Reading: The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Vol I, Kavanaugh and Rodriguez, “Book of Her Life,” Chapters 39 and 40

Discussion Questions:

  1. Teresa continues her analysis of prayer and its benefits for the soul in chapter 39.   She shares understandings that she gained from her visions and from her experiences. In the first paragraph, Teresa describes an insight that she received from a vision of  the crucified Lord.  Why do you think Teresa felt that it was important to describe this?
  2. Later in the chapter, Teresa shares an experience with her prayer of petition.  She  separates her prayer into two forms.  Identify and explain each form.
  3. Teresa states, “We think we can measure our progress by the number of years during which we have been practicing prayer.”  She goes on to say that this idea will not  persist for very long.  In your own words, describe how progress in prayer is  measured.
  4. In the beginning of Chapter 40, Teresa describes a beautiful experience she had in prayer.  She tells us that because of this experience she understood the concept of TRUTH.  Describe the situation that occurred and share her definition of TRUTH.
  5. Teresa spends some time describing God as she knows and understands Him from her experiences, from her visions, and from theologians such as St. Augustine.  Write the description of God that Teresa has given you.


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