Written in 1577 and first published in English in 1852, The Interior Castle is considered one of the greatest works of Catholic spiritual prose. A painting of the spirit within a Renaissance landscape, this allegory of the soul as a castle is both poetic and didactic. Written in address of women, this work describes the seven concentric groups of mansions within the soul, each aligned to one of the seven heavens, and here is the map which gently, and with love and prayer, leads the female spirit through war, fear, and humility, into the ultimate destination-the central court and a spiritual "marriage" to God. The works of Spanish nun SAINT TERESA OF AVILA (1515-1582) rank among the most extraordinary mystical writings of Roman Catholicism and among the classics of all religious traditions. Her writings include The Way of Perfection and her autobiography, The Life of Saint Teresa of Jesus.
St. Teresa of Avila is not a lofty, inaccessible saint; she’s a companion, and has been taking Christians on a journey through their own interior “castles” for hundreds of years. Honest, humorous, and insightful, her devotional and spiritual reflections show readers how to open up themselves to God in new ways. This journey through Teresa’s life and writings will engage readers for a full year, with carefully chosen daily selections from the broad range of her writings—letters, poems, memoirs, as well as spiritual and theological musings. Bangley makes all of these writings accessible—and essential—in these new translations into contemporary English.
Her writings are more than 400 years old, yet Teresa of Avila continues to impact Christians with her fervent, passionate faith in God. the teachings of this sixteenth-century Spanish saint and mystic are practical enough for modern society because they are based on sheer devotion and holiness to God through prayer and common sense. Edited by James Houston, a highly acclaimed scholar and pioneer in the field of evangelical spirituality.
Carmelite Studies IX: Defenders and Disseminators of the Founding Mother's Legacy
Author: Christopher Wilson
Publisher: ICS Publications
This issue of Carmelite Studies presents new insights into the lives and writings of individuals who knew Teresa of Avila in life and who, after her death in 1582, worked to propagate and defend her legacy, including the illustrious nuns Anne of St. Bartholomew, Ana of Jesus, Maria of St. Joseph, and Ana of St. Augustine, and her close male confidant and collaborator, Jerome Gracian of the Mother of God. A further focus of the essays is the reception of the Teresian heritage by individuals outside the order, as mediated by these early Discalced Carmelites and by Teresa's published writings. The essays were originally presented at the 2004 symposium The Heirs of St. Teresa at Georgetown University. That year marked the 400th anniversary of a pivotal moment in Discalced Carmelite history: the arrival in France of a group of six nuns, some of Teresa's most favored proteges, including Ana of Jesus and Anne of St. Bartholomew, who traveled from Spain to inaugurate the order's first French convent. Motivated by devotion to their Founding Mother, amidst success and setbacks, these and other of Teresa's heirs strove to carry out her will with a resolute determination and to extend her reputation for sanctity throughout the world.
The Book of Her Foundations is the least read, the least quoted, the least known of St. Teresa's works. Why this is so is probably because people do not think it is a spiritual book. But as you read on, you find that St. Teresa grew in holiness, not in spite of obstacles such as being entangled in lawsuits, mired down in disputes over dowries, tied up in interminable bureaucratic red-tape, and having to deal with unscrupulous businessmen, but because of these difficulties. None of these challenges impeded her spiritual growth. This study guide will help us to see how Teresa grew in holiness in the marketplace as much as in the cloister, perhaps even more so. None of us has been called to found convents, but like Teresa all of us are called to practice virtue and grow in holiness within the fray of daily life.
THE convent of St. Joseph at Avila having been inaugurated on August 24, 1562, and the storms occasioned by its foundation having somewhat subsided, St. Teresa received permission from the Provincial, Fray Angel de Salazar, to leave the monastery of the Incarnation and join her new community; she crossed the threshold of that ‘Paradise’, as our Lord vouchsafed to call it, about Mid-Lent, 1563, never to leave the enclosure again—as she fervently hoped. She did not know then that God had destined her to more arduous work which would compel her to sally forth and establish convent after convent in distant parts of Spain. Her sojourn at St. Joseph’s only lasted four and a half years, but, as she says, it was the happiest time of her life. The convent was small and poor, the observance as strict as human nature, strengthened by grace, can bear, but she enjoyed to the full the peace which, after the many struggles graphically described in the Life, had at length been granted her. Aeterna Press
This volume contains two of Teresa's most popular works: The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle. Shortly after writing The Book of Her Life for her confessor, St. Teresa wrote The Way of Perfection at the request of her nuns who were eager to learn about prayer and contemplation. Throughout this work she teaches her nuns about prayer and also teaches us. Toward the end of her life, after she had experienced both the spiritual betrothal and spiritual marriage, Teresa wrote The Interior Castle, her own panoramic view of her relationship with God, from the lowest stages to the highest. Teresa here demonstrates her great gift for writing about that relationship and attracting us to explore the possibility of pursuing it. Along with these two classics, Volume Two also includes one of Teresa's minor works, her Meditations on the Song of Songs.