List of chapters: The Way of Perfection

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St. Teresa of Avila: The Way of Perfection

List of Chapters

Chapter 1
Of the reason which moved me to found this convent in such strict observance

Chapter 2

Treats of how the necessities of the body should be disregarded and of the good that comes from poverty

Chapter 3

Continues the subject begun in the first chapter and persuades the sisters to busy themselves constantly in beseeching God to help those who work for the Church. Ends with an exclamatory prayer<

Chapter 4

Exhorts the nuns to keep their Rule and names three things which are important for the spiritual life. Describes the first of these three things, which is love of one's neighbour, and speaks of the harm which can be done by individual friendships

Appendix to Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Continues speaking of confessors. Explains why it is important that they should be learned men

Chapter 6

Returns to the subject of perfect love, already begun

Chapter 7

Treats of the same subject of spiritual love and gives certain counsels for gaining it

Chapter 8

Treats of the great benefit of self-detachment, both interior and exterior, from all things created

Chapter 9

Treats of the great blessing that shunning their relatives brings to those who have left the world and shows how by doing so they will find truer friends

Chapter 10

Teaches that detachment from the things aforementioned is insufficient if we are not detached from our own selves and that this virtue and humility go together

Chapter 11

Continues to treat of mortification and describes how it may be attained in times of sickness

Chapter 12

Teaches that the true lover of God must care little for life and honour

Chapter 13

Continues to treat of mortification and explains how one must renounce the world's standards of wisdom in order to attain to true wisdom

Chapter 14

Treats of the great importance of not professing anyone whose spirit is contrary to the things aforementioned

Chapter 15

Treats of the great advantage which comes from our not excusing ourselves, even though we find we are unjustly condemned

Chapter 16

Describes the difference between perfection in the lives of contemplatives and in the lives of those who are content with mental prayer. Explains how it is sometimes possible for God to raise a distracted soul to perfect contemplation and the reason for this. This chapter and that which comes next are to be noted carefully

Chapter 17

How not all souls are fitted for contemplation and how some take long to attain it. True humility will walk happily along the road by which the Lord leads it

Chapter 18

Continues the same subject and shows how much greater are the trials of contemplatives than those of actives. This chapter offers great consolation to actives

Chapter 19

Begins to treat of prayer. Addresses souls who cannot reason with the understanding

Chapter 20

Describes how, in one way or another, we never lack consolation on the road of prayer. Counsels the sisters to include this subject continually in their conversation

Chapter 21

Describes the great importance of setting out upon the practice of prayer with firm resolution and of heeding no difficulties put in the way by the devil

Chapter 22

Explains the meaning of mental prayer

Chapter 23

Describes the importance of not turning back when one has set out upon the way of prayer. Repeats how necessary it is to be resolute

Chapter 24

Describes how vocal prayer may be practised with perfection and how closely allied it is to mental prayer

Chapter 25

Describes the great gain which comes to a soul when it practises vocal prayer perfectly. Shows how God may raise it thence to things supernatural

Chapter 26

Continues the description of a method for recollecting the thoughts. Describes means of doing this. This chapter is very profitable for those who are beginning prayer

Chapter 27

Describes the great love shown us by the Lord in the first words of the Paternoster and the great importance of our making no account of good birth if we truly desire to be the daughters of God

Chapter 28

Describes the nature of the Prayer of Recollection and sets down some of the means by which we can make it a habit

Chapter 29

Continues to describe methods for achieving this Prayer of Recollection. Says what little account we should make of being favoured by our superiors

Chapter 30

Describes the importance of understanding what we ask for in prayer. Treats of these words in the Paternoster: "Sanctificetur nomen tuum, adveniat regnum tuum". Applies them to the Prayer of Quiet, and begins the explanation of them

Chapter 31

Continues the same subject. Explains what is meant by the Prayer of Quiet. Gives several counsels to those who experience it. This chapter is very noteworthy

Chapter 32

Expounds these words of the Paternoster: "Fiat voluntas tua sicut in coelo et in terra." Describes how much is accomplished by those who repeat these words with full resolution and how well the Lord rewards them for it

Chapter 33

Treats of our great need that the Lord should give us what we ask in these words of the Paternoster: "Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie."

Chapter 34

Continues the same subject. This is very suitable for reading after the reception of the Most Holy Sacrament

Chapter 35

Describes the recollection which should be practised after Communion. Concludes this subject with an exclamatory prayer to the Eternal Father

Chapter 36

Treats of these words in the Paternoster: "Dimitte nobis debita nostra"

Chapter 37

Describes the excellence of this prayer called the Paternoster, and the many ways in which we shall find consolation in it

Chapter 38

Treats of the great need which we have to beseech the Eternal Father to grant us what we ask in these words: "Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo." Explains certain temptations. This chapter is noteworthy

Chapter 39

Continues the same subject and gives counsels concerning different kinds of temptation. Suggests two remedies by which we may be freed from temptations

Chapter 40

Describes how, by striving always to walk in the love and fear of God, we shall travel safely amid all these temptations

Chapter 41

Speaks of the fear of God and of how we must keep ourselves from venial sins

Chapter 42

Treats of these last words of the Paternoster: "Sed libera nos a malo. Amen." "But deliver us from evil. Amen."

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