Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself (Penguin Classics) Paperback – January 5, 1988
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
If the idea of mysticism seems hopelessly otherworldly to you, try a taste of St. Teresa, who can be as down to earth as Oprah--and sometimes just as amusing. --Doug Thorpe
Original Language: Spanish
Top Customer Reviews
Teresa's writing style was a mixture of the style of the time (full of disclaimers and self-deprecation) and the romantic language of the books of chivalry she loved as a child (she referred to God as "His Majesty", and used images such as castles and jewels). The result, flowing from her pen in an often (I should say usually) disorganized fashion, is fresh and touching. I particularly enjoyed her description of the soul as a garden: the Lord plants it, but we are to cultivate it in order that our Lord may take His delight in walking in it. She describes prayer as the water that nourishes that garden: first through great labor drawn from a well, but later as a free gift from God showering down from heaven. Her more developed description, covering four stages of prayer, is remarkable. HOWEVER, this does not make it the best starting place for beginners who want to learn how to approach contemplative prayer (they might do better with Brother Lawrence, Thomas Keating, or some of Thomas Merton's work).
I respect this translator, who included an excellent description on the decision-making process used in producing the translation, along with many footnotes referring to alternate interpretations and original Spanish text for concepts difficult to translate.
A personal quirk of mine which should influence no one (but I have to say it) -- I hated the cover art. While it communicates Teresa's vivacious personality, it is frankly ugly, and all who knew Teresa agreed that she was in fact physically beautiful. I know we shouldn't judge by physical appearance, but if God gives someone the gift of physical beauty why portray them as ugly? Again, my personal quirk meaning nothing.
Approach this read less as an educational experience and more as an opportunity to draw inspiration, hope and solace from the heart of Teresa: a woman who, weak and human as we all are, allowed God to transform her because of her hunger for communion with Him.