Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila: Mansion Seven Beauty
“I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond.” St.Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle
The Soul. We each possess a soul made in the image and likeness of God.
The Castle metaphor. Envision your soul “as if it were a castle made of a single diamond” in which there are Seven Mansions, with each mansion containing many rooms.
God dwells in the Soul. God dwells within the innermost mansion of the human soul, in Mansion Seven.
The Soul’s mission. The soul journeys within these mansions to unite itself to God. This journey to God is the soul’s essential mission. Even in this lifetime, the soul can make it all the way to the Mansion Seven where it is completely united with God. This journey is completed in Heaven where the soul experiences the beatific vision.
We enter the castle through prayer. Escaping the “snakes and other poisonous creatures” that live outside the castle, and redeemed by God’s boundless mercy, the soul enters the castle through prayer.
“The spiritual journey inward to the Beloved is the journey home. To who I truly am. A circular, spiral, womb-like experience. Non-linear. Journey of remembering and forgetting.
Contemplative prayer is about aligning myself with the highest intention; to be with my beloved. Learning that we cannot figure out holy mystery with our minds.
When the sluggish worm completely dissolves into a sort of cellular soup, becoming nothing in a cocoon. And later transforms into a beautiful butterfly flitting about.
Coming to know God with God’s own mind. Coming to love God with God’s own heart. Looking through the eyes of love and seeing only love.
When lover dissolves completely into the Beloved. The subject/object distinction is obliterated. There is no longer union with the Beloved. There is only love. Consummated marriage of the soul.
Then we return to the world of seeming separation, knowing that there is no separation; that I am in Him and He is in me.
And now the only task is to give ourselves in service to the world. That is all that is left to do. Seeing every face as the face of the Beloved.
To be of service may look very different from what we think it will look like. Do only what is yours to do. Let not others tell you otherwise.”
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Mirabai Starr speaking on The Interior Castle webinar series available through Center for Action and Contemplation. Learn more at https://cac.org/online-ed/interior-castle-course-description/