Quote of the day, 9 July: St. Teresa of the Andes

I went to Confession to Father Avertano. I give thanks to God for having given me a director so learned and holy.

He told me I should be prudent about the locutions that I experience interiorly. I should never ask anything from Our Lord, not even ask Him for a cross. because He’ll grant sufferings that will be equal to the pains of the condemned.

I feel happy to be able to suffer something for God. I should pay no attention to any voice I hear speaking to me interiorly if it commands me to do something extraordinary unless it does so for the fourth time, and then I should consult him.

When I feel disturbed or when it commands me to do something contrary to my state in life, I should pay no attention to it, the priest said. Only if Our Lord teaches me to practice the virtues or corrects my faults, only in that case should I listen and pay attention to it.

My intention must be to please God alone. I should make my particular examen about this point.

I should work in such a way as to be independent of creatures, and I should believe myself to be the only one in the Convent.

I shouldn’t seek to draw to myself the sympathies and affection of creatures; on the contrary, I should seek only to be despised and exteriorly I should not be singular in anything. In trying to purify my intention, I should run through an account of conscience [a kind of rosary with beads to count one’s acts of virtue or one’s faults] and, when I try to please creatures, I should make an account of my defects.

I should be equally amiable with all my Sisters. And I shouldn’t be more attentive with the one who esteems me more or who speaks with me more. I should not seek to be despised, but always keep myself indifferent. The same regarding the cross.

Regarding obedience, I should not oblige myself to what is prejudicial to my health.

Regarding mortifications, never try to kill the body, but to inconvenience it.

In prayer I shouldn’t seek to form any image, but the pure concept of God; because if I was imagining Him, I’d be making Him less than He is. 

Saint Teresa of the Andes

Her intimate spiritual diary
20 May 1919

Note: Father Avertano of the Most Blessed Sacrament, O.C.D. (Avertano del Santísimo Sacramento), was the only Carmelite spiritual director Sister Teresa ever had. He was born in Bilbao, Spain in 1877 and died in Santiago de Chile on 9 July 1953 after 44 years of ministry in Chile. He was a friar steeped in the spirituality of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. Both John and Teresa recommend the advice that young Teresa describes for us here. St. John of the Cross’ Counsels to a Religious and The Precautions and St. Teresa’s writings addressed to her nuns offer these same counsels that St Teresa of the Andes received from Fray Avertano.

Griffin, M D & Teresa of the Andes, S 2021, God, The Joy of My Life: A Biography of Saint Teresa of the Andes With the Saint’s Spiritual Diary, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

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