The Interior Castle by Saint Teresa of Avila
Happy Hanukkah everyone ! :)
I thought I would share a wonderful book that I am embarking on reading ... I feel that I have been divinely guided to read this book and sense a great anticipation in my spirit as I immerse myself in this journey ...
For it's much more than a read... it truly is an experience ...
The Interior Castle by Saint Teresa of Avila is said to be one of the most celebrated works on mystical theology in existence ....
Below is a review that I found summarizing the progression through the differing rooms described in the interior castle.
Ahava Sarah Fischer.
" This is a book about prayer written by Saint Teresa of Avila, a 16th century Carmelite nun, mystic and doctor of the Church.
She presents a model of the human soul as a castle cut from a single diamond.
This castle is divided into seven groups of mansions, beginning at the outer gate and moving inward toward the center.
1) We enter the castle whenever we pray,
for the gate to the outermost mansion is prayer.
(Those who never pray remain in a courtyard outside the gate.)
As we progress in prayer, we move gradually inward through the mansions. Along the way, we discover that our attachment to sin is trailing us in the form of reptiles.
2) We battle our demons in the second mansions, and to win we must call for supernatural assistance from God and the saints who live near Him.
3) The third mansions are the arid deserts of the soul,
and here we must travel lightly and swiftly through, which we accomplish by dropping our heavy self-centeredness.
4) And in the fourth mansions, there are two distinct fountains:
the sweetness that comes from our own prayers, and the consolation that comes from God. In St. Teresa’s model of the soul, I’m guessing this is as far as most ordinary people get. Because…
5 & 6) The fifth and sixth mansions are very strange and mystical.
St. Teresa describes such things as: death-like trances similar to going into a cocoon, raptures and visions of different types, out-of-body experiences, a knowledge of the near presence of Christ or one of the saints, sudden urges to vocally praise God, and an interior burning.
7) In the seventh mansion,
of course, there is the ecstasy of uniting with God, which St. Teresa describes as sacred marriage to a Bridegroom." ~Diane