US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Day 6: St. Teresa of Avila

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Each day of Lent (minus Sundays) we'll bring you words of wisdom from spiritual guides.

6. Saint Teresa of Avila: Companion in the garden
This is the method of prayer I then used: Since I could not reflect discursively with the intellect, I strove to picture Christ within me, and it did me great good--in my opinion--to picture him in those scenes where I saw him more alone... The scene of his prayer in the garden, especially, was a comfort to me; I strove to be his companion there.

If I could, I thought of the sweat and agony he had undergone in that place. I desired to wipe away the sweat he so painfully experienced, but I recall that I never dared to actually do it, since my sins appeared to me so serious. I remained with him as long as my thoughts allowed me to, for there were many distractions that tormented me. Most nights for many years before going to bed, when I commended myself to God in preparation for sleep, I always pondered for a little while this episode of prayer in the garden. (Teresa of Avila: Mystical Writings, Crossroad)

Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-82) was the foundress of the Discalced Carmelites and one of the first women to be named a Doctor of the Church.

Find spiritual advice for Lent from other guides in 40 days to a new you.