If you wish to know whether you have made progress, my daughters, here is the measure for each of you: that you consider yourself the most imperfect of all and that you show this belief by actions conducing to the advancement and good of others. Consolations in prayer and ecstasies, visions, or any such favors which the Lord may give are not the signs to look for; we must wait until the next world to understand their value. The knowledge of yourself is current money, an unfailing revenue, an estate in perpetuity; it is no annuity subject to cancellation. Extraordinary favors, however, may come and go. Our true treasure consists in humility, mortification [the process of putting to death our sinful nature], and…perfect obedience.
—Teresa of Avila, Way of Perfection