The choices of a lifetime
ADVENTURE AWAITS! TAKE A JOURNEY INTO THE CASTLE
Socrates insisted the unexamined life isn’t worth living. Christian saints suggest that the unexamined life isn’t being lived. Teresa of Ávila declared the spiritual life begins with examination. In her spiritual classic The Interior Castle, she describes the seven-fold journey we take into God’s presence. The castle’s first room is coming to know yourself. Self-knowledge leads to God-knowledge because it takes us directly to the prime real estate of humility. Nothing is more humbling than owning who we are!
The castle’s second room is a happier one, lined with good books, wise directors, and secure religious routines. It’s a place we might grow comfortable. But alas, we must pass into the next room, where love for prayer prods us to love for people and good works—much more challenging. We discover that religious practices do not keep us safe or make us as good as we imagine. The fourth room contains crisis: our hard-won knowledge unravels as we enter unknowing, and must unlearn what we thought we could be sure of.
In the fifth room we recognize we belong in God. This feels like death, because it contains the death of the false self that images it’s separate from God. The sixth room Teresa calls the meeting. Resting in God, we seek to be nowhere else. The final room is Divine Presence. Here is only silence; the words of God are enfleshed in us naturally. To know God this way, we must first be known to ourselves.
reprinted with permission from TrueQuest Communications
Cullings from VISION Vocation Network
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Congregation of Sisters of Bon Secours
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