More about this item
The Interior Castle: or the Mansions
by St. Teresa of Avila
by St. Teresa of Avila
The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila presents a remarkable description of the entire spiritual life from the first release from mortal sin into Sanctifying Grace through the Mystical Marriage of the soul with Christ as a journey through what she called The Interior Castle. She sees the soul as a magnificent castle full of spacious and well-lit rooms or mansions each of which leads deeper into the heart of the castle to the seat of the King. However, St. Teresa laments that most people give all their attention to the outer wall of the castle the body ignoring the beauty of the soul within. St. Teresa gives practical advice regarding the early struggles and the temptations to turn back which beset the beginner. She describes each of the seven mansions and urges us forward to love and serve the Divine Majesty, imparting her absolute conviction that progress toward God through prayer is worth vastly more than all the treasures of this earth.
About the Author:
St. Teresa of Avila was born in 1515 at Avila, Spain, and her mother Beatriz was determined to bring her up as a good Christian. She attempted to find martyrdom by running away from home when she was seven but was promptly stopped by her uncle. She later became a Carmelite nun and began to experience, while suffering from sickness, spiritual ecstasy as a result of reading Francisco de Osuna's Third Spiritual Alphabet. In 1599 she was convinced that she was actually seeing visions of Christ, which continued often for two years. Teresa of Avila founded a good many convents, including at Andalusia, Palencia, and Soria. She is also the author of The Interior Castle, The Way of Perfection, and an Autobiography. She died in 1582 at the age of 67 and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. Her feast is celebrated on October 15.
Item No: TC1517 (Grouped)
Publisher: Saint Benedict Press, LLC
Imprint: TAN Books
Publication Year: 2010
Dimensions: 5.5" X 8.5" X 0.63"
Excerpts From This Book:
"I believe we shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavoring to know God, for, beholding His greatness we are struck by our own baseness, His purity shows our foulness, and by meditating on His humility we find how very far we are from being humble. Two advantages are gained by this practice. First, it is clear that white looks far whiter when placed near something black, and on the contrary, black never looks so dark as to when seen beside something white. Secondly, our understanding and will become nobler and capable of good in every way when we turn from ourselves to God: it is very injurious never to raise our minds above the mire of our own faults." — St. Teresa of Avila, p. 17
"Yet such is the pity and compassion of this Lord of ours, so desirous is He that we should seek Him and enjoy His company, that in one way or another He never ceases calling us to Him . . . God here speaks to souls through words uttered by pious people, by sermons or good books, and in many other such ways. Sometimes He calls souls by means of sickness or troubles, or by some truth He teaches them during prayer, for tepid as they may be in seeking Him, yet God holds them very dear."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p.26
"Perhaps we do not know what love is, nor does this greatly surprise me. Love does not consist
sweetness of devotion, but in a fervent determination to strive to please God in all things, in avoiding, as far as possible, all that would offend Him, and in praying for the increase of the glory and honor of His Son and for the growth of the Catholic Church."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p. 54-5
"We must beg God constantly in our prayers to uphold us by His hand; we should keep ever in our minds the truth that if He leaves us, most certainly we shall fall at once into the abyss, for we must never be so foolish as to trust in ourselves. After this I think the greatest safeguard is to be very careful and to watch how we advance in virtue; we must notice whether we are making progress or falling back in it, especially as regards the love of our neighbor, the desire to be thought the least of all and how we perform our ordinary, everyday duties. If we attend to this and beg Our Lord to enlighten us, we shall at once perceive our gain or loss."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p.98-9
"Do not suppose that after advancing the soul to such a state God abandons it so easily that it is light work for the devil to regain it. When His Majesty sees it leaving Him, He feels the loss so keenly that He gives it in many away from a thousand secret warnings which reveal to it the hidden danger. In conclusion, let us strive to make constant progress: we ought to feel great alarm if we do not find ourselves advancing, for, without doubt, the evil one must be planning to injure us in some way; it is impossible for a soul that has come to this state not to go still farther, for love is never idle. Therefore it is a very bad sign when one comes to a standstill in virtue."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p.99
"Let us not fancy that if we cry a great deal we have done all that is needed—rather we must work hard and practice the virtues: that is the essential—leaving tears to fall when God sends them, without trying to force ourselves to shed them. Then, if we do not take too much notice of them, they will leave the parched soil of our souls well-watered, making it fertile in good fruit; for this is the water which falls from Heaven."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p.147
"Once, while I was wondering why Our Lord so dearly loves the virtue of humility, the thought suddenly struck me, without previous reflection, that it is because God is the supreme Truth and humility is the truth, for it is the
that we have nothing good of ourselves but only misery and nothingness: whoever ignores this, lives a life of falsehood. they that realize this fact most deeply are the most pleasing to God, the supreme Truth, for they walk in the truth."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p. 175-6