counter create hit The Autobiography of St. Teresa Of Avila: The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Autobiography of St. Teresa Of Avila: The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

Availability: Ready to download

Famous Carmelite classic in a wonderful traditional translation. Her spiritual struggles, vision of her potential place in Hell, mystical graces--yet she remained very down to earth. One of the most admirable women of all time! Nice large print. Impr. PB 555 pgs.


Compare
Ads Banner

Famous Carmelite classic in a wonderful traditional translation. Her spiritual struggles, vision of her potential place in Hell, mystical graces--yet she remained very down to earth. One of the most admirable women of all time! Nice large print. Impr. PB 555 pgs.

30 review for The Autobiography of St. Teresa Of Avila: The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

  1. 4 out of 5

    booklady

    After reading The Cloistered Flame, a fictional novel about Teresa, I reread, or rather re-listened to this. At first I accidentally recorded it under a different book by Teresa. Got in too much of a hurry. 😞 Will return to write an updated review. Loved this just as much, if not more this time. Also, want to compare this to other translations of Teresa's Life. December 10, 2009: Thank you Jane! I have read, reread, listened to, savored and thoroughly enjoyed this book. I most highly recommend th After reading The Cloistered Flame, a fictional novel about Teresa, I reread, or rather re-listened to this. At first I accidentally recorded it under a different book by Teresa. Got in too much of a hurry. 😞 Will return to write an updated review. Loved this just as much, if not more this time. Also, want to compare this to other translations of Teresa's Life. December 10, 2009: Thank you Jane! I have read, reread, listened to, savored and thoroughly enjoyed this book. I most highly recommend the audio version* which I've been listening to in my car off and on for the past six weeks. Teresa is of course herself, engaging, deeply and humbly insightful, charming and humorous in a way that transcends centuries of time, and cultural and linguistic differences. Mirabai Starr's translation is both fresh and in line with more conventional versions. One observation, however, or word of caution: I offer this rating and review as a Teresian-devotee. Those not so well versed in Saint Teresa's life story might do well to read this book in conjunction with a more conventional biography of her. Teresa isn't writing your usual run-of-the-mill autobiography; nor for that matter is she much interested in telling her life story, except as it relates to Him Whom she loves, God. As such this is a spiritual story and tends to wander off into some of the world's greatest known discourses on Prayer ever written. It was some of these writings which led to her being declared the first woman 'Doctor of the Church', her official title being, the 'Doctor of Prayer'. This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to improve his/her prayer life. *I could "hear" Santa Teresa's voice in Tessa Bielecki's rendering of the audio text.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    This is a review of the translation by E Allison Peers. Peers writes a very interesting introduction about the sources and challenges of translating Saint Teresa of Avila. I kept them in mind during my reading, and indeed found the text to be vibrant and always racing forwards. The manuscripts are available so Peers was able to rely on Teresa’s own hand. The Life will read very differently to believers and those arrayed along the spectrum of doubt to disbelief. I read it as a psychological study o This is a review of the translation by E Allison Peers. Peers writes a very interesting introduction about the sources and challenges of translating Saint Teresa of Avila. I kept them in mind during my reading, and indeed found the text to be vibrant and always racing forwards. The manuscripts are available so Peers was able to rely on Teresa’s own hand. The Life will read very differently to believers and those arrayed along the spectrum of doubt to disbelief. I read it as a psychological study of someone who’s faith and illnesses led her to experience intense internal visions and perhaps served as a model for those who subsequently imitated her, either unconsciously or in full knowledge that they were fabricating an experience. She acknowledges that she is accused of averring raptures, locutions, ecstasies and visions for attention, and one could read her claims to pursue humility and retreat as either sincere or a bit too insistent. It does seem that her visions conveniently tell her that God supports whatever course she wants to take but is opposed by the hierarchy or that she professes to doubt herself. On the other hand, in a society where women’s roles were so limited, I sympathize with whatever path she took to express her own powerful personality. The book also makes interesting background for understanding the relationships among the different religious orders, the range of commitment one could make to living in a convent, male/female religious roles and relationships at this time, etc.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rochelle

    Great book. Teresa of Avila was a woman of very modern sensibilities. Her love affair with God is an integral part of this extraordinary autobiography/confession. There are the usual markers of the narrow-mindedness of the contemporary culture in which she lived: the pervasive religious fascism and fanaticism--a fanaticism fostered and promoted by the Church's power through the mandate of the Inquisition, the fear of the Devil's power to overthrow one's soul and the Devil's association with Negr Great book. Teresa of Avila was a woman of very modern sensibilities. Her love affair with God is an integral part of this extraordinary autobiography/confession. There are the usual markers of the narrow-mindedness of the contemporary culture in which she lived: the pervasive religious fascism and fanaticism--a fanaticism fostered and promoted by the Church's power through the mandate of the Inquisition, the fear of the Devil's power to overthrow one's soul and the Devil's association with Negroes (or Black-skinned races (Moors)), the intolerance for other religions (Lutherans), the abasement of women within the Church. Yet for all of this, it retains its sense of the modern, due in no small part to Teresa's extraordinary skill in psychological analysis, knowledge of Doctrine as well as Dogma, Scripture and supporting texts such as St. Augustine's Confessions, and her use of Church politics and hierarchy to criticize the ecclesiastical structure and its ruling elite. Despite her liberal sprinkle of self-deprecatory remarks, the reader will discover, I think, that St. Teresa of Avila was an ambitious nun, careful to hold herself apart from criticism by inviting it as a penance from God, while carefully courting the favor of powerful interests to lobby on behalf of projects or persons she identified as "true servants of God," eventually obtaining what she desired, enclosure in a stricter House, which she founded, and which was based upon poverty-the convent of Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Primitive Rule of St. Joseph at Avila. Readers may find her nested digressions excessive. Still, I think it was worth the effort to read about a woman who rose in prominence and influence at a time of great cultural and religious conservatism.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    Teresa is a very special woman. The story of her life as she wrote it is one of the great reads. To read this book is to make a friend for life. I like the one incident where she is tossed out of a coach into a muddy stream during a heavy rain and complained to God as she sat in the mud and water soaking wet. And God answered her and said this is how he treated his friends. Teresa was not one to be overwhelmed even by God and responded. "Well it is no wonder you have so few." A great book to rea Teresa is a very special woman. The story of her life as she wrote it is one of the great reads. To read this book is to make a friend for life. I like the one incident where she is tossed out of a coach into a muddy stream during a heavy rain and complained to God as she sat in the mud and water soaking wet. And God answered her and said this is how he treated his friends. Teresa was not one to be overwhelmed even by God and responded. "Well it is no wonder you have so few." A great book to read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    The personality, the unabashed passion, of this woman makes me hopeful. Such a brilliant jewel among the saints. I love it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Frightful_elk

    For me this was a rather disconcerting read. As an atheist you can't entertain the idea that the continual visions and spiritual experiences Teresa reads are visitations from God, there doesn't seem to be a 'conventional' explanation for what's going on. Teresa is lucid enough to write a clear and intelligent account of her experiences, her theology is complete and consistent (and conveniently in-line with the dogma that was current at the time). So she is not raving mad, I entertained the idea t For me this was a rather disconcerting read. As an atheist you can't entertain the idea that the continual visions and spiritual experiences Teresa reads are visitations from God, there doesn't seem to be a 'conventional' explanation for what's going on. Teresa is lucid enough to write a clear and intelligent account of her experiences, her theology is complete and consistent (and conveniently in-line with the dogma that was current at the time). So she is not raving mad, I entertained the idea that she was deceiving herself, but in the end that didn't seem to fit either. So you become forced to accept a coherent madness that is more alarming than the other possibilities. I was so curious about this undeniable account of visions and experiences in someone otherwise lucid I did a bit of research, the best fit I could find are accounts of temporal lobe epilepsy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    This is the book that St. Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Holy Cross) read in one sitting and which moved her to convert from atheism.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zarina

    A summary: teresa: oh i am a mortal sinner i don’t deserve happiness and hopefully god dooms me to a fate of eternal damnation amen god: lmao what was ur sin, my child? teresa: i looked in a mirror this one time In all seriousness it was a somewhat boring text but really does a lot to show how she weakened her own credibility with this constant self-shame, possibly for the sake of making her religious convictions palatable to men.

  9. 5 out of 5

    ruzmarì

    I am always rediscovering Sta Teresa. She is the first of so many things in so many ways - first woman Doctor of the Church, first reformer of the Carmelite order, first woman to found an order of men, first "modern" (i.e. post-Inquistion) western mystic ... -, and each time I reread her, it's like the first time all over again, at a new depth and with a new dimension. I was wary about this translation because the introduction is, well, froofy and kinda new-age in a way that peeves me. In my idea I am always rediscovering Sta Teresa. She is the first of so many things in so many ways - first woman Doctor of the Church, first reformer of the Carmelite order, first woman to found an order of men, first "modern" (i.e. post-Inquistion) western mystic ... -, and each time I reread her, it's like the first time all over again, at a new depth and with a new dimension. I was wary about this translation because the introduction is, well, froofy and kinda new-age in a way that peeves me. In my ideal world, the translator is NOT an "I" presence in the work who tells you about her swami boyfriend-slash-guru or peppers her sentences with "I love this so much." I prefer a transparent translator, like an overlay that enhances and makes the translated text visible for my new reading. But in all fairness, Mirabai Starr's translation work of Sta Teresa's autobiography does precisely this - and she even brings up the subject of letting go of her "her-ness" in the introduction. You just have to wade through a lot of inclusive jargon that borders on post-modern hippiedom, in order to get to the searing glory of Sta Teresa's words, which have clearly inspired and transfigured Starr's. I have to pace myself because the book is like molten gold or very fine champagne. I don't want it to go to my head all at once. With a one-chapter-per-day limit, I am both eagerly devouring and luxuriantly savoring the timeless words. Gracias, Teresa.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Call

    I was really looking forward to reading this book especially since she is my friend Ruth's favorite saint. However as delicious as her sequences were about her revelations, I just could not square up Teresa's vision of earth with mine. In her view, the world is a place to eschew and to ultimately escape as full of temptation and vice. I don't actually disagree with the amount of sin in the world, however, I do think we were put here to make the place better. So, with that in mind, I have chosen I was really looking forward to reading this book especially since she is my friend Ruth's favorite saint. However as delicious as her sequences were about her revelations, I just could not square up Teresa's vision of earth with mine. In her view, the world is a place to eschew and to ultimately escape as full of temptation and vice. I don't actually disagree with the amount of sin in the world, however, I do think we were put here to make the place better. So, with that in mind, I have chosen to appreciate those parts of her story that I admire. The founding of her religious order is fascinating -- she did the whole thing under the radar utilizing her own family funds and investing the funds in her cousin's name so as not to draw the ire of her superiors. Then, as if the situation was not difficult enough she saw in a rapture God telling her that the order should be poor. This was, to her, a tremendous relief. There is so much to be admired about Teresa even if I don't agree with her overall theology. I choose to revel in those parts of her history. Thank you, Teresa.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    While the life of Saint Teresa is interesting, she could have used a good editor. The book is a rambling, unfocused mess. I could have even overlooked that, but the translation was a big problem for me. How can you translate a 16th century book by a nun and edit out almost all references to the devil? How can you translate "sin" as "missing the mark"? I don't care if the translator is a Jewish-Buddhist-New Age whatever. She ruined the book for me. While I was looking forward to reading other wor While the life of Saint Teresa is interesting, she could have used a good editor. The book is a rambling, unfocused mess. I could have even overlooked that, but the translation was a big problem for me. How can you translate a 16th century book by a nun and edit out almost all references to the devil? How can you translate "sin" as "missing the mark"? I don't care if the translator is a Jewish-Buddhist-New Age whatever. She ruined the book for me. While I was looking forward to reading other works by Spanish mystics, now I'll look for them in the original Spanish.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda

    This is Teresa's thoughts, feelings and over all relationship with God. At times I did find it difficult to understand her thought process, I took my time and did enjoy it. While audio books are not my first choice I would like to hear this one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Alfonseca

    This is the third time I have read this book. Rather than an autobiography, it is a lesson about mental prayer (meditation). Every time I have read it has been beneficial, perhaps this time more than the previous ones.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marina (Sonnenbarke)

    DNF at 24%. This is of no interest whatsoever for a non-Catholic, let alone an atheist. I don't know what I was thinking when I downloaded it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    JoséMaría BlancoWhite

    I recommend this book, preferably a different edition than this one by Penguin, to those who are looking from a Christian vantage point. The mystic nun of 16th century Spain, you can think anything you want of her, but she ain't ordinary. The spiritual experiences that "befell her is the central theme of the book" (intro. p.13). Her relationship with our Lord is honest and humble, sincere as any testimony that you'll ever hear. The way to approach this story is with respect, and also with humble I recommend this book, preferably a different edition than this one by Penguin, to those who are looking from a Christian vantage point. The mystic nun of 16th century Spain, you can think anything you want of her, but she ain't ordinary. The spiritual experiences that "befell her is the central theme of the book" (intro. p.13). Her relationship with our Lord is honest and humble, sincere as any testimony that you'll ever hear. The way to approach this story is with respect, and also with humbleness, for that is the way she also approaches us. Teresa's life is a great testimony for all denominations of Christians. Yes, she was a Catholic, and you will find the Catholic theology sprinkled everywhere; but most importantly she was real, I mean a real Christian. And if you read the text without prejudice -not like a Pharisee- you will find prove of this. Her relationship is with the Lord, not with images. For example, she commends herself to Saint Joseph, but she always has it clear that it is the Lord Jesus who gives the favors: "The Lord seems to have given other saints grace to help in some troubles but I know by experience that this glorious Saint helps in all", and "I clearly see (...) that if we are to please God and He is to grant us great favors, it is His will that this should be through His most sacred Humanity, in whom His Majesty said He is well pleased. (...) I have clearly seen that it is by this door we must enter, if we wish His sovereign Majesty to reveal great secrets to us. He will show us the way. If we consider his life, that is our best example." There's an episode that I liked particularly. The Lord gives her the grace of talking with angels; she hears: "I want you to converse now not with men but with angels". And so it happens, "For I have never since been able to form a firm friendship, or to take any comfort in, or to feel particular love for, any people except those whom I believe to love God and to be trying to serve Him. This has been something beyond my control; and it has made no difference if the people have been relatives or friends." Anybody feels identified? Check this one out, as example of good and sensible advice: "the proof that something comes from God lies in its conformity to Holy Scripture. If it diverges in the least from that, I think I should feel incomparably more certain that it came from the devil". Another fun note, this one about her tribulations with her confessors: "He (the devil) cannot do me any harm, but they, especially if they are confessors, can be most disturbing. For several years they were such a trial to me that now I am astonished that I was able to bear it." Beware of human confessors! A more curious note: "there is nothing the devils fly from more promptly, never to return, than from holy water. They fly from the cross also, but return again. So there must be a great virtue in holy water." Of course there's no virtue in water, but modern readers who are aware of it should still be able to sympathize with her. The book is full of commentary of this kind. They all portray the love of this meek woman for the Lord Jesus. This book is so needed today in a world that has gone to the other extreme: devotion of evil, that reading it can seem almost like an ET encounter. Leave your pride behind before reading.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Santa Teresa, a 16th century Catholic nun, tells of her spiritual progress as she comes to union with God. This Catholic classic has become increasingly popular throughout the past 500 years. Writing at the command of her Confessors (male priests who want to review and judge her spiritual experiences), she expresses herself humbly, self-effacingly, and even apologetically. She writes in simple, down-to-earth language, with some humor that was at the time risqué. Like most Spanish women of that e Santa Teresa, a 16th century Catholic nun, tells of her spiritual progress as she comes to union with God. This Catholic classic has become increasingly popular throughout the past 500 years. Writing at the command of her Confessors (male priests who want to review and judge her spiritual experiences), she expresses herself humbly, self-effacingly, and even apologetically. She writes in simple, down-to-earth language, with some humor that was at the time risqué. Like most Spanish women of that era, she was unschooled. This makes her frank approach all the more charming. Her writing style is of the period, so I had to approach the book in small segments at first to fully appreciate it. Society in 14th century Spain gave women little power. The reader can clearly see that some Confessors don’t believe any woman can become enlightened, and some even try to discredit Teresa for their own self-elevation. Others are fair and evaluate her experiences without regard to her gender. She is inclined to believe all of her confessors and not judge them. The heart of this book is Sta. Teresa’s description of the four stages of prayer and union with God that she experienced. She describes the difference between rapture and union with God. Some say that these descriptions are erotic. What I find most interesting is that the stages she describes in her Catholic experience are similar to those that I’ve heard Hindus describe as they come to know God. In that way, Sta. Teresa seems to describe universal spiritual truths through her experiences. Sta. Teresa also tells of how she reformed the Carmelite nuns to observe greater austerities. In the time of the Crusades, when many people died because of their beliefs, Sta. Teresa proposed the reform against the wishes of most nuns in her convent. She stuck to her beliefs even when authorities said to desist, and describes how God told her to persist. After great danger, she eventually won favor and was able to found the Discalced Carmelites. Sta. Teresa has inspired Catholics, women, and spiritual seekers of all kinds with her writing. This is not a fast or easy read, but it is profound and enlightening.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bless Praise

    This is a great mystical journey of a great saint towards Christ. It inspired me to focus my life on prayer and meditation like St. Therese did. Also the various mystical experiences she addresses are similar to those who have delved in prayer life and there are people even today who see Jesus and hears his voice whom i personally know. At times he speaks to me through the bible and what ever he has told me has happened in my life. She describes and warns about the mistakes that she made in her This is a great mystical journey of a great saint towards Christ. It inspired me to focus my life on prayer and meditation like St. Therese did. Also the various mystical experiences she addresses are similar to those who have delved in prayer life and there are people even today who see Jesus and hears his voice whom i personally know. At times he speaks to me through the bible and what ever he has told me has happened in my life. She describes and warns about the mistakes that she made in her divine prayer life and how to protect oneself from trickery of devil. God wishes to be in union with every human being and she tells as that it is our sole motive in this earthly life to achieve it.All i can tell the readers is that without prayer life in practice along with the reading of this book you wont be able to understand the divine revelations she addresses in this book.When i struggled in certain chapters i prayed for hours to understand what she is trying to emphasise and i experienced love of God engulfing my soul just as she stated.So practice prayer along with reading this book, otherwise you might consider it as boring or madness since you never tried it and experienced it yourself.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Nomen-Mutatio

    When reading this in liberal arts school and participating in discussion based class sessions I drew great knee jerk, PC-er than thou, dogmatic insistence at tolerating all things with word 'religious' or 'spiritual' attached to them (besides red state Christian fundamentalism) type of reactions by calling Ms. Teresa a junky looking for her God fix. I stand by this assessment today. I found her writing to be an interesting read nonetheless but also felt sorry for her and her rejection of the pre When reading this in liberal arts school and participating in discussion based class sessions I drew great knee jerk, PC-er than thou, dogmatic insistence at tolerating all things with word 'religious' or 'spiritual' attached to them (besides red state Christian fundamentalism) type of reactions by calling Ms. Teresa a junky looking for her God fix. I stand by this assessment today. I found her writing to be an interesting read nonetheless but also felt sorry for her and her rejection of the present world in favor of 18 hours of praying per day focusing only on thoughts of the hereafter. She sought the rush of endorphins and called it spiritual ecstacy. She spoke of God as her lover. She expressed a vicious hatred for the present world with all of its imperfections. I do like that sculpture on the cover though. David Foster Wallace references it in Infinite Jest when describing the way Madame Psychosis (AKA The Prettiest Girl Of All Time, P.G.O.A.T.) feels when free basing cocaine: the Ecstacy of Saint Teresa of Avila.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    I read some decently difficult stuff, and this took work to get through. Not for lack of interest--I think it has more to do with Teresa's famously incoherent writing style. It seems many people dislike Teresa's autobiography for her continual self-abasement. My policy when I read is generally to take the writer at her word, but it's difficult when it's couched as a letter to her superiors. And yet she seems to have a wider audience in mind, too. The further I read, the more I admired this sort o I read some decently difficult stuff, and this took work to get through. Not for lack of interest--I think it has more to do with Teresa's famously incoherent writing style. It seems many people dislike Teresa's autobiography for her continual self-abasement. My policy when I read is generally to take the writer at her word, but it's difficult when it's couched as a letter to her superiors. And yet she seems to have a wider audience in mind, too. The further I read, the more I admired this sort of duplicity--that it could be just a personal account of spiritual experiences for a confessor, but could just as easily be...well, a saint's life. She left it up to time to decide, and even within her lifetime the work became wildly popular. Nobody who thinks so little of her own judgement would have the gall to be a reformer. Teresa is sincere, but she takes her own authority seriously because no one else can know exactly what she experienced. This is the marvelous thing about memoir.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amy Jane

    Firstly I have to confess a couple of things. I am an atheist, but I have always been fascinated by Catholicism. The reason I chose to read this book is that my favourite sculpture is Saint Teresa in ecstasy' by Bernini - helpfully on the front cover of this edition. And it's nearly taken me a year to read, which isn't down to not enjoying it but rather that it was so intense that I dipped in and out of it between other books. Although at times I found the narrator repetitive and self deprecating Firstly I have to confess a couple of things. I am an atheist, but I have always been fascinated by Catholicism. The reason I chose to read this book is that my favourite sculpture is Saint Teresa in ecstasy' by Bernini - helpfully on the front cover of this edition. And it's nearly taken me a year to read, which isn't down to not enjoying it but rather that it was so intense that I dipped in and out of it between other books. Although at times I found the narrator repetitive and self deprecating, I had to remember that Teresa was not writing for us, but for three (as noted in the epilogue) senior members of the Church. The detail of the 'visions' she experienced were fascinating, and despite being dubious of them they were compelling to read. Now I feel like I know the woman behind one of my favourite art works.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rev. Linda

    For a Spiritual Life & Leadership course paper at Brite: "Born in the Castilian town of Ávila in 1515, Teresa entered the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation when she was twenty-one. Tormented by illness, doubts and self-recrimination, she gradually came to recognize the power of prayer and contemplation - her spiritual enlightenment was intensified by many visions and mystical experiences, including the piercing of her heart by a spear of divine love. She went on to found seventeen Carmelite m For a Spiritual Life & Leadership course paper at Brite: "Born in the Castilian town of Ávila in 1515, Teresa entered the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation when she was twenty-one. Tormented by illness, doubts and self-recrimination, she gradually came to recognize the power of prayer and contemplation - her spiritual enlightenment was intensified by many visions and mystical experiences, including the piercing of her heart by a spear of divine love. She went on to found seventeen Carmelite monasteries throughout Spain. Teresa always denied her own saintliness, however, saying in a letter: 'There is no suggestion of that nonsense about my supposed sanctity.' This frank account is one of the great stories of a religious life and a literary masterpiece - after Don Quixote, it is Spain's most widely read prose classic" - from the translator J.M. Cohen

  22. 5 out of 5

    David

    I wondered at times how I was going to get through this book. The first couple of chapters were okay, and then there was a very long dry spell until chapter 36. As I was listening to this book, there were many times when I would think back over what I just heard, and I couldn't remember a word of it. Sometimes I would even go back to listen to it again. Chapter 36 was a bright spot. It talked about her setting up her monastery in 1561-1562. I don't know why it was such a concern that the monaster I wondered at times how I was going to get through this book. The first couple of chapters were okay, and then there was a very long dry spell until chapter 36. As I was listening to this book, there were many times when I would think back over what I just heard, and I couldn't remember a word of it. Sometimes I would even go back to listen to it again. Chapter 36 was a bright spot. It talked about her setting up her monastery in 1561-1562. I don't know why it was such a concern that the monastery did not have revenue, or even what it means to have revenue. Does that mean they get money from the church? Or that they get money and give it to the church? It did mean that the sisters were living on alms, in poverty. I have to give this book two stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    I first read The Life of St. Teresa in college, and was fascinated by her life. The Book of My Life, a new translation by Mirabai Starr, is the first complete translation to be done by a woman. I found Starr’s interpretation and choices to be right on target with who I perceived Teresa to be. If I had had this translation in college, it would have been immensely helpful in understanding the earthy qualities that Teresa possessed and how they influenced her writing. Even if you have read this befo I first read The Life of St. Teresa in college, and was fascinated by her life. The Book of My Life, a new translation by Mirabai Starr, is the first complete translation to be done by a woman. I found Starr’s interpretation and choices to be right on target with who I perceived Teresa to be. If I had had this translation in college, it would have been immensely helpful in understanding the earthy qualities that Teresa possessed and how they influenced her writing. Even if you have read this before, read it again. And if you haven’t, and are interested even remotely in Teresa’s life or teachings, this translation is absolutely the way to go.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    It took me a while to get through this one. Saint Teresa is a bit of a rambler and it's not your typical memoir or even spiritual autobiography: one gets the sense she's going in circles and repeating the same things over and over. There is no clear sense of progression, but then again, she was a nun so how much does a nun's life change from year to year? On the other hand, though she repeats things often, they are the kinds of things that, even if you heard them a thousand times, it wouldn't hu It took me a while to get through this one. Saint Teresa is a bit of a rambler and it's not your typical memoir or even spiritual autobiography: one gets the sense she's going in circles and repeating the same things over and over. There is no clear sense of progression, but then again, she was a nun so how much does a nun's life change from year to year? On the other hand, though she repeats things often, they are the kinds of things that, even if you heard them a thousand times, it wouldn't hurt to hear them a thousand more. I suppose I'd recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the life of prayer or who is trying to improve his or her prayer life.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Matt Miles

    I enjoyed this book on two levels. First, it was enlightening to read what contemplation really means in the realm of Catholic faith, and unsurprising but encouraging that the focus is meant to be on Christ. It was also an intellectual exercise to decide whether the visions happened and if so, why would God give visions of those (literally) damned Lutherans? I like Lutherans, so I hope those visions in particular weren't real. But maybe, just maybe, God was meeting St. Teresa where she was and a I enjoyed this book on two levels. First, it was enlightening to read what contemplation really means in the realm of Catholic faith, and unsurprising but encouraging that the focus is meant to be on Christ. It was also an intellectual exercise to decide whether the visions happened and if so, why would God give visions of those (literally) damned Lutherans? I like Lutherans, so I hope those visions in particular weren't real. But maybe, just maybe, God was meeting St. Teresa where she was and allowing her to see Him alongside flaws, warts and all, as long as the focus returned to Him in the end. Like I said, it's worth chewing on and therefore worth the read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Itai

    English transaltion of Santa Teresa de Ávila: Libro de la Vida by Mirabai Starr. I can only assume that this got higher ratings than it deserved because people confused the poor translation with the subject. The language of the translation is, indeed, fine. However, a translation is inevitably an interpretation and this one is, as one reviewer rightly wrote, "froofy." Ms. Starr is a spiritual seeker with a considerable gift of language, but seems to have transformed the life of her subject, Tere English transaltion of Santa Teresa de Ávila: Libro de la Vida by Mirabai Starr. I can only assume that this got higher ratings than it deserved because people confused the poor translation with the subject. The language of the translation is, indeed, fine. However, a translation is inevitably an interpretation and this one is, as one reviewer rightly wrote, "froofy." Ms. Starr is a spiritual seeker with a considerable gift of language, but seems to have transformed the life of her subject, Teresa de Ávila, into whom she needed her to be. Highly disappointing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Fascinating, but a bit hard to read in places with some things I didn't understand and places I skimmed through. Still the way she describes worship, humility and devotion bring great peace. The struggles of the church that she describes could have been written in the 21st century. So it was quite the testimony to the continuity of human struggles. However, I agree with the commentator who wrote that her later works more clearly articulate her descriptions. In this work she includes lots of disc Fascinating, but a bit hard to read in places with some things I didn't understand and places I skimmed through. Still the way she describes worship, humility and devotion bring great peace. The struggles of the church that she describes could have been written in the 21st century. So it was quite the testimony to the continuity of human struggles. However, I agree with the commentator who wrote that her later works more clearly articulate her descriptions. In this work she includes lots of disclaimers out of humility which was an unusual dynamic to read through.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Garcia

    It is difficult to read this book as a modern person because it is such a different one, even if one remains a Catholic. I would psychologize so much of the writing here, the visions in particular, but to do that would not do justice to what Teresa was saying. I found the visions part to be redundant. It is much less important than she believed. What did provide more inspiration was the beginning, her struggling in the spiritual life. That part was useful as a twisty road map for anyone who woul It is difficult to read this book as a modern person because it is such a different one, even if one remains a Catholic. I would psychologize so much of the writing here, the visions in particular, but to do that would not do justice to what Teresa was saying. I found the visions part to be redundant. It is much less important than she believed. What did provide more inspiration was the beginning, her struggling in the spiritual life. That part was useful as a twisty road map for anyone who would like to embark on such a life.

  29. 4 out of 5

    R

    WOW. Yes. Some points I was asking what the heck she was talking about. Desperately needed context. Had to remind myself she is speaking to an audience in 1567. But her ability to let go of male idiocity, common materialism...all vanity for the Beauty of The Godhead. I would love that blessing but would greatly fear the suffering that goes with it. I see why she was made a doctor of the church. (Though I hear two reports on her being the first as she was made thus at the same time as Catherine o WOW. Yes. Some points I was asking what the heck she was talking about. Desperately needed context. Had to remind myself she is speaking to an audience in 1567. But her ability to let go of male idiocity, common materialism...all vanity for the Beauty of The Godhead. I would love that blessing but would greatly fear the suffering that goes with it. I see why she was made a doctor of the church. (Though I hear two reports on her being the first as she was made thus at the same time as Catherine of Siena I believe. Please let me know if one has more info here:-)

  30. 5 out of 5

    James Violand

    Don't be turned off because Teresa is a Catholic saint during the Counter-Reformation. Read her experiences and you'll find yourself admiring a truly holy woman. I suppose some of you would even consider her similar to ascetic practitioners of meditation in a number of Indian religions. There is evidence of her levitating as these swamis and yogis have done. Her meditations were so strong as to cause her to escape reality to a higher plain of existence. A true wonder. Read this book and see what Don't be turned off because Teresa is a Catholic saint during the Counter-Reformation. Read her experiences and you'll find yourself admiring a truly holy woman. I suppose some of you would even consider her similar to ascetic practitioners of meditation in a number of Indian religions. There is evidence of her levitating as these swamis and yogis have done. Her meditations were so strong as to cause her to escape reality to a higher plain of existence. A true wonder. Read this book and see what intense direct communication with the divine can be.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.