I recently received a couple of books to review from Ave Maria Press and I am so stinkin’ excited to share them with you!
Today, I am going to share with you the book that I dove into first, titled St. Teresa of Avila, Her Life in Letters.
You guys, I love to learn about the saints. Like, love. It is literally one of my very favorite things to spend my time doing. And Saint Teresa of Avila is my soul sister. My favorite. The bees knees. My spirit animal. My tribe leader. My patron saint. So, you can probably understand why receiving this book was the best gift ever. (And also why I want to hug Stephanie Sibal from Ave Maria Press breathless <3)
For those of you not familiar with Saint Teresa, I strongly encourage you to read about her life. But, to give you a taste of her personality, here are some fun facts:
1. She felt that a day when she couldn’t read a new book was a day lost.
2. With the complicity of her mother and behind the back of her strict father, she read books about the great deeds of knights, which were very popular at the time.
3. There are hypotheses that suggest that Teresa was part of a network of women who exchanged books.
4. She was independent and autonomous. When she understood that God was calling her to be a nun, and after she told her father (who rejected the idea), she decided to leave her parents’ house, and she went to the monastery of the Incarnation (in Avila).
5. She overcame bureaucratic and economic obstacles—and, Dobner says, also the male chauvinism of the time—and managed to found new convents.
6. She always abandoned herself to God’s will, and was a very determined woman who knew where she was going. She often used to say, “I am yours, Lord; I was born for You. What do you want from me?”
7. In 1970, together with Saint Catherine of Siena, she was declared a Doctor of the Church.
This book contains letters, written over the course of twenty-one years, from Teresa to various friends, family, business contacts and even the king. The letters were not originally meant for the public eye, and give the reader an intimate view of the “behind the scenes” life of this incredible saint. Her letters are full of wisdom and advice, but perhaps my favorite aspect of them is her personality. Her humor, her wit, her sarcasm and her ability to gracefully stand her ground all shine through in her letters, and I love every single one of them. (Seriously. I have highlighted and bookmarked this book to death, and I’m now on my second time through it.)
An absolutely beautiful book that will not only comfort your soul, but fill your heart with wisdom, give you a good laugh or three, and endear you to this saint.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.