Teresa of Avila

The Book of My Life
Length: 15 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) is one of the most beloved of the Catholic saints. In 1562, during the era of the Spanish Inquisition, Teresa sat down to write an account of the mystical experiences for which she had become famous. The result was this book, one of the great classics of spiritual autobiography. 

With this fresh translation of The Book of My Life, Mirabai Starr brings the inimitable Spanish mystic to life for a new generation, with contemporary English that mirrors Teresa's own earthy, vernacular Spanish, and that presents us with - four centuries after Teresa's death - someone we feel we know: a woman intoxicated with God yet filled with an overflowing love for the world.

©2007 Mirabai Starr (P)2018 Random House Audio
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    5 out of 5 stars

In her own words....

A must listen and a must read. The narrator does a wonderful job. She reads as if St. Teresa of Avila is sitting and conversing with you.

8 people found this helpful

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Not the words of St. Teresa of Avila

The translator took enormous liberties and removed all Catholicity from St. Teresa of Avila, whom is one of the doctors of the Church. Mirabai Starr watered down St. Teresa’s personal story, and removed words like “sin,” to not offend readers who are not Catholic. Don’t believe me? Ms. Starr says so in the foreword. St. Teresa of Avila was a bold woman, and true and faithful believer of Christ. She was not one to mince words when it came to the repentance of sins, and following Christ Jesus. Thus, I believe it’s an injustice to modify the testimony of her faith to accommodate the delicate sensibilities of present day readers, in order to make her “more appealing.”

7 people found this helpful

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A true inspiration

I am not catholic and this is one of my favorite books to listen to. I’m going back and listen again. It’s so full of lessons to ponder it can be read/listed to many times. Get it. You won’t be sorry.

6 people found this helpful

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An excellent book read by an excellent narrator!

About this book:
I found this book a great blessing in my spiritual path that the Lord is leading me. This reassures the little experiences that I had and more that i would expect on the way. It throws great light on how holy and dedicated people were and are for God. It show how gracious and merciful He is to Love and lead us if we give him the opportunity.

Narrator:
I would quickly touch upon the performance of the narrator. She had done an excellent job in narrating as if we hear from the author itself with all the expressions. It was very pleasant to hear through the whole book without any pain. I would love to find another autobiography (maybe other books as well) read by the author and listen to it.

5 people found this helpful

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Basically an abriged version of the original

Seriously the translation is awful. It's quite obvious that the translator is making a concerted effort to sanitize Teresa of Avila's more challenging facets. Most egregiously, the translator often chooses the translate the word "pecado" which means "sin" into the phrase "missing the mark" which certainly sounds less scary than "sin."

This isn't the only problem, she also chooses in many instances to straight up drop Teresa of Avila's remarks of self-deprecation, which in the original text illustrate her penitent spirit and dependence on grace. Along the same lines, the translator will at times editorialize and cut back on the original version's praises for Christ, whom Teresa spoke to as a husband and addressed with deep devotion.

I am lucky that I speak and read Spanish and can easily go to the original Spanish. I tried this version because I wanted an audiobook I could listen in the car and figured an English version would be better produced than a Spanish version, but the above mentioned problems were so frequent and egregious I just resolved to reading the book in its original spanish instead of listening to this terrible translation.

Avoid if you want to get to know the real Teresa of Avila. It's fine if you want to get a general idea of who she was but be aware this is a kind of hippie, sanitized version of the true text.

3 people found this helpful

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Great performance

So this book is a very Catholic book who will almost exclusively be read by a Catholic audience though the translater who isn’t Catholic translates the word sin on several occasions as “missing the mark” or“transgression”. Also translates Devil many times as Spirit of evil.. why she does this? I do not know if it’s for personal reasons or if she’s trying to tone down the book for a more secularized audience. At least she’s Honest and states she is doing so and I would retranslate it in my head when listening.

That being said the narrator is amazing and really brings Teresa to life and I felt as if St Teresa were speaking to me herself in a conversation. For that reason alone is why I picked this version among the few offered here on Audible. Great book I thoroughly enjoyed it

3 people found this helpful

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Translation uses "inclusive language"

I wish I had heard the comments of the translator before buying this book. She clearly states she took liberties with the translation in referring to God, Spirit, Satan, etc. She admits freely to using "inclusive language" to not exclude readers. Sorry, Mirabai, Saint Teresa would not agree with your inclusive language. As she is a great doctor of the Church, your creative liberties detracted from- not added to- her work. This is greatly offensive and disrespectful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • G
  • 01-18-20

Profound

Profound description of situations in her life, specially joys and obstacles of the foundation of the discalced Carmelite order. Deep sharing of emotions, doubts and reassurances of faith as well as interactions with Our Lord in moments of rapture.
Teresa’s life is a great companion and a soul mate in tribulations of faith.

1 person found this helpful

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Truth Be Told

Lovely Writing By a Beautiful Saint! Amazing Words For That Time Period as a woman.

1 person found this helpful

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A blessed soul no doubt

There are a variety of experiences depicted here that are of great value for some on the spiritual path, although each one path is his own.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-07-20

The Wrong Reader

This is a beautiful book, but the reader is all wrong in her tone. She makes the character of the author sound proud and vain, cocksure and possibly sometimes deceitful, maybe deluded. There is much wisdom and care in this book, but I bristled at the delivery. I thought that this must have been who St Teresa was until I went to the printed page where I found her to be wise, humble, funny, gentle and engaging. I would encourage people to stay away from this recording.

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  • L
  • 04-22-19

Absolutely horrific butchering of a Catholic Saint’s life

This book contains commentary by non-Catholic feminists who describe Saint Teresa as ‘ravishing’ and imply that she uses feminine allure to influence male clergy into changing Catholic tradition!

It is insulting to Catholics and to Saint Teresa.

Horrible. Do not buy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-23-19

Problems with Translation

I have no problems with the book itself, but the Translator takes far too many liberties to mke it more accessible to non Christians and to appease her feminist friends, ruining the work in the process.

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  • Apablaza Carrasco
  • 09-21-18

Great

The book is great, the narration fantastic the translation superb, except the translations of sin into "missing the mark", mortal sin into "grave error". It is a small but big thing. All sin is error, not all error is sin. Etc. But overall fantastic audiobook!!