Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila



Prayer to Teresa of Avila

Thou knowest better than I myself
that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking
I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to
straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Make me thoughtful but not moody;
helpful but not bossy.

With my vast store of wisdom,
it seems a pity not to use it all;
but Thou knowest, Lord,
that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;
give me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips on my aches and pains;
they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them
is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I dare not ask for improved memory,
but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness
when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person
is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places
and talents in unexpected people;
and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

– – – prayer by St. Teresa of Avila

20 thoughts on “Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila”

  1. You have a prayer of Teresa of Avila, but the photography is of Therese of Lisieux, the wrong Teresa. Since Teresa died in 1582, you might want to substitute a painting of her for the photo of Therese of Lisieux.

  2. Hi George, what a beatiful work for God you are doing. keep it up. But have an eye for detail. Where did the prayer of St. Teresa come from? From which of her books? There sound too colloquial and modern? Can you tell me the source. God keep you.
    Fr. Edmund

  3. At the risk that this may have already been called to your attention, I wish to point out that the photograph that accompanies “The
    Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila” is a photo of
    St. Therese of Lisieux, “The Little Flower.”
    Unfortunately, the marvel of photography was unknown in the sixteenth century; we must imagine what that angel of the Lord looked like.

  4. i think this prayer is beatiful. st tersea is going to be my confirmation saint. This is the best prayer i have found so far! :)

  5. I was wondering where you found the prayer that is attributed in your site to St. Teresa of Avila. My daughter used the prayer at a presentation she gave. I want to pass it along but I would like to know where the prayer was found. God bless you.

  6. i love the prayer to St Teresa, the sentiments it discussed reflect myself completely. I cried when i read it because it sounds so much like me. I will use it to guide my life

  7. Dear Georgy
    Thank you for a beautiful SITE which I have shared with many others today. Here is a lovely prayer that St Avila wrote – it was also sung by John Michael Talbot – Thank you for sharing so much of your time in the evangelization mission through media…..
    Jennifer Moonilal South Africa

    Christ Has No Body
    Christ has no body but yours,
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks
    Compassion on this world,
    Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
    Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
    Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
    Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
    Christ has no body now but yours,
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks
    compassion on this world.
    Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

    St Therese of Avila

  8. I have never heard of this prayer by St. Teresa of Avila. Saw a similar prayer card years ago about growing old, but no source. Does not sound like a prayer written by a Cloistered Nun.

  9. Several people asked you where you got the Prayer of St.Teresa of Avila from but you never answered any of them as far as I can see. Where did you get it from ? What was your source?

  10. Come Holy Ghost Creator come and keep the nations free from quotations which are not of You, now and forever world without end. Amen St. Teresa of Avila. St. Cardinal John Henry Newman pray for us.

  11. Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and that you are a sacred letter in Christ? Flee immorality then for every other sin is outside the body.

  12. This is a beautiful prayer, Georgy, full of self-awareness and humility. It is gracious and lovely and might well have been crafted by a modern writer who much admires Teresa de Jesus (but who is not Catholic and would prefer that she wasn’t either. I’m looking at you, Mirabai Starr!)

    I think it was certainly not written by St. Teresa. I’ve read nearly everything Teresa de Jesus wrote that has been translated and published in English, and have neither seen this prayer nor anything like it. I can’t imagine any context in which she would refer to herself (even in gentle self-mockery) as having vast knowledge, or as someone who recites endless details and feels that she must say something on every occasion. Teresa de Jesus was very aware of her faults and not shy about recounting them in her writings, but these are not only not the sort of faults she did have, they would be very dangerous faults for her to have in her time and place. Don’t forget she wrote her Life under order of obedience by her spiritual director and was required to spell out the states of prayer she had experienced. Given her reputation as a mystic, she knew it would be read word by word by the Holy Office, and scrutinized for heretical beliefs. She was at pains to always refer to herself in her writings as an uneducated woman who knew nothing and begged the learned men reading her poor words to correct her if she was mistaken about the slightest teaching of the Church. Many people can’t read Teresa because of this, they find her self-abnegation repugnant. What they don’t realize is–it was an act, and very good one. One of the joys of reading Teresa de Avila is being absolutely plunged into the vast beauty of her descriptions of interior union with God, only to have her pull the rug out from under you with one of these disavowels meant only for the eyes of her inquisitors. There were many men who believed in Teresa and supported her during her lifetime, but it is amazing to think that the ones who didn’t could be silenced with such a transparent stroke to their male egos. Brava, Teresa!

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