“Let anyone who thirsts come to Me and drink.
Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture says:
‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him.’”
- John 7:37-38

 

When Blessed Pope Paul VI proclaimed St. Teresa the first woman Doctor of the Church on September 27, 1970, he selected one of her many titles as the basis for conferring that honor on her: Teresa of Avila, Teacher of Prayer.

In the Apostolic Letter for the New Millennium at the close of the Year 2000 Jubilee Year, Pope Saint John Paul II pointed to the great relevance of the teachings of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross in the forming of genuine "schools" of prayer in Christian communities for the world today. He recognized that the widespread demand for spirituality today is in fact a rise in the renewed need for prayer.  

He also wrote that St. Teresa’s vocation and her mission was prayer in the Church and with the Church, being a praying community moved by the Holy Spirit to adore the Father in and with Jesus "in spirit and in truth" (Jn 4:23). . . .  For her, a life of prayer is the greatest manifestation of the theological life of the faithful who, believing in the love of God, free themselves from everything to attain the full presence of that love.

In all of her major works ---The Life, The Way of Perfection, The Interior Castle --- she explains the practice of prayer. She began her writings when she was 47 years old after her conversion and had attained much experience in the practice of prayer.

In her opinion, prayer is “nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.”

To be alone with the One who we know loves us, she writes: “we need no wings to go in search of God, but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us!”
It is the going into our heart, our innermost self, that is where we find Him.

Prayer of the Heart and St. Teresa of Avila Part 1
Sr. Donna D’Alia, Religious Sisters of Mercy

This video is the first part of six videos focusing on Prayer of the Heart as St. Teresa of Avila taught us, especially in her book, Way of Perfection. It tells us a little bit about St. Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church, who wrote extensively on her experiences of Prayer of the Heart suitable for beginners through the most advanced stages of prayer which is mystical prayer.



Prayer of the Heart and St. Teresa of Avila Part 2
Sr. Donna D’Alia, Religious Sisters of Mercy

This video speaks about Prayer of the Heart and how to get started according to the way that St. Teresa of Avila would recommend based on her writings. It is good for beginners and those experienced in prayer. It is good for those serious about their spiritual life and also those who pray using the Scriptures.

Prayer of the Heart is a practice that lends itself to contemplation, which according to St. Teresa is "nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us."

Four more videos to follow that explain the deepening of this prayer as explained in St. Teresa's book, the Way of Perfection.



Prayer of the Heart and St. Teresa of Avila Part 3
Sr. Donna D’Alia, Religious Sisters of Mercy

This video is about the first part of Prayer of the Heart according to the Way of Perfection, Chapter 28. St. Teresa refers this to the Prayer of Recollection. In this chapter she talks about quieting our senses from distractions and how one can approach God in prayer.



Prayer of the Heart and St. Teresa of Avila Part 4
Sr. Donna D’Alia, Religious Sisters of Mercy

This video continues the discussion on the Prayer of Recollection, per Chapter 29 of the Way of Perfection. In this chapter St. Teresa talks more about quieting our senses from distractions. She speaks of God in terms of greatness and awe as well as closeness and intimacy. She begins talking about the Our Father and how it relates to Prayer of the Heart.



Prayer of the Heart and St. Teresa of Avila Part 5
Sr. Donna D’Alia, Religious Sisters of Mercy

This video is on Chapter 30 of the Way of Perfection. From the Prayer of Recollection she moves on to speak about the Prayer of Quiet, when God begins to take over in our prayer. She continues to talk about the Our Father and how it relates to Prayer of the Heart.



Prayer of the Heart and St. Teresa of Avila Part 6
Sr. Donna D’Alia, Religious Sisters of Mercy

This video is on Chapter 31 of the Way of Perfection. In this chapter, Teresa continues to talk about Prayer of Quiet, the second part of Prayer of the Heart. She gives wonderful images of God taking over in the soul which is very close to becoming united with him.