Monday, February 7, 2011

Keeping on Track with St. Teresa: reviewing "a little daily wisdom"

St. Teresa of Avila is not a lofty, inaccessible saint; she’s a companion, and has been taking Christians on a journey through their own interior “castles” for hundreds of years. Honest, humorous, and insightful, her devotional and spiritual reflections show readers how to open up themselves to God in new ways.
This little book from Paraclete Press is true treasure. The daily quotes from St. Teresa may be tender or pithy, patient or sharp, but they have so far had something I needed to hear practically every day. Partially this is because of Bernard Bangley's accessible translations which capture Teresa's sparkling, vivid personality in naturally flowing language. Partially, though, it is because St. Teresa herself has a gift for communicating the important things we need to remember in striving to grow in our love for God.

What Teresa knew, and what Bangley has excerpted so well, is that we are easily distracted and must always be brought back to focus on the important things. Those things usually seem extremely simple when we are reading about them but are difficult to remember in the flow of everyday life. That is why it is good to have these brief excerpts to read every day so that we may ponder them and keep ourselves on the right path.

I was so impressed with this book after looking through it that I began using it every morning before prayer. It has proven very helpful and oftentimes I find Teresa's advice comes into my mind throughout the day. I have come across several entries that speak to me particularly and I will share them throughout this week in the daily quotes. Highly recommended.

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