ST. TERESA OF AVILA by John Heevers
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ST. TERESA OF AVILA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Heading St. Teresa of Avila is a richly rewarding experience as John Beevers the turbulence of the early sixteenth century world -- the framework within which St. Teresa of Jesus founded the great order of Contemplatives, the Discalced Carmelites St. Teresa, one of the glories of Spain, of the Carmelites and of the Church, emerges as a vivid and complete human being, ""the perfect fusion of the active and contemplative life"", in this absorbing biography whose compelling heroine dominates every page. It is through a skillful use of quotations from her own books, letters and exhortations that John Heevers brings St. Teresa to life as a woman of infinite charm and courage, tireless perseverance and endless energy. ""God deliver me from frowning saints"", she exclaimed to her novices. ""Remember that we middle aged people need to treat our bodies well so as not to wreck the spirit"", she wrote to her brother. ""It is only unnecessary affairs which can come between a soul and God,"" she says, ""and it is a great mistake to imagine we are doing ourselves harm by pursuing our necessary occupations."" Her style of writing in clear and concise, and her book The Interior Castle is quite probably the supreme handbook on mystical theology. In his Storm of Glory John Beevers contributed an outstanding biography of one of St. Teresa's best known followers, St. Therese of Lisloux. Plaudits are again due him for this brilliant treatment of the great woman mystic, the Saint of Avila. The organization man, the harassed housewife -- for that matter any busy modern -- will find in reading this book that they have been introduced to a saint who might well serve as their model.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1961
Publisher: Doubleday