The Way of Prayer

A Commentary on Saint Teresa's Way of Perfection

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This acclaimed commentary on Saint Teresa of Avila's classic work, Way of Perfection, discusses the various forms of Christian prayer, with an emphasis on Teresa's meditation on the Our Father. The author, a renowned expert on Carmelite spirituality, includes many quotations from Saint Teresa and Saint John of the Cross, which have been conformed to the most current authorized translations.

Teresa of Avila reformed the Carmelite order in the sixteenth century. Seeing Teresa in deep prayer, her first companions asked her to teach them how to pray. The apostles made the same request of Jesus: "Teach us to pray." Jesus answered by teaching the Our Father. Teresa responded to her sisters by writing Way of Perfection, which contains an extended commentary upon the Lord's Prayer. As Jesus did in his Sermon on the Mount, Teresa, in her Way of Perfection, first teaches the necessary dispositions for prayer before teaching the different kinds of prayer.

Named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970, Teresa united not only prayer and the apostolate, but contemplation and the apostolate, for contemplation is a particular kind of prayer that tends toward the most sublime intimacy with our Lord.

Father Gabriel

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., (1893–1953), was a Carmelite priest and a revered master of the spiritual life. He was an expert in the spiritual and mystical doctrine of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. He is the author of Divine Intimacy, a four volume series published in a digital format by Ignatius Press, which offers daily meditations arranged according to the liturgical season.


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"Father Gabriel's book beautifully explains the way of Saint Teresa in showing us how to pray. He uses the experience of his monastic community to provide a reliable guide for all Christians to draw closer to God by contemplative prayer."
— Father Joseph Koterski, S.J., Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University

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