St Teresa of Avila Quotes

Collection of Quotes from Saint Teresa of Avila, Spanish mystic and Doctor of the Catholic Church. Quotes on humility, courage, pain, trials, prayer, knowing ourselves, God’s Will and other topics for her feast day, October 15.

Saint Teresa of Avila is one of the most universally beloved teachers of the spiritual life, acclaimed by Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians alike for the assistance her writings and example provide in growing in intimacy with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  What follows is a list of quotable quotes from this great woman of God.

“All things must come to the soul from its roots, from where it is planted.”  St. Teresa of Avila

“Be gentle to all and stern with yourself.”  St. Teresa of Avila

“God gave us faculties for our use; each of them will receive its proper reward. Then do not let us try to charm them to sleep, but permit them to do their work until divinely called to something higher.”

“Pain is never permanent.”  St. Teresa of Avila

“God has been very good to me, for I never dwell upon anything wrong which a person has done, so as to remember it afterwards. If I do remember it, I always see some other virtue in that person.”

“I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him.”  Saint Teresa of Avila

“Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes Patience attains All that it strives for. He who has God finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices.”

“To have courage for whatever comes in life – everything lies in that.”  Saint Teresa of Avila

“To reach something good it is very useful to have gone astray, and thus acquire experience.”

“We can only learn to know ourselves and do what we can – namely, surrender our will and fulfill God’s will in us.”

“We shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavoring to know God; for, beholding His greatness, we realize our own littleness; His purity shows us our foulness; and by meditating upon His humility we find how very far we are from being humble.”

“There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.”

“It is here, my daughters, that love is to be found – not hidden away in corners but in the midst of occasions of sin. And believe me, although we may more often fail and commit small lapses, our gain will be incomparably the greater.”

“The tree that is beside the running water is fresher and gives more fruit.”

“O my God, what must a soul be like when it is in this state! It longs to be all one tongue with which to praise the Lord. It utters a thousand pious follies, in a continuous endeavor to please Him who thus possesses it.”

“Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds. ”

“The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.”  St. Teresa of Avila

“Praised be the Lord, who has redeemed me from myself.”  Saint Teresa of Avila

This collection of quotes from St. Teresa of Avila, mystic and Doctor of the Church, was compiled in commemoration of her feast day on October 15.

St. Teresa of Avila

The woman who came to be known as St. Teresa of Jesus was descended from an old Spanish family and was born in 1515. At the age of 20 Teresa entered the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation at Avila, Spain. She lived a rather lax life for many years. But finally, when praying before a statue of Christ scourged at the pillar at age 40, St. Teresa committed herself to pursue a life of spiritual perfection. In 1560, she began to receive spiritual counsel from St. Peter of Alcantara. In order to lead a life of stricter penance and deeper prayer, she founded a convent where the primitive Carmelite rule would be strictly observed. The “Discalced” Carmelite convent of St. Joseph was founded in Avila in 1562, against the strong opposition of many in the Carmelite order. Here St. Teresa wrote her famous book The Way of Perfection, having recently completed her Life, a spiritual autobiography written under obedience. The years from 1567 to her death were occupied with the establishment of Discalced Carmelite communities of both nuns and friars. In this, St. Teresa received much assistance from St. John of the Cross. In the midst of all this outward activity, her inner life progressed until she reached the stage of “spiritual marriage” in 1572. St. Teresa also wrote the Interior Castle, the Foundations, and several smaller books. She died at Alba de Tormes on October 4, 1582, was canonized in 1622 and, in 1970, was ranked by Pope Paul VI amongst the Doctors of the Church. St. Teresa was a woman of strong character, prudence, and practical ability. Her growth in mystical prayer amidst all the responsibilities incumbent upon any foundress of a new religious community demonstrates that contemplation and action are not incompatible.