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Teresa of Avila: The Book of My Life [Hardcover]

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Item description for Teresa of Avila: The Book of My Life by Tessa Bielecki...

She was the last person anyone would have expected to become a nun, yet she became one of the most famous nuns of all time. She was a brilliant administrator in a world where such vocations were all but closed to women. And above all she combined an astonishing proclivity for ecstatic union with God with down-to-earth practicality and good humor. Teresa of vila (1515-1582) is one of the most beloved of the Catholic saints. Her texts of spiritual instruction, such as The Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection, speak so plainly and eloquently about the interior life that they have become undisputed classics, studied by people of many faiths. In 1562, at the request of the Spanish Inquisition, Teresa sat down to write an account of the mystical experiences for which she had become famous. The result was this book, one of the great classics of spiritual autobiography.

With this fresh translation of The Book of My Life, Mirabai Starr brings the inimitable Spanish mystic to life for a new generation---with contemporary English that mirrors Teresa's own earthy, vernacular Spanish, and that presents us with---four centuries after Teresa's death---someone we feel we know: a woman intoxicated with God yet filled with an overflowing love for the world.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: New Seeds
Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.4"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2007
Publisher   New Seeds
ISBN  1590303652  
ISBN13  9781590303658  

Availability  0 units.

More About Tessa Bielecki

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Tessa Bielecki is Mother Abbess of the Spiritual Life Institute, a Carmelite community with hermitages in Colorado, Nova Scotia, and Ireland. She studied for a career in international relations at Trinity College in Washington, D.C., before entering a monastery in 1967. Mother Tessa is actively involved in Buddhist-Christian dialogs and international initiatives exploring world peace and planetary survival. She is the author of "Teresa of Avila: Ecstasy and Common Sense" and "Holy Daring, " and publisher of Forefront, a quarterly magazine of contemporary spirituality.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Spain
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Saints
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Other Practices > Mysticism

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Reviews - What do customers think about Teresa of Avila: The Book of My Life?

A Story of Who St. Teresa Was NOT...  Sep 7, 2008
As a 30-year student of comparative religion, Eastern philosophy, Judaism and Christianity, I was appalled at this flippant and superficial updating of Saint Teresa's profound spirituality, vibrant sensuality, shrewd expression of courage and feminine shakti. Mirabai Starr styles herself as a seeker of spiritual truth but is clearly just a refugee from her own religious roots. Along the way, she has found that she, like her husband Ganga Das (AKA Jeff Little), can make a decent living by becoming a lay preacher. Ms. Starr asserts that her translation of Teresa's Life aims to revitalize its appeal to the modern world; instead, she eviscerates its passion, attenuates its complex psychology and effects a childishly relativistic, "now-ist" dismissal of its important semiology. Ms. Starr decides that the concept of sin should be amoralized as error ("missing the mark" if murder were merely an incidental miscalibration), that the value of practicing obedience to promote humility is valueless (she changes Teresa's formal address of superiors to simply "you") and that Teresa's self-deprecations are just regrettable sublimations of low self-esteem. Finally, the oppression of women by men in the 16th Century was a fact, but not a relevant one in Teresa's life of love and service.
Very Personal Story  Jun 5, 2008
I am no Bible scholar nor am I a Catholic. I am of the Evangelical corner of Christianity. This is the first biography of any Catholic saint that I've ever read. To me, Teresa's story is very personal and is certainly no coincidence that I read it at this particular time in my life. I have no idea how much of her writing in anguish about how she feels she failed the Lord has been edited out, but after reading the book, I have an understanding that she must have been quite severe on herself. That is often my own struggle. Her story has given me a tremendous amount of encouragement in pleasing the Lord which was my hope when I picked up the book. How you approach this book may depend entirely on the condition of your heart and whether or not you were lead to read about Teresa's life.
Translating St. Teresa for todays seeker  Dec 16, 2007
The beauty and art of Mirabai Starr's translations of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross is her ability to convey their lives and souls and consciousness for today's seeker. The place and time in which Teresa lived is so completely different from even the monastics of our day that to render her every word, including her copious remarks of self-deprecation, would be an injustice to her spirit. She was a free thinker of her day and powerful in a way that was almost unknown for a nun in medieval Spain, but her world was significantly different than anything any of us would experience today, whether we are a monastic or a lay person. Mirabai's greatest triumph is her ability to communicate with the saints through her meditative and prayerful listening heart and to convey their spirit and message to seekers who come from diverse traditions. What comes to mind are the renderings of Rumi by Coleman Barks, the original language, metaphors and nuances of which are simply impossible to translate into contemporary English. It is only by becoming a "drinking buddy" with Rumi that Coleman has been able to bring Rumi's ecstatic poetry into our world. This, i feel, is a genius that Mirabai Starr possesses, to bridge the world of these Spanish mystics and ours so that their aspirations ignite ours. For such a glimpse into the souls of these saints, i am deeply grateful.
A Spiritual Gem for the 21st Century  Jul 31, 2007
Mirabai Starr's review makes Teresa of Avila come alive for the twenty-first century spiritual seeker. Faithfulness to spiritual teachers of the past requires us to hear their voices in the language and images that they would use were they alive today as well as the voice of their own time. The Book of My Life is an invitation to the reader to explore the book of her or his own life and experience God's presence in the ordinary as well as extraordinary moments of life. Mirabai Starr has the gift of enabling the voices of the past to resonate in new and exciting ways for our time. This translation of the Book of My life will awaken today's readers to the spiritual insights of an earlier era and inspire their own spiritual adventures in our time.
Starr's "Book of My Life" Lets St. Teresa Breathe Again  Jul 30, 2007
Mirabai Starr is a gifted interpreter of the Spanish mystics--John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. In her newest endeavor, "The Book of My Life" by Teresa of Avila, Starr reclaims some of Teresa's original passion and integrity as a woman and a powerbroker in the Church at the time. Starr's approach of reading deeply into the original text and liberating it from the bonds of historical patriarchal and doctrinal rectitude allows the reader to know Teresa as the courageous spiritual and social innovator that she was. Starr's window into how Teresa internalizes her visions in prayer and embodies the wounds of Christ will be immediately recognizable to women readers--as will Starr's rendering of how Teresa struggles with authority and power. This is a must read book for women who are rooted in faith and seek to engage the powers of the world.

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