Thus begins Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, one of the most celebrated books ever written by a mystic on abiding in union with Christ. Writing in obedience to the requests of two of her superiors, the humble 16th century Spanish sister protests "...for the love of God, let me get on with my spinning and go to choir...like the other sisters...I am not meant for writing; I have neither the health nor the wits for it."
However, in her pre-coffee-house conversational style, Teresa of Avila charmingly proves to her listeners that she does have the wits for conveying that "the most essential thing is that we should love God..." as she takes us by the hand and lead us on a visually beautiful spiritual journey into the soul, that Interior Castle where Christ abides, and where we may abide with Him in holy, intimate communion.
Christian Classic! This is the measuring stick I read every few years. It's not to be read as a measure for achievement for bragging or boasting but a cultured humility garnered through failing and surrendering into the arms of grace.
It is as if a beautiful peaceful and loving grandma is being ever so truthful and so humble in her writing, you can't help but listen and know she is speaking from a power higher than us. She is not once trying to think she knows anything, but knows the truths from God. Her insights get a little bit too complicated, but at the same time soothing to the soul.
The Interior Castle offers a brilliant framework for self reflection, spiritual maturity, and transformation.
This book is a good companion to works written by St. John of the Cross as both he and St. Teresa of Avila share similar interior insights and perspectives on mystical experience with the Divine.
Ms. Denaker has a good nun voice :) She speaks with clarity and excellent diction. Listening to her is like sitting at the feet of St. Teresa of Avila and listening to her spiritual experience as it was shaped in her particular world view of Catholicism in the 1500's. Yet, what Teresa shares about the mystical experience is timeless! Susan Denaker gets better and better at capturing the nuances of St. Teresa's writing voice as the Castle progresses.
In many ways, yes. You still need the printed book to study, and make notations, but the reader makes it seem as if St. Teresa herself is reading to you.
It is hard in a spiritual classic like The Interior Castle to pick a most memorable moment, for each insight is worth thought and contemplation. Pressed to answer, I have to say the explanation of intellectual visions.
No, I have not, but I will look for her in the future.
The entire book moves me. This is the fourteenth reading for me.
Remember, this was written in the 16th Century, and the frequent references to humans as worms and unworthy is very much 'of the time.' Also, when she says,
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