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"In a state of grace, the soul is like a well of limpid water, from which flow only streams of clearest crystal. Its works are pleasing both to God and man, rising from the River of Life, beside which it is rooted like a tree." In her own words, the story of Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), the foundress of the Discalced Carmelites and one of the most influential women in the history of the Catholic Church and of Western Catholic Spirituality. "The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself" is the autobiographical account of Saint Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, a prominent 16th century Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation. Like many of her writings her autobiography has a didactic tone as it intends to instruct the reader on how to live a more devout Christian life in the manner put forth by the Catholic Church. Theresa expresses in beautiful language her deep relationship with God, and her words of wisdom and ever-hopeful outlook have inspired Christians everywhere for centuries. The Spanish Carmelite nun's autobiography provides a perfect entrance point to the world of mental prayer. A classic work of Christian mysticism "The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself" is a must read for anyone seeking a more contemplative life and a closer and more spiritual connection with God through prayer and religious devotion. St. Teresa's warm and personal descriptions of union with God provide a wonderful and accessible starting point for engagement in her life and theology of mysticism and feminine spirituality.