Teresa of Avila is another leader who inspires me. Like Shackleton, I’ve been considering her work for nearly a decade, and I never get tired of her story. Teresa became a leader in 15th century Spain, a time when women were expected to know their place. She was a mystic in a time when mysticism was suspect. Yet through savvy, charm and sheer determination, she reformed her Carmelite order, navigated the challenges of the Inquisition, and wrote books about the spiritual life which are still read today. She was the first woman declared a Doctor of the Catholic Church.
Here’s a beautiful image of Teresa by Robert Lentz. I have this picture in my office, and I look at it every day.