Interpersonal Friendship A Prerequisite to Mystical Contemplation, according to St. Teresa of Avila

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Francis Fernandez
Joy Francis


Teresa of Avila, interpersonal friendship, spiritual love, prayer, love of neighbor


Teresa of Avila, a 16th-century Carmelite nun known as a teacher of the mys-tical life, proposed interpersonal friendship as one of the prerequisites for the life of prayer. She envisaged prayer as an interpersonal relationship with the triune God and considered interpersonal friendship among the aspirants of prayer as essential. For her, prayer was the practical fruit of the sisterly rela-tionship lived in the community. With mystical contemplation as destination, an attempt is made to bring out the nuances of Teresa’s thoughts on the need for friendship for prayer, the right form of love, and the atmosphere required to nurture such love.


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