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The Intimate Sharing of Friends: Saint Teresa of Ávila on Prayer

Product Description

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The Intimate Sharing of Friends

Saint Teresa of Ávila on Prayer

Mark O'Keefe, O.S.B.

St. Teresa of Ávila is the Doctor of Prayer. This special title—given to her when she was declared the first female Doctor of the Church—signifies that her teaching on prayer is to be universally cherished among the eminent doctrines of the Catholic Church. The cornerstone of Teresa’s teaching is her profound discovery that prayer “is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends.” The spiritual life is demystified when we understand our lifelong journey in prayer as the deepening of our relationship “with Him who we know loves us” (Life 8.5).

In The Intimate Sharing of Friends, Father O’Keefe presents an overview of St. Teresa’s teaching on prayer while emphasizing its relational aspect. For Teresa, the spiritual life consists of the degrees to which we are attentive and receptive to God’s presence within us. Like all relationships, this supernatural friendship profoundly changes us. O’Keefe guides us through Teresa’s various analogies and explanations of the soul’s personal transformation as it journeys from friendship with God to a more supernatural and deeply intimate union with him. Throughout, O’Keefe directs us to Teresa’s insistence that this transformation is measured not by its extraordinary effects, but by our growth in virtue—especially in charity.

Supporting the book's central theme is a clear explanation of Teresa’s teaching on the transition from active to more contemplative forms of prayer. In an excursus, the author offers a critical comparison between contemporary contemplative practices and St. Teresa’s perennial teaching. As always, Father O’Keefe draws on scholarly sources and provides an engaging resource for anyone who desires to become an authentic student of St. Teresa’s school of prayer.

  • ICS code: ICS-ISF
  • Format: paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • ISBN: 978-1-939272-96-6

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