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Introduction to the Third Edition, by Rev. B. Zimmerman

St. Teresa's Arguments of the Chapters

Preface by David Lewis

Annals of the Saint's Life


I. Childhood and early Impressions—The Blessing of pious Parents—Desire of Martyrdom—Death of the Saint's Mother

II. Early Impressions—Dangerous Books and Companions—The Saint is placed in a Monastery

III. The Blessing of being with good people—How certain Illusions were removed

IV. Our Lord helps her to become a Nun—Her many Infirmities

V. Illness and Patience of the Saint—The Story of a Priest whom she rescued from a Life of Sin

VI. The great Debt she owed to our Lord for His Mercy to her—She takes St. Joseph for her Patron

VII. Lukewarmness—The Loss of Grace—Inconvenience of Laxity in Religious Houses

VIII. The Saint ceases not to pray—Prayer the way to recover what is lost—All exhorted to pray—The great Advantage of Prayer, even to those who may have ceased from it

IX. The means whereby our Lord quickened her Soul, gave her Light in her Darkness, and made her strong in Goodness

X. The Graces she received in Prayer—What we can do ourselves—The great Importance of understanding what our Lord is doing for us—She desires her Confessors to keep her Writings secret, because of the special Graces of our Lord to her, which they had commanded her to describe

XI. Why men do not attain quickly to the perfect Love of God—Of Four Degrees of Prayer—Of the First Degree—The Doctrine profitable for Beginners, and for those who have no sensible Sweetness

XII. What we can ourselves do—The Evil of desiring to attain to supernatural States before our Lord calls us

XIII. Of certain Temptations of Satan—Instructions relating thereto

XIV. The Second State of Prayer—Its supernatural Character

XV. Instructions for those who have attained to the Prayer of Quiet—Many advance so far, but few go farther

XVI. The Third State of Prayer—Deep Matters—What the Soul can do that has reached it—Effects of the great Graces of our Lord

XVII. The Third State of Prayer—The Effects thereof—The Hindrance caused by the Imagination and the Memory vi

XVIII. The Fourth State of Prayer—The great Dignity of the Soul raised to it by our Lord—Attainable on Earth, not by our Merit, but by the Goodness of our Lord

XIX. The Effects of this Fourth State of Prayer—Earnest Exhortations to those who have attained to it not to go back nor to cease from Prayer, even if they fall—The great Calamity of going back

XX. The Difference between Union and Rapture—What Rapture is—The Blessing it is to the Soul—The Effects of it

XXI. Conclusion of the Subject—Pain of the Awakening—Light against Delusions

XXII. The Security of Contemplatives lies in their not ascending to high Things if our Lord does not raise them—The Sacred Humanity must be the Road to the highest Contemplation—A Delusion in which the Saint was once entangled

XXIII. The Saint resumes the History of her Life—Aiming at Perfection—Means whereby it may be gained—Instructions for Confessors

XXIV. Progress under Obedience—Her Inability to resist the Graces of God—God multiplies His Graces

XXV. Divine Locutions—Delusions on that Subject

XXVI. How the Fears of the Saint vanished—How she was assured that her Prayer was the Work of the Holy Spirit

XXVII. The Saint prays to be directed in a different way—Intellectual Visions

XXVIII. Visions of the Sacred Humanity and of the glorified Bodies—Imaginary Visions—Great Fruits thereof when they come from God

XXIX. Of Visions—The Graces our Lord bestowed on the Saint—The Answers our Lord gave her for those who tried her

XXX. St. Peter of Alcantara comforts the Saint—Great Temptations and Interior Trials

XXXI. Of certain outward Temptations and Appearances of Satan—Of the Sufferings thereby occasioned—Counsels for those who go on unto Perfection

XXXII. Our Lord shows St. Teresa the Place which she had by her Sins deserved in Hell—The Torments there—How the Monastery of St. Joseph was founded

XXXIII. The Foundation of the Monastery hindered—Our Lord consoles the Saint

XXXIV. The Saint leaves her Monastery of the Incarnation for a time, at the command of her superior—Consoles an afflicted Widow

XXXV. The Foundation of the House of St. Joseph—Observance of holy Poverty therein—How the Saint left Toledo

XXXVI. The Foundation of the Monastery of St. Joseph—Persecution and Temptations—Great interior Trial of the Saint, and her Deliverance

XXXVII. The Effects of the divine Graces in the Soul—The inestimable Greatness of one Degree of Glory

XXXVIII. Certain heavenly Secrets, Visions, and Revelations—The Effects of them in her Soul

XXXIX. Other Graces bestowed on the Saint—The Promises of our Lord to her—Divine Locutions and Visions

XL. Visions, Revelations, and Locutions


The Relations.


I. Sent to St. Peter of Alcantara in 1560 from the Monastery of the Incarnation, Avila

II. To one of her Confessors, from the House of Doña Luisa de la Cerda, in 1562

III. Of various Graces granted to the Saint from the year 1568 to 1571, inclusive

IV. Of the Graces the Saint received in Salamanca at the end of Lent, 1571

V. Observations on certain Points of Spirituality

VI. The Vow of Obedience to Father Gratian which the Saint made in 1575

VII. Made for Rodrigo Alvarez, S.J., in the year 1575, according to Don Vicente de la Fuente; but in 1576, according to the Bollandists and F. Bouix

VIII. Addressed to F. Rodrigo Alvarez

IX. Of certain spiritual Graces she received in Toledo and Avila in the years 1576 and 1577

X. Of a Revelation to the Saint at Avila, 1579, and of Directions concerning the Government of the Order

XI. Written from Palencia in May, 1581, and addressed to Don Alonzo Velasquez, Bishop of Osma, who had been when Canon of Toledo, one of the Saint's Confessors

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