Teresa’s life provides us with an exceptional example of bringing the contemplative and active life together; it displays both a profound internal depth and an exceptionally productive outcome.
Teresa teaches the way of perfection as practicing fraternal love, nonattachment to material things, and authentic humility.
Like us, Teresa of Ávila was petty or generous, irritable or unconditionally loving, attributing everything to her progress along the path of contemplative prayer. But she never ceased showing up for the spiritual work.
You well know that I would gladly forfeit all the blessings you have given me and transfer them to these rulers. If they could experience what I have experienced, I know that it would be impossible for them to allow the violations they have been condoning.
—Teresa of Ávila
When we have trouble praying, Teresa recommends that we turn to nature: “Go to some place where you can see the sky, and walk up and down a little.” Since God is infinite and everywhere, sometimes we rejoice as much in meditating on creation as in meditating on the Divine.
The important thing is not to think much but to love much, and so to do whatever best awakens you to love.
—Teresa of Ávila
I Love You Prayer
We invite readers to join with the CAC community in this guided prayer experience led by CAC teacher James Finley. This brief practice of stillness, breath, and surrender to God’s unconditional love returns us to a deeper knowing of who we are in God and who God is in and with us.
James Finley, “I Love You Prayer,” Center for Action and Contemplation, January 24, 2023, YouTube video, 5:41.
Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Les Argonauts, Camino de Santiago, Unsplash. Jenna Keiper, Winter Bird. Jenna Keiper, Mystic. Used with permission. Click here to enlarge image.
Perched in solitude, in communion with the Beloved.