Quote of the day, 7 August: St. Teresa of Avila

We seem to think that everything is done when we willingly take and wear the religious habit and abandon all worldly things and possession for Him—even though these possessions may amount to no more than the nets St. Peter possessed [Cf. Mt 19:27] for he who gives what he has thinks he gives enough.

This renunciation is a good enough preparation if one perseveres in it and doesn’t turn back and become involved with the vermin in the first rooms, even if it be only in desire. There is no doubt that if a person perseveres in this nakedness and detachment from all worldly things he will reach his goal.

But this perseverance includes the condition—and note that I am advising you of this—that you consider yourselves useless servants, as St. Paul, or Christ, says; [Cf. Lk 17:10] and believe that you have not put our Lord under any obligation to grant you these kinds of favors.

Rather, as one who has received more, you are more indebted [Cf. Lk 12:48]. What can we do for a God so generous that He died for us, created us, and gives us being? Shouldn’t we consider ourselves lucky to be able to repay something of what we owe Him for His service toward us?

I say these words “His service toward us” unwillingly; but the fact is that He did nothing else but serve us all the time He lived in this world. And yet we ask Him again for favors and gifts.

Saint Teresa of Avila

The Interior Castle, III, chap. 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.

4 thoughts on “Quote of the day, 7 August: St. Teresa of Avila

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  1. Reminds me of a priest friend, who posted a favourite textbook on FB today, with this comment – Why am I satisfied with dross when I have this on my shelves?

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