs correction, she doesn’t not shrink from the responsibility. Even so, she’s most severe on herself. Her straightforward honesty is one of her most endearing qualities to me. Another is her rambling style. Not that she doesn’t know what she wants to say, but her writing pours forth from an over-flowing heart and lively spirit; she does not give us dry tomes from her head. She writes with a spontaneous enthusiasm which occasionally tends to meander, but nevertheless remains interesting and fresh, even humorous at times.
This particular book deals with poverty, the spiritual life, detachment, true love of God, contemplation, mental prayer and the various forms of prayer. Finally it concludes with a phrase-by-phrase exposition of the Pater Noster, the Our Father or Lord’s Prayer.
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Read information about the authorSaint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1970 she was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI.
Born in Avila, Spain, on March 28, 1515, St. Teresa was the daughter of a Toledo merchant and his second wife, who died when Teresa was 15, one of ten children. Shortly after this event, Teresa was entrusted to the care of the Augustinian nuns. After reading the letters of St. Jerome, Teresa resolved to enter a religious life. In 1535, she joined the Carmelite Order. She spent a number of relatively average years in the convent, punctuated by a severe illness that left her legs paralyzed for three years, but then experienced a vision of "the sorely wounded Christ" that changed her life forever.
From this point forward, Teresa moved into a period of increasingly ecstatic experiences in which she came to focus more and more sharply on Christ's passion. With these visions as her impetus, she set herself to the reformation of her order, beginning with her attempt to master herself and her adherence to the rule. Gathering a group of supporters, Teresa endeavored to create a more primitive type of Carmelite. From 1560 until her death, Teresa struggled to establish and broaden the movement of Discalced or shoeless Carmelites. During the mid-1560s, she wrote the Way of Perfection and the Meditations on the Canticle. In 1567, she met St. John of the Cross, who she enlisted to extend her reform into the male side of the Carmelite Order. Teresa died in 1582.
St. Teresa left to posterity many new convents, which she continued founding up to the year of her death. She also left a significant legacy of writings, which represent important benchmarks in the history of Christian mysticism. These works include the Way of Perfection and the Interior Castle. She also left an autobiography, the Life of St. Teresa of Avila.
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