"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "

Thomas á Kempis

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."

St Augustine

* * *

"If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will. For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight." "

St Alphonsus de Liguori

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 St Teresa of Avila  (1515- 1582)
Founder of the Discalced Carmelites and Doctor of the Church



By St Teresa of Avila



INTRODUCTION (by  E. Allison Peers)

1. General background
2. Origin of the book
3. Description of the Mansions
4. About the manuscripts
5. List of Abbreviations


1. The beauty and dignity of our souls
2. The hideousness of a soul in mortal sin


1. The great importance of perseverance


1. Insecurity in this life of exile
2. Aridities in prayer


1. The difference between sweetness or tenderness in prayer and consolations
2. Explains by a comparison what is meant by consolations
3. Prayer of Recollection


1. Explain how in prayer the soul is united with God
2. The effects of the Prayer of Union
3. Another kind of union
4. Cautions about proceding cautiously


1. With greater favours comes greater trials
2. Several ways in which Our Lord awakens the soul
3. How God speaks to the soul
4. When God suspends the soul in prayer by rapture
5. How God exalts the soul through flights of the spirit
6. How to know when this prayer is genuine
7. Keep in mind the Humanity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
8. About intellectual visions
9. About imaginary visions
10. Other favours which God grants to the soul
11. Desires to enjoy God imperil its life


1. About the great favours which God bestows here
2. The difference between spiritual union and spiritual marriage
3. The striking effects produced by this prayer
4. Why Our Lord grants such great favours