“Children, obey your parents in the Lord,” says St. Paul. St. Thérèse was a model of obedience to her father, St. Louis Martin. Speaking in the third person as she writes about their relationship, Thérèse reminds her father: “it was always your hand that guided her. O Papa! remember…”
Within the first days of her postulancy, St. Teresa of the Andes made her confession to the spiritual director for the Carmel of Los Andes, Fray Avertano of the Most Blessed Sacrament, OCD. She writes: "I went to Confession to Father Avertano. I give thanks to God for having given me a director so learned and holy."
On 14 May 1919, St. Teresa of the Andes wrote, "I'm now in Carmel eight days. Eight days of heaven. I feel divine love in such a way that there are moments when I believe I'm unable to endure it..."
In all that I say in this book I submit to what our Mother the Holy Roman Church holds... If there should be anything good in this work, may it be for the honor and glory of God and the service of His most Blessed Mother, our Lady and Patroness, whose habit I wear despite my being very unworthy to do so.
The chief among Teresa’s virtues was the love of God, which our Lord Jesus Christ increased by means of many visions and revelations. She not only submitted all her exterior actions to the judgment of her superiors with the greatest humility of spirit but also all her thoughts.
Since God ordains things differently from what we may have in mind, we must conform ourselves to his will. They have made me prior of this house in Granada, and it is a place very apt for the service of God. His Majesty does everything for the best.
If we obey the pope, we obey the Lord Jesus, according to his own words addressed to Peter and the other apostles
Saint Teresa's imaginative vision in which the Lord said that she should write "about the foundation of these houses" occurred after she "received Communion, on the second day of Lent, in St. Joseph’s at Malagón", 9 February 1570.
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
St. Teresa concludes that when we sell out to God's will, we become his slaves, just as he became a slave through obedience for our sake; so she says that it matters not how much time we spend praying or working — obedience is key.
True union with God, St. Teresa says, is union of our wills with His. She states that lack of obedience is an indicator of the presence of self-will and self-love. "Make your will one with God's. This is the union that I desire and would want for all of you."
To Saint Teresa, Carmel owes its élan and its psychology. Carmelite psychology was always realistic. Under the reformer’s influence it became more so.
St. Teresa speaks plainly today: in order to acquire the treasure of perfect conformity to God's will "there is no better way than to dig and toil in order to excavate from this mine of obedience."
St. Teresa proposes obedience as the solution to the "interior battle" between our self-will and God's will for us: "it means making Him Lord over the free will He has given us."
Having stated previously that "there is no path that leads more quickly to the highest perfection than obedience," today St. Teresa intends to explain why, in her opinion, obedience "is the quickest or best means for reaching this most happy state."
St. Teresa drives to the heart of her teaching on prayer, obedience, and perfection: "there is no path that leads more quickly to the highest perfection than obedience."
St. Teresa reflects on the example of the layman she met and how "the fulfillment of the duties of obedience and charity" led to an amazing "improvement in spiritual things". Her conclusion is that "the Lord walks among the pots and pans" to help us.
Telling the story of a layman she knows, St. Teresa explains that we can practice obedience and the trials and distractions that result do not disturb our prayer because the Lord repays us well.