The Interior Castle: Teresa of Avila (Fount Classics Series)

by Robert Van de Weyer (Editor)

Paperback, 1995





'While I was beseeching Our Lord to-day that He would speak through me, since I could find nothing to say and had no idea how to begin to carry out the obligation laid upon me by obedience, a thought occurred to me which I will now set down, in order to have some foundation on which to build. I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in Heaven there are many mansions.' Thus begins Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, one of the most celebrated books ever written by a mystic on abiding in union with Christ. Writing in obedience to the requests of two of her superiors, the humble 16th century Spanish sister protests 'for the love of God, let me get on with my spinning and go to the other sisters...I am not meant for writing; I have neither the health nor the wits for it.' However, in her pre-coffee-house conversational style, Teresa of Avila charmingly proves to her listeners that she does have the wits for conveying that 'the most essential thing is that we should love God,' as she takes us by the hand and lead us on a visually beautiful spiritual journey into the soul, that Interior Castle where Christ abides, and where we may abide with Him in holy, intimate communion.… (more)


Harpercollins (1995), Edition: Trade Paperback Edition, 160 pages


½ (160 ratings; 4)

User reviews

LibraryThing member roydknight
This translation of a classic in Western Christian mysticism is one of the best.
LibraryThing member StrokeBoy
Very deep and spiritually moving. This book shows us how to bet closer to God in prayer. It also exposes traps set by the devil.
LibraryThing member Lake_Oswego_UCC
One of the most celebrated works on mystical theology in existence, as timely today as when St. Teresa of Avila wrote it centuries ago, this is a treasury of unforgettable maxims on self-knowledge and fulfillment.
TERESA OF ÁVILA (1515-82), also called St. Teresa of Jesus, was a Spanish nun and one
Show More
of the great mystics and religious women of the Roman Catholic Church. She was the leader of the Carmelite Reform, which restored and emphasized the austerity and contemplative character of this religious order. Canonized in 1622, she was elevated to Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970, the first woman to be so honored.
Show Less
LibraryThing member revslick
Christian Classic! This is the measuring stick I read every few years. It's not to be read as a measure for achievement for bragging or boasting but a cultured humility garnered through failing and surrendering into the arms of grace.
LibraryThing member danhammang
This discourse on mysticism written for the aid of her fellow Discalced Carmelite nuns, written from the heart is surprisingly readable given the distance in time between Teresa and the modern reader. There is a genuineness that shines out from each page. This is closer to a memoir than it is to a
Show More
treatise. It is hard not to be constantly aware of the strength of her vision that must have been so vivid to her contemporaries, in a way that allowed her to move beyond the structured expectations for a woman, for a nun in 16th Century Spain. Kieran Kavanaugh's translation is highly readable. And his introduction is informative, a great help in providing context for her writing and her life.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Siusaidh
I've never made it though the entire book but I love St. Theresa's ideas which have helped my faith grow considerably.
LibraryThing member PCGator
I could tell this was an informative, experiential, and intimate look at the spiritual inner life; however I think I am still stuck outside the proverbial castle gate.
LibraryThing member RevelationInsight
For the first time in well over 70 years, this work is now available. This particular work is the translation by The sisters of Stanbrook Abbey. This effort is also a critical examine against that of Allison Peers, infamous version.
LibraryThing member rmagahiz
This is my Lenten reading pick for 2017, the first time I've chosen an audiobook for edifying reading. I thought I was going to like this one somewhat more, and maybe I would have as a person still in school, but I found that the description of the inward spiritual journey as a trip through a
Show More
Renaissance castle with many mansions to be hard for me to identify with. I knew, intellectually, that she was composing her work for her fellow cloistered religious, who quite possibly would be receiving it aurally as well, and was prepared to make allowance for the difference in our life pursuits. It never really managed to draw me in fully though, which is a pity. It did not fill me with a conviction that the most interior of the mansions in the depths of contemplation with God was the place I myself wanted to go more than anything, but assumed that I as the reader might already be of that mind on my own. Right now I am going through a period where I am focused on the outside world and its concerns somewhat more than I really like, so part of it could be a matter of timing. I wouldn't mind re-reading the work in a dozen years maybe to see if it comes off differently to me then.
I would say that I did enjoy Teresa's writing style, which is so far from high-faluting and indeed tends to be even self-deprecating that I bookmarked a couple of charming passages of hers. There are some unusual images she includes which I really enjoyed for their extraordinary flights of fancy. It's not enough to make me raise my rating to four stars, unfortunately, but at least it made the book pleasant to experience.
I'm not enough of an expert in theology to be able to tell what innovative ideas Teresa introduced in her writing. To me it felt like it was so thoroughly adopted by Catholic teaching by now that nothing felt controversial.
Show Less
Page: 1.3573 seconds