Teresa of Avila’s secret to praying without ceasing

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Saint Teresa of Avila, a great Spanish mystic of the 16th century, said that one should pray with “very determined determination”: a nice play on words that can help in this “Year of Prayer”.

Pope Francis established the “ Year of Prayer ” on January 21, in preparation for the 2025 Jubilee, and on this occasion you may have resolved to devote more time to prayer each day. However, without firm conviction, these good intentions risk withering away over the months. However, it is something that should be taken seriously, because a personal relationship with the Lord depends on prayer. With friends, bonds are strengthened by spending time with them, talking and confiding their joys and sorrows. With God, bonds are strengthened in the same way. Discover the secret of Saint Teresa of Avila to pray without ceasing.

The method of Saint Teresa of Avila 

The great Spanish saint knew that it is necessary to combine a life of prayer with the practice of virtues, which are the foundation of spiritual progress. He who wants to achieve holiness, and therefore Paradise, will encounter obstacles on his path which will sometimes cause him to stumble. These obstacles can be external, such as distractions from noise and the environment, or internal, such as personal and worldly attachments, or recurring sins. Saint Teresa of Avila explains that God knows each of your weaknesses and invites you only to desire unity with Him, with “very determined determination”. 

What does she mean by this expression? By this play on words, Saint Teresa of Avila means that one must have a determined objective to achieve. Wanting to pray is already having taken the first step. However, this decision requires a lot of determination to be sustained over time, that is to say, firmness in one’s intentions and the resolution to continue regardless of the obstacles. Making the decision to pray is a courageous choice because achieving it will not always be easy. Praying with “determination” will require perseverance and a lot of love. We must constantly face internal resistance and the temptation to always give priority to other things. Choosing to pray with “very determined determination” also involves an act of faithfulness, allowing oneself to be drawn by God and responding to his calls. Saint Teresa of Avila dedicated her life to prayer and work because she desired nothing more than unity with God. So imitate his example, without further delay and with determination!

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