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THE WAY OF PERFECTION
ST. TERESA OF AVILA
Translated & Edited by
E. ALLISON PEERS
from the Critical Editon of
P. SILVERIO DE SANTA TERESA, C.D.
Read by Kris McGregor
Chapter 1 – Of the reason which moved me to found this convent in such strict observance.
Chapter 2 – Treats of how the necessities of the body should be disregarded and of the good that comes from poverty.
Continues the subject begun in the first chapter and persuades the sisters to busy themselves constantly in beseeching God to help those who work for the Church. Ends with an exclamatory prayer.
St. Teresa exhorts the nuns to keep their Rule and names three things which are important for the spiritual life. Describes the first of these three things, which is love of one’s neighbour, and speaks of the harm which can be done by individual friendships
Continues speaking of confessors. Explains why it is important that they
should be learned men.
St. Teresa returns to the subject of perfect love, already begun.
Treats of the same subject of spiritual love and gives certain counsels for gaining it.
Chapter 8 & 9
Treats of the great benefit of self-detachment, both interior and
exterior, from all things created.
Treats of the great blessing that shunning their relatives brings
to those who have left the world and shows how by doing so they
will find truer friends.
Teaches that detachment from the things aforementioned is insufficient if we are not detached from our own selves and that this virtue and humility go together.
Continues to treat of mortification and describes how it may be attained in times of sickness.
The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Mp3 audio – Chapter 12
Teaches that the true lover of God must care little for life and honor.
The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Mp3 audio – Chapter 13
Continues to treat of mortification and explains how one must
renounce the world’s standards of wisdom in order to attain to true wisdom.
Treats of the great importance of not professing anyone whose spirit is contrary to the things aforementioned.
Treats of the great advantage which comes from our not excusing ourselves, even though we find we are unjustly condemned.
Describes the difference between perfection in the lives of contemplatives and in the lives of those who are content with mental prayer. Explains how it is sometimes possible for God to raise a distracted soul to perfect contemplation and the reason for this. This chapter and that which comes next are to be noted carefully.
How not all souls are fitted for contemplation and how some take
long to attain it. True humility will walk happily along the road
by which the Lord leads it.
Continues the same subject and shows how much greater are the
trials of contemplatives than those of actives. This chapter offers
great consolation to actives
Begins to treat of prayer. Addresses souls who cannot reason with the understanding
Describes how, in one way or another, we never lack consolation on the road of prayer. Counsels the sisters to include this subject continually in their conversation.
Describes the great importance of setting out upon the practice of prayer with firm resolution and of heeding no difficulties put in the way by the devil.
Explains the meaning of mental prayer.
Describes the importance of not turning back when one has set out upon the way of prayer. Repeats how necessary it is to be resolute.
Describes how vocal prayer may be practiced with perfection and how closely allied it is to mental prayer.
Describes the great gain which comes to a soul when it practices vocal prayer perfectly. Shows how God may raise it thence to things supernatural.
Continues the description of a method for recollecting the thoughts. Describes means of doing this. This chapter is very profitable for those who are beginning prayer.
The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Chapter 27
Describes the great love shown us by the Lord in the first words of the Paternoster and the great importance of our making no account of good birth if we truly desire to be the daughters of God.
The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Chapter 28 – Describes the nature of the Prayer of Recollection and sets down some of the means by which we can make it a habit.
The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Chapter 29
Continues to describe methods for achieving this Prayer of Recollection. Says what little account we should make of being favored by our superiors.
The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Chapter 30
Describes the importance of understanding what we ask for in prayer. Treats of these words in the Paternoster: “Sanctificetur nomen tuum, adveniat regnum tuum.” Applies them to the Prayer of Quiet, and begins the explanation of them.
Continues the same subject. Explains what is meant by the Prayer of Quiet. Gives several counsels to those who experience it. This chapter is very noteworthy.
The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Chapter 32 – Expounds these words of the Paternoster: “Fiat voluntas tua sicut in coelo et in terra.” (Thy will done on Earth as it is in Heaven) Describes how much is accomplished by those who repeat these words with full resolution and how well the Lord rewards them for it.
The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Chapter 33 – Treats of our great need that the Lord should give us what we ask in these words of the Paternoster: “Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie (Give us this day or daily bread).”
Continues the same subject. This is very suitable for reading after the reception of the Most Holy Sacrament.
Describes the recollection which should be practised after Communion. Concludes
this subject with an exclamatory prayer to the Eternal Father
Treats of these words in the Paternoster: “Dimitte nobis debita nostra.” (Forgive us our debts)
Describes the excellence of this prayer called the Paternoster, and the many ways in which we shall find consolation in it.
Treats of the great need which we have to beseech the Eternal Father to grant us what we ask in these words: “Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo.” (And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil) Explains certain temptations. This chapter is noteworthy.
Continues the same subject and gives counsels concerning different kinds of temptation. Suggests two remedies by which we may be freed from temptations.
Describes how, by striving always to walk in the love and fear of God, we shall travel safely amid all these temptations.
Speaks of the fear of God and of how we must keep ourselves from venial sins.
Treats of these last words of the Paternoster: “Sed libera nos amalo. Amen.” “But deliver us from evil. Amen.”
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