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The Way of Transformation: Saint Teresa of Avila on the Foundation and Fruit of Prayer

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The Way of Transformation:
Saint Teresa of Avila on the
Foundation and Fruit of Prayer

Mark O'Keefe, OSB

Offering a fresh perspective on St. Teresa’s thought in her classic, The Way of Perfection, Father Mark O’Keefe draws our attention to the central fact that she considers the virtues—especially love of neighbor, detachment, and humility—as the essential and ever-relevant foundation for her spirituality of prayer.

  • ICS code: WT
  • Format: paperback
  • Pages: 216
  • ISBN: 978-1-939272-39-3


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This very human Doctor of the Church teaches that—whether in the 16th century or the 21st—prayer is intimately and necessarily linked with personal transformation. Authentic prayer is never divorced from our daily living: God, Teresa reminds us, “walks among the pots and pans.”

With attention-catching quotations, helpful questions for personal reflection or group discussion, and its comprehensive index, The Way of Transformation is an excellent resource for any serious student of St. Teresa of Jesus and a must-read for everyone looking to explore Christian spirituality and prayer more deeply and authentically.


About the Author


Fr Mark O'Keefe, OSBMark O’Keefe, OSB, is a Benedictine monk and priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana. He is associate professor of Moral Theology at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology and from 1996-2008 was its president-rector. Currently, in addition to teaching at Saint Meinrad, Father O’Keefe is chaplain to the Discalced Carmelite nuns in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is the author of nine books, on Christian ethics, the priesthood, and Carmelite spirituality. His previous book with ICS Publications, Love Awakened by Love: The Liberating Ascent of Saint John of the Cross, was honored with a 2014 award for excellence from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. Father O’Keefe’s interest in Carmelite spirituality, especially its great teachers, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, has led him to specialized studies in Avila, Spain, over the course of several years.

“The Way of Transformation provides a clear and comprehensive account of the foundation and fruit of prayer, as taught by St. Teresa of Avila, … and clearly manifests the author’s giftedness in communicating his ideas to others.


“Father O’Keefe’s focus in this work is on exploring Teresian Carmelite spirituality through the lens of moral theology, thereby holding together the mystical and ascetical dimensions of the spiritual life…. The book strongly accentuates the fact that authentic prayer necessarily brings about personal transformation.


“The author not only provides us with a masterful account of the key virtues— love of neighbor, detachment, and humility—within the context of Teresa’s day, but, even more helpfully, he grounds them in contemporary life, demonstrating their applicability and relevance for us today. He also offers an insightful account of the particularly Teresian attitude of ‘determination’ which must nurture our resolve to do God’s will, not our own will, at every stage of the spiritual journey.


“The Way of Transformation is a timely, practical, and welcome book. It is not only a work of information, but also a book of formation, assisting us to appropriate more deeply St. Teresa’s spirituality. I certainly profited from reading it, and am sure it will similarly profit greatly all those who wish to acquaint themselves with the spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila, as well as those who are already her disciples.”

Aloysius Rego, OCD
Mt. Carmel Retreat Centre
Varroville, Australia