Contrary to common belief, saints are not perfect. Saints simply seek Christ more than anyone else. Saints understood the need for Christ in their own lives through their own experiences. St. Teresa of Avila did not live a perfect life, although she strived to after her conversion. St. Teresa, after living in the world, realized her desperate need for a personal relationship with God, but by no means was she perfect.
Teresa Sánchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada lived in Avila, Spain where she was born in 1515 and lived during the Reformation until her death at age 67. She was canonized in 1622, forty years after her death. St. Teresa's grandmother was forced to be converted from a Jew into a Christian during the Inquisition. Without her grandmother’s conversion St. Teresa would never have become a Christian saint. Her parents were Godly people and showed tremendous integrity. They always said their prayers and made sure their twelve children did also. Sadly, at the age of twelve, St. Teresa's mother died giving birth which created a fear in St. Teresa of getting married. St. Teresa had a special relationship with one of her nine brothers named Rodrigo. St. Teresa once said, “When I read about certain women saints who endured martyrdom for the sake of God, I concluded that death was a small price to pay for the utter joy they were given in return when they were whisked away to heaven” (Starr, 2007, p.6). Rodrigo taught St. Teresa all about chivalry and they spent many hours reading about the lives of saints, never thinking St. Teresa would accomplish just that. As a girl, St. Teresa strived to be worthy of God, as did her siblings whom she loved. Instead of acting like she was a princess with the other girls, her and her brother Rodrigo would pretend to be hermits in the back yard. After the death of her mother, St. Teresa lost track of herself and her relationship with God. She started to turn towards worldly pleasures with the help of her cousin. She soon found out how easy it was for one person to change another person for the good or bad.
Her loving father noticed her falling into the ways of the world and decided he would send her for schooling with Augustine nuns in Avila. During her time with the nuns, God sent her a particular nun into St. Teresa’s life who was able to make an impact in the lost girl’s life which changed her life. After leaving the nuns she realized during her illness she could’ve died and would have died with all the sins she had committed in her life. While she was trying to decide to become a nun, St. Jerome’s letters gave her encouragement to stand up to her protective father. Her father did not wish to go in fear he would never see her again. St. Teresa once said, “The best we could get out of him was a reluctant concession that I could do whatever I wanted after he was dead” (Starr, 2007, p.16).
Against her father’s wishes, Teresa ran away to become a nun of the Carmelite Order. Although the convent was crowded, she...