It will seem to you that you are truly determined to undergo exterior trials, provided that God favors you interiorly. His Majesty knows best what is suitable for us. There’s no need for us to be advising Him about what He should give us, for He can rightly tell us that we don’t know what we’re asking for [Cf. Mt 20:20–23].
The whole aim of any person who is beginning prayer—and don’t forget this, because it’s very very important—should be that he work and prepare himself with determination and every possible effort to bring his will into conformity with God’s will.
Be certain that, as I shall say later [Cf. The Interior Castle, V, ch. 3, nos. 3-12], the greatest perfection attainable along the spiritual path lies in this conformity. It is the person who lives in more perfect conformity who will receive more from the Lord and be more advanced on this road.
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Interior Castle, II, ch. 1, no. 8
Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Featured image: This detail of the 1904 oil on canvas painting Girl praying in Church by British artist Milly Childers (1866–1922) captures the innocent fervor of the child at prayer before a statue of the Virgin Mother in a parish church. This work is in the collections of the Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds Museums and Galleries; the photo credit also goes to Leeds Museums and Galleries via Art UK (Some rights reserved).