Book Review of ‘The Interior Castle’ by St. Teresa of Avila

This book has been a balm, guide, challenge, and spiritual enrichment over the past month. I highly recommend it as a guide in time of devotion, prayer, and spiritual reflection!

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“When we turn away from our small selves and toward God, both our understanding and our will become more sublime and more inclined to embrace all that is good. We would do ourselves great disservice if we never endeavored to rise above the mud of our personalized misery….If we are perpetually stuck in our own acre of tribulation, our stream will never flow free from the more of fear and faintheartedness” (47).

“Guard yourselves, my friends, against matters beyond your control” (50).

“Failing to deal with a problem out of fear of yielding to a negative temptation may be in itself yielding to a negative temptation” (52).

“Remember: all you have to do as you begin to cultivate the practice of prayer is to prepare yourself with sincere effort and intent to bring your will into harmony with the will of God” (61).

“Perfection isn’t about consolation, it’s about loving. We are rewarded by doing whatever we do with righteousness and love” (81).

“Remember: if you want to make progress in the path path and ascend to the places you have longed for, the important thing is not to think much but to love much, and so to do whatever best awakens your love” (91).

“I think that His majesty wishes we would do whatever it takes to understand ourselves. We need to quit blaming the soul for problems caused by a weak imagination, human nature, and the spirit of evil” (95).

“On the spiritual path, the Beloved asks only two things of us: that we love him and that we love each other…. if we do these perfectly, we are doing his well and so we will be united with him” (140).

“No matter how spiritual a soul may be, it’s not wise to reject corporeal forms. Meditating on the holiness of humanness is not unholy” (221).

“The more we understand about God‘s communion with creatures, the more we will praise his greatness. We should cultivate reverence for souls in whom our Beloved seems to take such delight. Each of us has a soul, but we forget to value it. We don’t remember that we are creatures made in the image of God. We don’t understand the great secrets hidden inside of us” (259-260).

“Remember: good works are a sign of God‘s blessing” (288).

“Even if our deeds are small, they will be made great through the greatness of our love for God” (295).

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