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.
FIRST PHASE (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
SECOND PHASE (God intervenes with particular help)
Introduction 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.
To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.
~Cardinal John Henry Newman
2010 Cannonball Award
Father Solanus Casey
"Even suffering is part of the truth of our life. Thus, trying to shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of suffering, we risk creating, despite our good intentions, fragile persons of little generosity: The capacity to love, in fact, corresponds to the capacity to suffer, and to suffer together." ~Benedict XVI
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Fides et Ratio Encyclical
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.
Thank you everyone that voted for the Kneeler at the Cannonball awards!!
Words of Father Corapi, for all my politician friends and relatives and those who vote for them
"Catholic office holders, whether presidents, senators, congress men or women, or judges at any level must adhere to Catholic teaching or run the risk of separating themselves from the Body of Christ. In such egregious and chronic cases of gross moral evil such as instituting and perpetuating abortion and the structures of sin that surround it, it is quite probable that such Catholic officials are excommunicated in virtue of the acts themselves. A latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication is likely triggered when they vote for laws, funding, and structures that enable and perpetuate such obvious and egregious evil (Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canons 1364,1398; Canon 1329, par. #2). They are in turn forbidden from approaching the sacraments as the result (Cf. Catechism of Catholic Church #1463)."
"It is not morally possible for any Catholic to support abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, or same-sex marriage. There are no ways around this, no justifications whatever. Why? For the simple reason that the Church holds these things to be intrinsically evil. They are evil in themselves, and no circumstances or subjective conditions can ever change that."