St Teresa of Avila lived in Spain in the 16th Century. She often referred to herself as a butterfly, he attention would spring from place to place, and this frustrated her. Despite her own self-deprecation she lived an extraordinary life. She wrote several books and founded more than a dozen religious houses. She was often broke and living on the edge but she kept going.

Her core belief about her nuns was that they could achieve a spiritual union with God. She wrote extensively about the journey of a maturing soul and about the spiritual practices which she recommends. The Interior Castle, one of her books, is still very much read today.

Teresa sits in that difficult place between offering a lot of practical advice and understanding that God does not always do things in the same order – so her suggestions are not formulaic in the sense that they are a magic pill for spiritual freedom. As with many spiritual writers Teresa does not offer a complete solution for our whole spiritual journey but she may speak deeply to some parts of it.

“Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience changes everything.” Teresa of Avila