Home » Blog » Facts, Inspiration and Reflection Starters: Saint Teresa of Avila

Facts, Inspiration and Reflection Starters: Saint Teresa of Avila

Note: In anticipation of her upcoming workshop, “Mystics – A Journey of Discovery,” in which Sister Paula Damiano will examine not only Saint Teresa of Avila but also Saint John of the Cross, she wanted to provide all of you with some facts, inspiration and reflections on Saint Teresa of Avila, who will be celebrated with her Feast Day on Oct. 15. The upcoming workshop is set for 1:30-3:30 p.m., on Sunday, November 6.

Some Facts

Saint Teresa of Avila
  • Teresa of Avila is how we know her. However, her given name was Teresa Ali Fatima Corella Sanchez de Capeda y Ahumada.
  • She was born on March 28, 1515, in Avila, Spain, and died at the age of 67 on Oct. 4, 1582.
  • She was named a saint of the Catholic Church on March 12, 1622.
  • In 1970, Saint Teresa of Avila was declared a Doctor of the Church for her writing and teaching on prayer.
  • Her Feast Day is celebrated on Oct. 15.
  • Teresa became a Carmelite nun who found life in the cloister quite lax and set about efforts to renew the spiritual and monastic life.
  • The Interior Castle was written by Teresa of Avila in 1577 as a guide for spiritual development through service and prayer.

Some Inspiration

The following quotes are only a few of the many inspirational writings from Saint Teresa of Avila:

  • Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass.
  • Christ is no stranger to suffering and loss, let us turn to him with our questions and our prayers, praying always “Jesus, we trust in you.”
  • May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
  • May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
  • 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.
  • Reflect upon the providence and wisdom of God in all created things and praise (God) in them all.
  • The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.
  • 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.
  • May God protect me from gloomy saints.

Some Reflection Starters

  • Which of the above quotes has meaning for you this very day?
  • “May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.”

This quote particularly struck me as I prepared this blog. Do I have such trust? Do I place myself in Providence and reverence the place and time as a true gift rather than looking back or worrying about the future? One of our sisters would define this as “the sacrament of the present moment.” Or, as we in our time name it as “mindfulness.”

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Sister Paula Damiano

Sister Paula has been a Sister of Providence since 1967. She has ministered as a teacher, director of vocations, pastoral associate and as a General Councilor for the Sisters of Providence. She currently ministers as director of programs and retreats at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

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4 Comments

  1. Suzie’s Collamati on October 15, 2022 at 6:16 am

    Thank you Paula. Teresa was a woman who at times struggled with curbing her passions in positive ways… I have often turned to her for help doing the same.!

    Thank you for your sharing …

  2. Debbie Griffey on October 15, 2022 at 7:56 am

    “Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world.” That touches me on this day. In my office for 25 years we had a sign that said: “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” We can always be compassionate. Thank you for this this morning, as I begin my day.

  3. Sister Sue Paweski on October 15, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Paula, thank you so much for this reflection. Teresa of Avila is one of my heroes. It was wonderful to have the reflection as the first thing I saw this morning. Mother Theodore had thought of becoming a Carmelite and we hear Teresa’s faith in Providence in her words. I daresay that both valiant women were imbued with Providence.

  4. Denise on October 16, 2022 at 6:45 am

    May God protect me from.gloomy saints. Makes me smile. Thanks.

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