The first thing I admire about Teresa after reading this overly verbose mystical classic, is the question posed to us by our preceptor concerning the author, "In the midst of the Catholic Counter-reformation, was Teresa a Good Catholic or a Good Protestant?" Exploring this question yielded no easy answer and no decisive conclusion. I like this about Teresa. I like that the Catholic Church (then, and by extension, the "Church" now) was big enough for her differing methods, eccentricity, and faithful dissent. I also admire the "reforms" she and the rest of her Spanish contemporaries enacted (Ignatius, St. John of the Cross...). Most of these had less to do with published treatises and more with creative and passionate pursuit of God. We can't all necessarily agree on every point of her theology, but there is no denying the humility, experience and discernment present in her life with God.
"Let nothing trouble you
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things pass away. God never changes.
Patience obtains everything. God alone suffices."
Solo Dios Basta