"...the door to this castle is prayer. " -- St. Teresa of Avila


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The phrase used for the title of this thread are words taken from the book, “The Interior Castle” by St. Teresa of Avila. If you have never read this spiritual classic, I encourage you to read it.

Yesterday, I began re-reading this book and found that phrase in Chapter 1. Let me give you a “taste” in quoting from Chapter 1 - paragaphs 5, 6 and 7:

5…getting back to our beautiful and delightful castle we must see how we can enter it. It seems I am saying something foolish. For if this castle is the soul, clearly one doesn’t have to enter it since it is within oneself. How foolish it would seem were we to tell someone to enter a room he is already in. But you must understand that there is a great difference in the ways one can be inside the castle. For there are many souls who are in the outer courtyard – which is where the guards stay – and don’t care at all about entering the castle, nor do they know what lies within that most precious place, nor who is within that most precious place, nor haw many rooms it has…

6…a very learned man told me that souls who do not practice prayer are like people with paralyzed or crippled bodies; even though they have hands and feet. Thus there are souls so ill and so accustomed to being involved in external matters that there is no remedy, nor does it seem they can enter within themselves…

  1. In so far as I can understand the door of entry to this castle is prayer and reflection…

Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount, also speaks of a “door” which needs to be opened, in regard to prayer when He says: “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will open for you…” (cf Mt 7:7-11)


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I’ve continued to re-read St. Teresa’s book, “The Interior Castle”, with great profit. I’d be grateful to hear from others who may also have read or are currently interested in reading or hearing more words of wisdom, this holy woman learned from God for the Church.


This snippet alone is of so great a help and may, God willing enter someone into the true grace of salvation that comes from prayer. This is the first time I have read this quote and thank you so so much for sharing x


Dear “hergratefulchild”,

Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, I think many people have not truly heard Gos’s Word as He calls us to “be Holy as I am Holy”, nor have they heard Jesus in his sermon on the Mount tell us to how to pray. Nevertheless, God continues to teach us, if we would listen to Him as He reveals Himself through Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church.

I hope you will perhaps read the whole of St. Teresa’s book, “The Interior Castle” and read it more than once if you have already read it. Thanks again for your reply, and may God continue to guide us all through Mary to become the saints we are called to be for love of Him and for the building up of His Body the Church.

A favorite prayer of mine is this one by Fr. Jean Jacques Olier, S.S. (1608-1657)

O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in Your servants, in the spirit of holiness, in the fullness of Your power, in the perfection of Your ways, in the truth of Your virtues, in the communion of Your mysteries. Rule over every adverse power, in your Spirit, for the glory of the Father. Amen.


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