Saint Teresa of Avila once said “I shall mention some things that are necessary… The first of these is love for one another; the second is detachment from all created things; the third is true humility… all must be friends, all must be loved, all must be held dear, all must be helped,” . A Doctor of the church, Saint Teresa of Avila greatly affected the Catholic Church. One of her major contributions is that she founded the Discalced Carmelites. Another is her teaching on prayer and books she wrote. One last contribution is that she reformed the Roman Catholic Church from within. Saint Teresa of Avila was a strong woman and she had very influential impacts on the Catholic Church.
Teresa de Ahumada y Cepeda was born in Avila, Spain in 1515. The Protestant Reformation started two years after her birth (Catholic Online). She grew up under her strict father, and as a child she was convinced she was a horrible sinner. In her rebellious teenage years, she mostly cared about clothing, boys, and flirting. When she was 16, her father sent her to a convent, and although she hated it at first, she began to enjoy it because of her growing love for God and because it was less strict than her father. She eventually chose the religious life over marriage because she thought it was the only safe place for someone as prone to sin as she was. Teresa struggled to remain a spiritual life safe from sin. There were many parties with young men at the convent, and she was a very liked person, which caused her to be more involved in flattery, vanity, and gossip than spiritual guidance. Teresa had a seizure and was paralyzed for three years, and this imparity was her excuse to stop prayer completely for years, and she thought being a wicked sinner she didn’t deserve to get favors from God. She was convinced to go back to prayer when she was 41, but still found it difficult and was often distracted. God began to give her spiritual delights; sometimes her whole body was raised from the...
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