The words of Saint Teresa of Ávila speak to the heart so directly that even four hundred years after her death she seems like our contemporary. Few people have ever written of the spiritual path with such immediacy, down-to-earth wisdom, and humor. Mother Tessa Bielecki has brought together here short selections from Teresa's collected works—including The Way of Perfection, The Interior Castle, her autobiography, poetry, meditations, and letters—to create a living portrait of Teresa and her exuberant spirituality. Teresa's striving for divine union was inseparable from her passionate involvement in the hardships and joys of the everyday—which makes her an eminently worthy model for modern people who seek to integrate spirituality and the rest of life.
"In this fine introduction to the life and spiritual quest of the famous sixteenth century mystic, Mother Tessa Bielecki draws upon Teresa's letters, poems, and soliloquies and other writings to chart Teresa's spiritual journey. This slim volume opens with a brief biography portraying Teresa as deeply in touch with the things of this world as well as with her holy "Spouse" and the church to which she committed her life. The bulk of the book consists of succinct quotes from twelve different works. Readers can absorb the overview of Teresa of Avila's spiritual life, then settle back to read her own words on the stages of the spiritual journey, from the "web of wonder" through "disillusionment and shattering" to "glory". Bielecki's selections portray Teresa of Avila as a vibrant human being who loved good food, cherished friends and occasionally despaired but constantly persevered in her quest for "divine intimacy" with her Lord."— Publishers Weekly
"From these writings one is sure to find a passage that parallels one's own life."—Cindy L.A. Jones, The Bloomsbury Review