Favourite Quotes from Dubay’s Fire Within

From the book: Dubay, Thomas. Fire Within: St. Teresa of 
Avila, St. John of the Cross, and the Gospel—On Prayer. 
San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989. Print.

St. Teresa of Avila


“If a person does not think Whom he is addressing, and what he is asking for, and who it is that is asking and of Whom he is asking it, I do not consider that he is praying at all even though he be constantly moving his lips.” (IC, mans. 4, chap. 1, p. 32; KR, no. 7, p. 286).

“If you would progress a long way on this road and ascend to the Mansions of your desire, the important thing is not to think much, but to love much.”  (IC, mans. 4, chap. 1, p. 76)

“Everything we gain comes from what we give” (Way, chap. 33, p. 218).

“Love is the measure of our ability to bear crosses” (Way, chap. 32, p. 213)

“I cannot help feeling the pity of it when I see how much we are losing, and all through our own fault. For, true though it is that these are things which the Lord gives to whom He will, He would give them to us all if we loved Him as He loves us.” ~ IC, mans. 6, chap. 4, p. 154; ; KR, no. 12, p. 383.

“Believe me, it is not length of time spent in prayer that brings a soul benefit: when we spend our time in good works, it is a great help to us and a better and quicker preparation for the enkindling of our love than many hours of meditation.” ~ Foundations, chap. 5, p. 26; KR, no. 17, p. 123.

“If any one of you receives high favours, let her look within herself and see if they are producing these effects, and, if they are not let her be very fearful, and believe that these consolations are not of God, Who, as I have said, when He visits the soul, always enriches it” ~ Way, chap. 36, p. 244; KR, no. 13, p. 182.`

St. John of the Cross



“Perfect transformation is impossible without perfect purity” ~ A, bk. 2, chap. 5, pp. 115–18.

“To reach satisfaction in all desire its possession in nothing. To come to possess all desire the possession of nothing. To arrive at being all desire to be nothing … For to go from all to the all you must deny yourself of all in all … In this nakedness the spirit finds its quietude and rest” ~ no. 11, pp. 103–4.

“O souls,” he proclaims, “created for these grandeurs and called to them! What are you doing? How are you spending your time?”

“Oh, what a difficult thing I ask You, my true God: that You love someone who doesn’t love You, that You open to one who doesn’t knock, that You give health to one who likes to be sick and goes about looking for sickness. You say, My Lord, that You come to seek sinners; these, Lord, are real sinners.” ~ Soliloquy 8, no. 3, p. 380.

“Suffering for God is better than working miracles.” ~ no. 13, p. 682.



Fr. Thomas Dubay


“Zen contemplation and Hindu meditation can be produced by techniques, but Christian communion is entirely a love matter wrapped up with the Cross” (126).

“Contemplation is no ivory-tower matter” (127).

“Only the free can love, and only the completely free can love unreservedly” (131).

“We have one sole purpose in life: the ultimate, enthralling vision of the Trinity in glory, in our risen body” (135).

“Unrest is the omnipresent accompaniment of earthly pursuits” (139).

“Contemplation and self-indulgence do not mix. The Cross and worldly pleasures do not mix. If the former is to be genuine, it requires the support of fasting, discipline and silence” (154).

“Thus all structures in the Church—institutions, priesthood, curias, chancery offices, books and candles and all else—are aimed at producing this abundance of life, this utter immersion in triune splendor, this transforming union” (197).

“Like the Church in her canonization processes, we are to judge our advancement not by visions or other extraordinary phenomena but by the perfection with which we live the Gospel: humility, obedience, love, patience, chastity, honesty, kindliness and all else” (268).

“This tasting of the All is the biblical “one thing”, the better part that cannot be taken away, the fire within that cannot be extinguished, the dark immersion of time that dissolves in the emerging brightness of eternal day” (305).

“No matter how skilled one may be in business or medicine or science or law or athletics, if the mind does not thrill in truth, and if the heart is not intertwined in an eternal embrace, there can be no realistic fulfillment” (305).

“Contemplative depth and existential boredom are incompatible” (312).


  1. Denise Wharton says:

    How true the cure and essence of being is LOVE ❤️! Thank you Richard. I love you much you holy man . Love your spiritual Mama

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Richard, it’s you! I’ve been looking around the blog, trying to find if it’s you or another with the same name. You have hidden yourself very well! Of course it had to be you- an old soul in a young body- who loves books! THANK YOU for summarizing many great reads. I recommended Fire Within to a friend and just sent her your tips. Already you are a priest of God, blessing many. I wish you only and always the “one thing”. Love & prayers, Angie

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