My Life My Prayer
Teresa of Avila is renowned as a great saint, the foundress of the Discalced Carmelites and a Doctor of the Church.
In this very accessible edition of the ﬁ rst volume of her utobiography, we meet a frivolous teenager, who became a frivolous nun at twenty-one, hoping thereby to avoid marriage and childbearing and attain heaven, without too much eﬀort.
She writes engagingly and honestly, allowing us to follow her struggles with not only her health, but with the conﬂ ict between her desire for a life of prayer in a real relationship with God and her attachment to the comforts and distractions of her not- at- all strict convent. She shares with us her moment of fully giving herself to God in her late thirties, aﬅ er which she describes ‘the four waters of prayer’. Her determined desire to help others join her in this life of prayer and complete trust in Divine Providence led her to found the ﬁ rst convent of Discalced Carmelites when she was forty-seven.
Such is her style of writing, and Ruth Obbard’s interpretation of it, that one feels as if reading a personal letter, heart speaking to heart.