Funny, Smart, Holy: Teresa of Avila

water colour by Emanuel Franco Gómez, OCarm. (Manu)
Today, Oct. 15, is the Feast of St. Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus. I love this woman. Although she is a doctor of the Church and one of the three great 16th century Spanish mystics (along with St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. John of the Cross), she is humourous as well as wise.

St. Teresa of Avila is the real deal; holy, down to earth, humble and best of all extremely articulate.  Her  phrases are succinct, to the point yet those few words point to a deep, Divine wisdom.


Since I cannot top St. Teresa, I will simply let her speak for herself.



Famous  HUMOUROUS Quotes

  • The first line of her autobiography is funny.

 “Having virtuous and God-fearing parents would have been enough for me to be good if I were not so wicked.”

  • After a donkey threw her into a cold river she said-

“If this is how You treat Your friends, then it is no wonder You have so few of them.”

You’ve gotta love that level of practicality and annoyance in a mystic.

  • On false piety

For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.

I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him
May God protect me from gloomy saints.

  • Teresa of Avila was fully, deeply, unapologetically herself. If she had written a letter to which her correspondent had not replied, she did not hesitate to write again, demanding,

 “Why haven’t you answered my letter? Don’t you love me?Do you have any idea of the pain your silence is causing me?”

  • Most of all she could be succinct
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5 thoughts on “Funny, Smart, Holy: Teresa of Avila

  1. What fun!
    Another great one of hers is “If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. “

    Liked by 1 person

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