Doctors Of The Church

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Doctors Of The Church

St. Teresa of Avila

Spanish nun and mystic. First woman Doctor. Joint founder of the Discalced Carmelites along with St. John of the Cross. Religious Order: Carmelites. (1515-1582)

St. Teresa of Avila was born on December 6, 1515 in Gotarrendura, Ávila, Crown of Castile (today- Spain). Two years after the birth of Teresa, Luther had started the Protestant Reformation. After all this change, Teresa showed the way from outer disturbance to inner peace. When Teresa was at the age of 39, she started having vivid experiences of God's presence from within her.

Some of Teresa's friends, such as Gaspar Daza and Francisco de Salcedo, thought her blessings were works of the devil. Others, such as Diego de Cetina brought comfort to Teresa encouraging her to continue her mental prayer and to also think about humanity of christ. A priest acting as her confessor, told her that it was only the devil working within the vision she had repeatedly had of christ and commanded Teresa to laugh at the vision, forget about it, and make the sign of the cross. She apologized to God for following the confessors orders, but God didn't fail to comfort her.

Teresa's biggest faults came from her friendships. Although she had not been sinning, she was still very attached to all her friends until God had told her " No longer do I want you to converse with human beings but with angels. " Instantly she was given the freedom she was unable to have through all her years of effort. After this God came first in her life.

In Teresa's books, she interpreted and anatomized the mystical experiences she underwent. Teresa had never seen these gifts as rewards to her from God but the way he disciplined her. The more love she endured the ...

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... escaped by unscrewing the lock on his prison door and crawling past the guard. With little knowledge of where he even was, he let a dog lead him to civilization. St. John hid in a convent where he read his poetry to the nuns. From there on, his life was dedicated to sharing and explaining all his experiences of God's love.

You would think that his rough life of poverty and abuse could have made him more of a bitter person but instead it only produced a more compassionate spiritual man, who would live by these beliefs “who has ever seen people persuade to love God by harshness?” and “Where there is no love, put love and you will find the love.” He left many of his books full of practical advice on the spiritual growth and prayer that are still relevant today as they were back then. Some of his writings included Dark Night of the Soul and Ascent of Mount Carmel.
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