Sunday 24 October 2021

Saint Teresa of Avila - Jennifer Moorcroft - CTS Great Saints

Saint Teresa of Avila
CTS Great Saints
Jennifer Moorcroft
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860825187
eISBN 9781784692827
CTS Booklet B706

A few years back I stumbled upon the books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. I instantly fell in love with the clear and concise writing. I have read over 200 books from the CTS, and be blessed and benefited from each of them. There are many wonderful series. This is the first volume I have read from the pen of Jennifer Moorcroft, but I will be tracking down others soon. I loved the books in the CTS Great Saints Series. I have already read 14 book in this series and yet had not read any of the 7 from Moorcroft. I have also read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series. And have enjoyed all of them. This volume is an fantastic read, in a wonderful series! As a father of daughters I love learning about female saints and sharing their stories with my girls.

The description on the back of the book is:

“This great Spanish saint (1515-1582), mystic and Doctor of the Church spearheaded the reform of the Carmelite order, founding dozens of new convents in her own lifetime. Admired and disliked in equal measure, her strong will and incredible energy were supplemented by a great human compassion, frankness and sense of humour, and a constant search in prayer for her beloved Christ. Jennifer Moorcroft sets out this inspiring epic with ease, and introduces readers to Teresa's Interior Castle and other writings.”

And the chapters in this little volume are:

Early life
Life at the Incarnation
Saint Joseph’s: the first Convent
Life at St Joseph’s
First Foundations
Storm Clouds over the Reform
Closing years

This was the second biography of Saint Teresa of Avila I have read, the other was Saint Teresa of Avila: Joyful in the Lord by Susan Helen Wallace from the Encounter The Saints Series from Pauline for younger readers. This volume opens with these words:

“In 1920, a Jewish philosopher, Edith Stein, picked up a copy of the Life of a sixteenth century Spanish nun, Saint Teresa of Avila, while staying in the house of a Catholic friend. She stayed up all night reading it, and at the end she said, ‘This is the truth.’ Within a short while she had become a Catholic, and later entered the Discalced Carmelite Order that Teresa had founded. In 1942 she died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

Who was this nun, whose writings have had such a profound influence on generations of souls, especially those seeking a deeper life of prayer, and who in 1970 was declared a Doctor of the Church? As if presciently, it is said that King Philip II of Spain, Teresa’s contemporary, had placed his copy of her Life between the works of Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Augustine, who were both Doctors of the Church.”

Reading this biography was deeply moving and inspiring. This woman lived her life, and her faith to the full. She lived with a level of commitment and service that few today have. The way she lived, endured her cancer and died was an incredible witness of faith. She strove to live in all things for God. 

This volume was published in 2008 and the eBook edition released in 2017. It has since been rebranded as have many of the books in the series that are still in print. It seems every time I read a book from the Catholic Truth Society I find 2 or three others I want to read. I have an ever growing wish list of eBooks, books in print, and books out of print I want to track down. I very much enjoyed reading this volume. I learned a lot, and was challenged. This is another excellent read, in a great series. It is very well written, and leaves me wanting to find the others from this author in the series. It is a great volume in the CTS Great Saints Series. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Jennifer Moorcroft:
A Catholic Response to the Jehovah's Witnesses
Saint Therese of Lisieux and Her Sisters 
When Silence Speaks. The Life and Spirituality of Elisabeth Leseur
The Hidden Light: A Life of Saint Dominic
He is My Heaven: The Life of Elizabeth of the Trinity
God Is All Joy: The Life of St. Teresa of the Andes

In the CTS Great Saints Series:

Books in the CTS Great Saints Series:
Antonio Rosmini - J.B. Midgley
Bernard of Clairvaux - J.B. Midgley
Benedict Patron of Europe - J.B. Midgley
Charles Borromeo - J.B. Midgley
Dominic - J.B. Midgley
Elizabeth of the Trinity The Great Carmelite Saint - Jennifer Moorcroft
Francis de Sales - J.B. Midgley
Gemma Galgani Gem of Christ John Paul Kirkham
George: Patron of England - J.B. Midgley
John Baptist de La Salle - J.B. Midgley
John of the Cross - Jennifer Moorcroft
John Vianney - J.B. Midgley
Louis Marie de Montfort His Life, Message and Teaching - Paul Allerton SMM
Martin de Porres - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
Patrick Missionary to the Irish - Thomas O’Loughlin 

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