Saint Teresa of Avila

The Interior Castle

The saint wrote this luminous exposition of infused prayer in all its gradations and qualities, while she was suffering from a furious persecution. And yet it breathes that heavenly calmness peculiar to spirits dwelling in the loftier regions of heavenly peace. Like all of her writings she composed this one under a very stringent obedience from her confessor, at that time Canon Velasquez, afterwards Archbishop of Compostella. It is curiously allegorical in its framework; and yet the high topics are very plainly treated of, and they are made as intelligible to ordinary readers as is possible; all the more so, in fact, on account of the comparison she adopts between the stages of the soul's advancement in prayer, and the progress of a guest in a magnificent castle passing from its outer to its interior splendors. The style is familiar, yet the tone is stately, often even majestic. The author sheds a clear light, clear though dazzling, on the vague and distant and ravishingly beautiful states of contemplative prayer
294 printed pages
Original publication


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