If you google St. Teresa of Avila (or St. Teresa of Jesus, another name for her), you will find many of her famous quotes. Some readers of the Art2Pray book, Coloring Meditations for a Full Life have asked why more well known quotes don’t appear. Here is are some answers – and an inside scoop on the process of writing and drawing.
WHY these quotes? At some point, we all will have a longing to understand another person well enough to benefit from his or her wisdom, despite any differences. With regard to St. Teresa, three main differences might exist between you and her: 1) language 2) the almost 500 years separating us – society is totally different! 3) different vocations in life. A student of Spanish language, and a reader of the English translations, can lessen the language barrier. Those same studies could give enough information to lessen the barriers of time and societal changes, although those are almost impossible to eliminate. A lay person has a different vocation than a member of a religious order, yet both are called to seek God and in Him, that barrier can be lessened, also. A HUGE help to getting to understand someone is getting to know them by spending time with them, and learning about their daily patterns, who their other friends were, and how they spent time. Reading St. Teresa’s life, seeing where she was baptized and grew up, and traveling some of the same roads she traveled as she opened the different convents gives a special view into her life, a different view from the famous quotes view. Enjoy this personal view of her life.
HOW did you pick them? Reading and praying! And traveling to Avila several times. In addition, taking a course about her and attending webinars about her helped. Reflecting and writing in Notability also aided a deeper understanding of her work. Finally, hearing people say they tried to read her work, but just didn’t get anywhere showed that people needed a simple way to go deep into who she was to figure out how her life could improve their lives. Through the years, St. Teresas has become a friend and a companion who I will greet with joy in heaven by the grace of God! By the photo, you can see many of her words touched me. When I went to put them into a book, two priorities became clear: 1) which words made an image or reminded me of Avila 2) which words had made me cry or feel her presence deeply. It is the deeply personal, small things you would know about a friend that helped me realize her wisdom, and these are what this book makes plain for readers. And that is how the “cut” was made!