I'm frustrated. I have been plugging through St. Teresa's Interior Castle and feel like I'm reading the Book of Acts without having all the necessary background to appreciate how significant everything is. Or, that I am taking calculus without understanding algebra first. It seems very difficult, if not impossible, to push forward without establishing a good foundation.
So, I dug out some of the books I have sitting on the shelf to provide an overview of St. Teresa's and St. John of the Cross' works (A Guide to the Stages of Prayer according to St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, and Carmelite Asceticism.)
I did find a study guide online, but haven't looked at it yet. Secular source, so will look for others. A Carmelite study guide would be best. Any suggestions?
Wish Jeff Cavins had a series on this!
St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross, when they set out to instruct us in the way of perfection, do not content themselves with any common ideal; they put before us the mystical ideal in all its sublimity. The ascetic life is, for them the Way of Perfection, leading to the Interior Castle; it is the Ascent of Mount Carmel, that Mount whereon the mystical strains of the Spiritual Canticle echo ceaselessly, where the soul is ever consumed by the Living Flame of Love.
~Carmelite Asceticism, by Very Reverend Father Anastasius of the Holy Rosary, OCD
It's no wonder I'm floundering; I don't have a sublime bone in my body. Maybe I should take this statement as a road map and start with the Way of Perfection, then the Interior Castle.
I'll be lucky if I even get to the study guide!