St Teresa's Interior Castle


I obviously don’t know where you are in the Interior Castle, but I can assure you you’re definitely beyond the first chamber. Knowing what it’s like to be in the first chamber . . . it’s like blindness, not praying, not caring, not thinking about God, just thrown here and there by the cares and feelings of the world. It’s hardly in the spiritual life at all. You are spiritually mature though, especially in humility, and your love of God and His Mother makes it absolutely impossible you’re there. I don’t remember the book well enough to recall what’s in the second chamber, so I can’t comment on that much, but I bet you’re further than that too.

I read the book last Lent, and it was a life-changing experience for me. There are two really, really important lessons I took from it. There are others too that have stayed with me, but two really important ones.

The first is that we cannot come up with spiritual experiences ourselves through any special meditation, attentiveness or focusing of the mind. We cannot create that experience for ourselves. St. Teresa talks a lot about how the supernatural experiences just slam people from surprise and we cannot bring them to us or us to them. God just opens His storehouse at whatever time He pleases.

The second lesson I got from it is that what we really need to focus on is developing and practicing virtue. This is the pathway to that union with God. I think that for every single one of the mansions of the soul, she recommends practicing virtue. Virtue is the way to God, expressing love for Him through deeds, through putting aside ourselves and putting Him first in all things, or trying to. That’s the route to God, the true route of spiritual life, and humility is the most important virtue on this path.


I know what you mean :hug1:

Thank you Monica, for your long response. Many things that you mentioned, have crossed my mind. I thought that God was punishing me! And I was going thru…or having a Dark Night of the Soul. I have read everyones responses over again, so that I get the most thoughts.
Jesus is so important to me. Jesus is first. The Eucharist, I love so much and cant live without It. Todays Gospel had me in Tears. It doesnt matter what mansion that I am in, but when I read the Seventh Mansion 1-4, I had to read it over again. It had my name on it. For the last couple yrs. I havent cared to eat much, and I could care less what “stuff” we have around the house. But I am not worthy, I want to be more humble and more prayerful.

I’m sure God sees your heart and is pleased by your love for Him :slight_smile: love amid darkness is the most beautiful type of love, and the strongest. God bless you.


good advice Lief :slight_smile: thanks. After some thought and re-reading the first chapter, I’d have to agree with you that the first mansion is basically - not caring… in the second mansion, you care and are trying to advance in virtue, but it’s difficult… in the third mansion, you start receiving more consolations. I agree that we can’t ‘make ourselves’ get spiritual experiences…it’s all a gift from the Lord :slight_smile: when I started going to Adoration, I noticed that sometimes I’d really feel His presence, and other times I did not… back then I didn’t really know that we shouldn’t focus on feelings. So when I didn’t feel His presence, it was like the most painful thing. Actually it still is, I just know I should respond differently lol. But back then, when I’d feel spiritual dryness I’d try to change that, but nothing worked, until God Himself chose to give me some consolation. I wish I knew that it’s times like that when we grow in faith the most! God knows so much more about our souls than we do :slight_smile:

I however am not good at discerning the state of my soul. I think I lack self knowledge… I think maybe i’m in the 2nd mansion. Perhaps sometimes in the 3rd. But I doubt I’m beyond that. If I ever get a spiritual director who knows about this stuff, I’ll ask :slight_smile: you said I’m spiritually mature, and have humility, and love for God, but - I don’t know brother, I don’t see that :frowning: it seems I’m always battling pride… ugh. I think St Teresa makes such a good point that we need to focus on virtue. That is what I want to do.

God bless!


I’m reading it now. On the 5th mansion. Its good so far. I don’t wish to comment further til I’m finished.

Interested in those who posted comments here over last several years. Have you made any progress over that time period … since taking St.Teresa’s spiritual advice ?

Has anyone tasted 7th Mansion [Heaven] ?


If I recall correctly, it took St. Teresa almost 10 years to reach mansion 6, and between mansion 6 and 7 was nearly another decade.


[quote="beckycmarie, post:25, topic:163548"]

If I recall correctly, it took St. Teresa almost 10 years to reach mansion 6, and between mansion 6 and 7 was nearly another decade.


Residing in Mansion #5, would seem enough. She teaches it is the equivalent of turning from a worm into a beautiful white butterfly. Our transformation from sinful ways into near perfection. We can recognize when we have obtained it ... when we keep the 2 great commandments, can quickly overcome trials and grief in this life, and when we have quit loving ourselves and only wish to please our Lord.

She further writes that we ALL can reach this Mansion ... and if we don't, its our own fault.
"I assure you that it causes me real distress to write in this way because I know how far I am from it myself, and ENTIRELY THRU MY OWN FAULT. For we do not require great favours from the Lord BEFORE WE CAN ACHIEVE THIS; HE HAS GIVEN US ALL WE NEED IN GIVING US HIS SON TO SHOW US THE WAY. ...... But here the Lord asks only two things of us: love for His Majesty and love for our neighbour. It is most important that we should proceed in this matter very carefully, for, if we have attained great perfection here, we have done everything. "

Yet, she also says about Mansion #5 .... even though we must work at it [perfection] ... just like the worm become exquisite butterfly, we don't MERIT IT. Is totally a gift from God, the grace of God to us ... because we ask rightly in His Name, praying for it from obedience - from love for our Saviour.


There's a book study of the Interior Castle going on right now, if anyone wants to join in. It's a wonderful thing to have people's comments on. :)


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