TERESA of Avila wrote somewhere in her memoires:

“Remember that you have only one soul

that you have only one death to die

that you have only one life…

If you do this, there will be many things

about which you can do nothing.”

Teresa of Avila is a mystique and a reformer in the Carmelite Order in the sixteenth century. She doesn’t have any inferiority complex.

With courage and a great ability to communicate, she often faces hopeless situations. She knows what she wants and she achieves that, but never without her relationship with the Lord and Majesty. In the same time she speaks very often with humility, as a guideline in her own life and also as an advice to her sisters. Humility is for her a virtue for adults, more than for the youth; for there is a world of experiences under this.

That experience concerns the past that we are people who are unique in relation to God, known and loved, but on the other hand – and that is what matters now – in comparison with the Infinite we are very small beings. Who does not want to see this truth is, according to her, a conceited person.

Teresa says this much stronger: such a person lives in a lie, she repeatedly writes. Humility has to do with a sense of reality, of truth, the truth is his or her relationship with the endless greater God. You don’t see that immediately, that requires a life experience.

Humility is something that is difficult to acquire, not something that you have just like that. Just because that virtue is relational, therefore more than a knowledge of a state of affairs. Theresa writes “Truth” with a capital letter.

When one day I asked myself why the Lord so loves the virtue of humility, it appeared to me, I think without a previous thinking, all of a sudden it was clear: God is the highest Truth. And being humble means walking in the truth. It is something very good to know that we from ourselves have nothing that is good. We are only misery and nothing else. Who does not recognize this, lives in a lie, and the more you become pleasing to the highest Truth. Because then you live in there.

It pleases God, sisters, to give us the grace and to never walk away from this knowledge of oneself. Amen. (The inner Castle VI, no. 7)

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