The secret place – Teresa of Avila

Following a previous blog post on “The Great Argentine Revival” – here’s another story about prayer from the 16th century. Teresa of Avila, a Spanish nun who had a tremendous influence on many peoples lives – leaving a spiritual legacy behind her.

Growing up as a teenager Teresa was torn by influences of society and her status within the city of Avila. She decided to try and withdraw into a more quiet Christian life – which involved moving into a convent. But for Teresa things didn’t unfold as expected. The convent failed to become the place where she would find intimacy with God. Despite still having a wrestle with many worldly distractions she had a number of supernatural experiences and over time was eventually allowed by those more superior to her – to lead a movement within the Carmelite Order. Teresa joined efforts with John of the Cross and together they set up –  not only a reformed religious order but also a body of writing that remain to this day – extraordinary spirituality.

She has written books that pave a pathway of contemplative Christianity providing guidance on how to grow closer to God, through the practice of prayer, a holy life, the prayer of quiet and transformational intimacy with God. Some have found her material hard to grasp but this women has impacted generations – of people seeking God and her legacy still lives on.

A woman of prayer – that was central to her story of intimacy and friendship with God. She sacrificed many ordinary comforts for the sake of pursing intimacy with God and remained faithful in the station where God placed her and called her to be. A women who was faithful in the secret place with God and this became her dwelling place. Here we find another remarkably inspiring story in the life of  a women who modelled what years of faithfulness and dedication in the secret place can accomplish.