Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Interior Castle

How appropriate that after months of wanting to read this book I found a copy of it at my mother's house amidst the many classics of the Catholic faith she's read over the years. Again, God led me to read The Interior Castle at just the right time. After spending more time in silent prayer, especially during Holy Week and the Triduum, I was drawn closer to Christ.
I love how Teresa of Avila talks about the vast possibilities for greater intimacy with God.  Her humble and endearingly candid style combined with her profound devotion to Our Lord give the reader a sense of the sublime.
The underlying message throughout is let go, and let God do amazing things in your soul. The more you submit to His Will in every detail, at every moment, the more He will glorify Himself in and through you.
So often we seek God outside of ourselves. This book is a wonderful reminder that the Lord wants to meet us and commune with us in the inner sanctuary of our souls. He has indeed made His home within us as Psalm 87 suggests. God wants us to recognize and rejoice that He is present in the very core of who we are, and that He is now, was then, and ever shall be with us.
St. Teresa's descriptions of the spiritual journey aren't perfectly organized or neatly polished, but that seems to be fitting when expounding upon the ways in which the Lord, Our God, reveals Himself to us how, when, and for what purpose He chooses.
Perhaps one of the most significant messages in this masterpiece is that we can't reach the later of the seven mansions on our own. There's only so much we can do to put ourselves in the best place spiritually--the rest is completely up to God.
The graces and spiritual blessings St. Teresa refers to are only ones God grants to certain souls, generally those who are most acutely aware of how little they deserve such consolations from the Father.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is serious about spiritual growth.
Lord, I am not worthy to have You under my roof, yet You have made Your home at the center of my heart. Help me to make Your dwelling place into a more fitting sanctuary. Amen.
You can purchase this book here.  I wrote this review of The Interior Castle for the Tiber River Blogger Review programTiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.  I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.
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