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Libro de la vida

Libro de la vida Written at the command of her confessors the books of this th century Spanish saint and mystic a beloved friend to another great Spanish mystic John of the Cross St Teresa s writings remain clas

  • Title: Libro de la vida
  • Author: Teresa of Ávila
  • ISBN: 9788430641260
  • Page: 108
  • Format: None
  • Written at the command of her confessors, the books of this 16th century Spanish saint and mystic a beloved friend to another great Spanish mystic, John of the Cross , St Teresa s writings remain classics of Christian mysticism Less abstract and theoretical than her friend, Teresa s works are no less noteworthy for the brilliance of their ability to convey with both warWritten at the command of her confessors, the books of this 16th century Spanish saint and mystic a beloved friend to another great Spanish mystic, John of the Cross , St Teresa s writings remain classics of Christian mysticism Less abstract and theoretical than her friend, Teresa s works are no less noteworthy for the brilliance of their ability to convey with both warmth and rigor some flavor of this most extraordinary experience union with God Her autobiography may well be the best entry point into her work and into the great mystical literature of the Christian church Here she describes her early life and education, the conflicts and crisis she underwent, culminating in her determination to enter fully into the path of prayer Following a description of the contemplative life, which she explores in four stages, she returns to her own life in order to describe in erotic language reminiscent of the Song of Songs the ecstatic experiences given to her by God If the idea of mysticism seems hopelessly otherworldly to you, try a taste of St Teresa, who can be as down to earth as Oprah and sometimes just as amusing Doug Thorpe

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    1 thought on “Libro de la vida

    1. This is a review of the translation by E Allison Peers.Peers writes a very interesting introduction about the sources and challenges of translating Saint Teresa of Avila. I kept them in mind during my reading, and indeed found the text to be vibrant and always racing forwards. The manuscripts are available so Peers was able to rely on Teresa’s own hand.The Life will read very differently to believers and those arrayed along the spectrum of doubt to disbelief. I read it as a psychological study [...]

    2. Thank you Jane! I have read, reread, listened to, savored and thoroughly enjoyed this book. I most highly recommend the audio version* which I've been listening to in my car off and on for the past six weeks. Teresa is of course herself, engaging, deeply and humbly insighful, charming and humorous in a way that trancends centuries of time, and cultural and linguistic differences. Mirabai Starr's translation is both fresh and in line with more conventional versions.One observation, however, or wo [...]

    3. Great book. Teresa of Avila was a woman of very modern sensibilities. Her love affair with God is an integral part of this extraordinary autobiography/confession. There are the usual markers of the narrow-mindedness of the contemporary culture in which she lived: the pervasive religious fascism and fanaticism--a fanaticism fostered and promoted by the Church's power through the mandate of the Inquisition, the fear of the Devil's power to overthrow one's soul and the Devil's association with Negr [...]

    4. For me this was a rather disconcerting read.As an atheist you can't entertain the idea that the continual visions and spiritual experiences Teresa reads are visitations from God, there doesn't seem to be a 'conventional' explanation for what's going on. Teresa is lucid enough to write a clear and intelligent account of her experiences, her theology is complete and consistent (and conveniently in-line with the dogma that was current at the time). So she is not raving mad, I entertained the idea t [...]

    5. Teresa is a very special woman. The story of her life as she wrote it is one of the great reads. To read this book is to make a friend for life. I like the one incident where she is tossed out of a coach into a muddy stream during a heavy rain and complained to God as she sat in the mud and water soaking wet. And God answered her and said this is how he treated his friends. Teresa was not one to be overwhelmed even by God and responded. "Well it is no wonder you have so few." A great book to rea [...]

    6. The personality, the unabashed passion, of this woman makes me hopeful. Such a brilliant jewel among the saints. I love it.

    7. I am always rediscovering Sta Teresa. She is the first of so many things in so many ways - first woman Doctor of the Church, first reformer of the Carmelite order, first woman to found an order of men, first "modern" (i.e. post-Inquistion) western mystic -, and each time I reread her, it's like the first time all over again, at a new depth and with a new dimension.I was wary about this translation because the introduction is, well, froofy and kinda new-age in a way that peeves me. In my ideal w [...]

    8. I was really looking forward to reading this book especially since she is my friend Ruth's favorite saint. However as delicious as her sequences were about her revelations, I just could not square up Teresa's vision of earth with mine. In her view, the world is a place to eschew and to ultimately escape as full of temptation and vice. I don't actually disagree with the amount of sin in the world, however, I do think we were put here to make the place better. So, with that in mind, I have chosen [...]

    9. DNF at 24%. This is of no interest whatsoever for a non-Catholic, let alone an atheist. I don't know what I was thinking when I downloaded it.

    10. I recommend this book, preferably a different edition than this one by Penguin, to those who are looking from a Christian vantage point. The mystic nun of 16th century Spain, you can think anything you want of her, but she ain't ordinary. The spiritual experiences that "befell her is the central theme of the book" (intro. p.13). Her relationship with our Lord is honest and humble, sincere as any testimony that you'll ever hear. The way to approach this story is with respect, and also with humble [...]

    11. Santa Teresa, a 16th century Catholic nun, tells of her spiritual progress as she comes to union with God. This Catholic classic has become increasingly popular throughout the past 500 years. Writing at the command of her Confessors (male priests who want to review and judge her spiritual experiences), she expresses herself humbly, self-effacingly, and even apologetically. She writes in simple, down-to-earth language, with some humor that was at the time risqué. Like most Spanish women of that [...]

    12. This is a great mystical journey of a great saint towards Christ. It inspired me to focus my life on prayer and meditation like St. Therese did. Also the various mystical experiences she addresses are similar to those who have delved in prayer life and there are people even today who see Jesus and hears his voice whom i personally know. At times he speaks to me through the bible and what ever he has told me has happened in my life. She describes and warns about the mistakes that she made in her [...]

    13. I read some decently difficult stuff, and this took work to get through. Not for lack of interest--I think it has more to do with Teresa's famously incoherent writing style.It seems many people dislike Teresa's autobiography for her continual self-abasement. My policy when I read is generally to take the writer at her word, but it's difficult when it's couched as a letter to her superiors. And yet she seems to have a wider audience in mind, too. The further I read, the more I admired this sort o [...]

    14. When reading this in liberal arts school and participating in discussion based class sessions I drew great knee jerk, PC-er than thou, dogmatic insistence at tolerating all things with word 'religious' or 'spiritual' attached to them (besides red state Christian fundamentalism) type of reactions by calling Ms. Teresa a junky looking for her God fix. I stand by this assessment today. I found her writing to be an interesting read nonetheless but also felt sorry for her and her rejection of the pre [...]

    15. Firstly I have to confess a couple of things. I am an atheist, but I have always been fascinated by Catholicism. The reason I chose to read this book is that my favourite sculpture is Saint Teresa in ecstasy' by Bernini - helpfully on the front cover of this edition. And it's nearly taken me a year to read, which isn't down to not enjoying it but rather that it was so intense that I dipped in and out of it between other books.Although at times I found the narrator repetitive and self deprecating [...]

    16. For a Spiritual Life & Leadership course paper at Brite: "Born in the Castilian town of Ávila in 1515, Teresa entered the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation when she was twenty-one. Tormented by illness, doubts and self-recrimination, she gradually came to recognize the power of prayer and contemplation - her spiritual enlightenment was intensified by many visions and mystical experiences, including the piercing of her heart by a spear of divine love. She went on to found seventeen Carmel [...]

    17. I wondered at times how I was going to get through this book. The first couple of chapters were okay, and then there was a very long dry spell until chapter 36. As I was listening to this book, there were many times when I would think back over what I just heard, and I couldn't remember a word of it. Sometimes I would even go back to listen to it again.Chapter 36 was a bright spot. It talked about her setting up her monastery in 1561-1562. I don't know why it was such a concern that the monaster [...]

    18. I enjoyed this book on two levels. First, it was enlightening to read what contemplation really means in the realm of Catholic faith, and unsurprising but encouraging that the focus is meant to be on Christ. It was also an intellectual exercise to decide whether the visions happened and if so, why would God give visions of those (literally) damned Lutherans? I like Lutherans, so I hope those visions in particular weren't real. But maybe, just maybe, God was meeting St. Teresa where she was and a [...]

    19. I first read The Life of St. Teresa in college, and was fascinated by her life. The Book of My Life, a new translation by Mirabai Starr, is the first complete translation to be done by a woman. I found Starr’s interpretation and choices to be right on target with who I perceived Teresa to be. If I had had this translation in college, it would have been immensely helpful in understanding the earthy qualities that Teresa possessed and how they influenced her writing.Even if you have read this be [...]

    20. It took me a while to get through this one. Saint Teresa is a bit of a rambler and it's not your typical memoir or even spiritual autobiography: one gets the sense she's going in circles and repeating the same things over and over. There is no clear sense of progression, but then again, she was a nun so how much does a nun's life change from year to year? On the other hand, though she repeats things often, they are the kinds of things that, even if you heard them a thousand times, it wouldn't hu [...]

    21. It is difficult to read this book as a modern person because it is such a different one, even if one remains a Catholic. I would psychologize so much of the writing here, the visions in particular, but to do that would not do justice to what Teresa was saying. I found the visions part to be redundant. It is much less important than she believed. What did provide more inspiration was the beginning, her struggling in the spiritual life. That part was useful as a twisty road map for anyone who woul [...]

    22. Don't be turned off because Teresa is a Catholic saint during the Counter-Reformation. Read her experiences and you'll find yourself admiring a truly holy woman. I suppose some of you would even consider her similar to ascetic practitioners of meditation in a number of Indian religions. There is evidence of her levitating as these swamis and yogis have done. Her meditations were so strong as to cause her to escape reality to a higher plain of existence. A true wonder. Read this book and see what [...]

    23. Fascinating, but a bit hard to read in places with some things I didn't understand and places I skimmed through. Still the way she describes worship, humility and devotion bring great peace. The struggles of the church that she describes could have been written in the 21st century. So it was quite the testimony to the continuity of human struggles. However, I agree with the commentator who wrote that her later works more clearly articulate her descriptions. In this work she includes lots of disc [...]

    24. English transaltion of Santa Teresa de Ávila: Libro de la Vida by Mirabai Starr. I can only assume that this got higher ratings than it deserved because people confused the poor translation with the subject. The language of the translation is, indeed, fine. However, a translation is inevitably an interpretation and this one is, as one reviewer rightly wrote, "froofy." Ms. Starr is a spiritual seeker with a considerable gift of language, but seems to have transformed the life of her subject, Ter [...]

    25. Lectura dificil de entender, por la grámatica y por la intención. Relato de como logra en su vida la voación por la religiosidad en un grado extremo, relatos de una mujer que se considera la peor ante los ojos de su "majestad", y de como se comunica con él por medio moriri para el mundo y de vivir solo pare él, y poder llegar al "arrobamiento" del cual no quiere despertar. Se define como una mujer a la que ni el trabajo cansa, ni el encerramiento la fatiga, ni la enfermedad la decae, ni la [...]

    26. WOW. Yes. Some points I was asking what the heck she was talking about. Desperately needed context. Had to remind myself she is speaking to an audience in 1567. But her ability to let go of male idiocity, common materialisml vanity for the Beauty of The Godhead. I would love that blessing but would greatly fear the suffering that goes with it. I see why she was made a doctor of the church. (Though I hear two reports on her being the first as she was made thus at the same time as Catherine of Sie [...]

    27. While the life of Saint Teresa is interesting, she could have used a good editor. The book is a rambling, unfocused mess. I could have even overlooked that, but the translation was a big problem for me. How can you translate a 16th century book by a nun and edit out almost all references to the devil? How can you translate "sin" as "missing the mark"? I don't care if the translator is a Jewish-Buddhist-New Age whatever. She ruined the book for me. While I was looking forward to reading other wor [...]

    28. Am I terrible for not enjoying this book, even as someone who loves the Christian mystics? I found St. Theresa's writing style too rambling and wordy. Her spiritual experiences and insight are certainly worth reading and I made note of several amazing passages, but I found her oddly cold and, at times, uninteresting. I should probably repent in dust and ashes for this literary and Christian heresy.

    29. There were great gems of wisdom in this book, but I had to work hard to find them. I admit that this was a slog for me, and I had to force myself to continue reading. I think this is one of those books that you have to read at the right time & pace for you; unfortunately I read this at the time & pace determined by my book club. Perhaps someday I will reread it & love it; right now, I'm relieved to be done.

    30. 2.5 stars. This was a little difficult reading. Partially because of the translation, partially because there are only so many times you can say, "I am a sinful person. I prayed a lot. I changed. But then I realized I was a sinful person. I prayed a lot. I changed." without details before it gets old. I do think she is a very pious woman, and I liked a lot of her insights into prayer and life purpose. It was just a bit too long for me.

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