LETTER OF ST. JOHN OF AVILA TO ST. TERESA OF AVILA
May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be ever with you.
I consented to read your book which was sent me, not so much because I considered myself competent to judge of such matters, as because I thought that, by the grace of God; its teaching might benefit me. Although I have had no leisure to study it as thoroughly as it deserves, yet, thanks be to God, it has given me great consolation, and it will be my own fault if it does not profit my soul. On my own account it might suffice to say no more about it, yet I think the gravity of the subject and the respect due to the person who sent it, require me to express my opinion of it, at least In general terms.
It is not a book proper for everyone to read -- the language requires to be corrected in some places and to be made clearer in others. There are things in it which, though useful to you in your own spiritual life, would not do for everyone to practice, for God guides some souls along extraordinary paths which are not intended for others. I have noted most of these passages and will arrange them for you as soon as possible, and send them to you without fail. If you knew the infirm state of my health, and how I am constantly employed in many necessary duties, you would, I am sure, be more inclined to pity me, than to accuse me of neglect...