22 July 2009

Castle blueprint

I am starting back with the Interior Castle. Starting over to be exact. I was given a one-page sheet on Teresian Spirituality written by Father Marie-Eugene that helps explain things a bit.

Father wrote two books on the topic of Carmelite Spirituality, I Want to See God and I am a Daughter of the Church. I know my father had these books at one time, but didn't think they were on my bookshelf. When I got home yesterday after visiting with my friend and spiritual director, I checked my bookcase and couldn't find these titles anywhere.

They are now on my Amazon wish list.

I guess calling this a blue print isn't correct, because even if you can see where you want to go and how to get there, few people venture into the second phase (fourth mansion). Just like the rich man in the bible, they may have good intentions but when Jesus tells the man to give away all he has and follow Him, the man went away sad because he had a great many possessions.

Most of us are the same way in some respect or another, afraid or unwilling to give up goods, comforts, family, health, our own will, and other attachments to venture further into the castle.

Kind of like what Chesterton said, "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."

Here's the explanation of St. Teresa's Interior Castle according to Father Marie-Eugene.

(God Intervenes with general help)

1st Mansion
Action of God
- No manifestations
Activity of the Soul - Avoids mortal sin
Christ Jesus - Study Jesus Christ in the Gospels and follow Him in His sacred humanity

2nd Mansion - vigorous and painful effort at progress
Action of God - Sensible consolations and aridities
Activity of the Soul - Applies itself to prayer, to recollection, to the correction of faults, to the organization of its spiritual life by a rule, and detachment
Christ Jesus - Study Jesus Christ in the Gospels and follow Him in His sacred humanity

3rd Mansion - Triumph of reasonable activity
Action of God - Facility in recollection
Activity of the Soul - In a well organized life of piety, it carefully avoids sin and practices the prayer of simplicity
Christ Jesus - Study Jesus Christ in the Gospels and follow Him in His sacred humanity

(God intervenes with particular help)

Action of God - God intervenes progressively in the soul through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He invades it unto the transformation of love.
Activity of the Soul - The soul surrenders to God, gives itself to Him in humility and patience, it favors the growth of His action by an energetic asceticism
Christ Jesus - Holy Wisdom acting in the soul

4th Mansion - Night of the senses, Quiet
Action of God - Interior presence of God manifested by a blinding light (Night), by a sweet captivation (passive recollections quiet)
Activity of the Soul - Respects the action of God in prayer, completes it, peace, silence, moderated activity. Besides prayer, energetic asceticism in order to destroy the spiritual capital sins.
Christ Jesus - Blinding light of the Word. Delight in Holy Wisdom.

5th Mansion - Union of the will
Action of God - Habitual captivation of the will, sometimes after mystical grace of union
Activity of the Soul - Fidelity to the Law, obedience
Christ Jesus - Divine Wisdom takes possession of the will for the realization of His eternal design, the Church.

6th Mansion - Dark night of the spirit. Formation of the saint and the apostle.
Action of God - God purifies and enriches by His touches in the soul and in the operative faculties.
Activity of the Soul - Surrender and silent patience. Poverty and hope
Christ Jesus - Union with Christ the Saviour and with Mary all Mother

7th Mansion - Transforming union
Action of God - The divine conquest completed, utilization for the Church
Activity of the Soul - Perfect chastity and charity. In the service of the Church.
Christ Jesus - Union with the whole Christ.

1 comment:

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I wish I'd had that outline when I read Interior Castle! I found it difficult.