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Relief in Loving God – Day 7, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila

What does St. Teresa of Avila have to say about loving God? Find out in today’s excerpt and reflection from 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

30 Days with Teresa of Avila 600x334 God grant you relief in always loving him

Salamanca, December 3, 1573*

To the Father Master Domingo Bañez, Valladolid
The Saint’s loneliness. Advice for Mother Mary Baptist.


. . . I assure you, my Father, that I think my joys are no longer of this world, for I have not got what I want and I do not want what I have. My trouble is caused by my no longer being able to find comfort in my confessors—it must come from something higher than a confessor, for nothing that is less than the soul itself can satisfy its desire. It has been a great relief to tell you this—God grant you may always find relief in loving Him! Tell that insignificant little person, who is so very much concerned as to whether the nuns will vote for her or not, that she interferes too much and is wanting in humility, for both you and we who have the welfare of the convent in view are more interested than the sisters in the choice being a good one. It is truths of this kind that nuns must be made to understand.

Remember me most kindly to Señora Doña María when you see her, for it is a long time since I wrote to her. It is a great mercy that her health should be better in such bitterly cold weather. I believe that today is December 3.

Your Reverence’s daughter and servant,




Teresa de Jesus


Detachment: The more deeply we grow in the interior life, the less need we have of earthly consolations—those good feelings we get from having even the positive or pleasurable things that are worthy of having in this life.

This process of denudation begins with detachment from material wants and needs, and typically lessens our hold on places, things, and even people. Though we continue to love and appreciate people (always more deeply than before), we no longer need them. Instead, we love with a more pure love that has little self-interest or benefit.

Often in this process we begin to cling to pieces of heaven provided us here on earth: our time in prayer and the sacraments, our spiritual directors, our retreats and holy objects. But ultimately, even these things fail to bring us comfort as our hearts yearn for the ultimate reality that all of these created things lead us to, and that ultimate uncreated reality is God Himself.

Sometimes the absence of consolation in creation (even in the hearts of holy people) can cause distress. This distress comes in the form of aridity, loneliness, and other manifestations of a kind of longing. But when we understand the reasons behind this longing, we know, as St. Teresa knows, that we are ready to be tested in true love—a love that seeks nothing other than the will of the Beloved.

Only in this more perfect self-giving do we find some sense of true satisfaction that in some way mirrors the complete reality we will know in eternity. However, our longing will never be completely satisfied until we see Him face to face—until we fully love and we are fully loved because we “know as we are fully known” (1 Cor 13:12).

*Teresa of Avila, Letters, vol. 1. The beginning of this letter is missing.


If you would like to read all of these letters and reflections, please click here and purchase 30 Days with Teresa of Avila from Emmaus Publishing.

Listen to the conversation on Divine Intimacy Radio. The conversation about Day 7 begins at 13:10.

Teresa of Avila’s signature courtesy of Carmelite Monastery, Terre Haute, Indiana.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • MG

    I have a problem loving God for a while now. Basically after years of unresolved problems I emotionally have a lot of visceral anger toward God that is irrational and interferes with my prayer life to the point where I can’t. I tell myself feelings don’t matter but prayers inadvertently turn to curses, even during mass.

    • LizEst

      I recommend you make an appointment to talk to a priest about this…and please be sure to tell him everything, particularly the part about prayers turning into curses. There are also Catholic therapists who can help. As well, if your prayers are turning into curses, even during Mass, then this might indicate some kind of demonic obsession or oppression. You need knowledgeable, expert help to sort through this. Here is a site which will help you find a Catholic therapist: http://www.catholictherapists….

      • MG

        Thanks, I will take steps toward both your suggestions.

        • LizEst

          ; )

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