Welcome to our third and final blog in honor of St. Teresa of Avila’s 500th birthday. First we talked about three tips to get started with the Way of Prayer. Last time, we talked about St. Teresa being spiritually complex yet easy to understand. She put that same simple, expressive beauty into describing the overall spiritual journey toward God.
St. Teresa wrote elegantly and simply about an “Interior Castle” with seven suites of rooms. She called them, “mansions” and described who can be found in them. Let’s look at what it might take for us to book or night or two in the first three of those suites.
First: This is more like the lobby, when you stop to think about it, but it can still be a hard place to achieve. If you don’t have a regular prayer life, get one started and do your best not to be distracted by what’s happening outside the castle.
Second: When you’ve got that prayer life going, build on it by looking for resources to bolster it. Listen to sermons by favorite priests (a lot of priests put their sermons online), or do some spiritual reading (we hear St. Teresa of Avila has some good stuff out there).
Third: Make an effort to live out virtue, but make sure you’re relying on God’s help and not just your own will. Look at the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy for ideas.
After you’ve enjoyed the amenities of Suites 1-3 in the castle, you can set your sights on the other four, with your eyes on the prize of Suite #7. There you’ll be in the presence of the King, where union with Him is complete, where “the falling rain becomes merged in the river.”
Imagine that. No more standing outside a castle wondering what it’s like in there. We have a King Who wants us to come inside and live with Him.
Happy Birthday, St. Teresa of Avila!