Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila: Mansion Seven Beauty

“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.”

(Mirabai Starr speaking on The Interior Castle webinar series available through Center for Action and Contemplation. Learn more at

The Calling

The Calling by Mirabai Starr (excerpts)

Inspired by Teresa of Avila Interior Castle

This magnificent refuge is inside you.


Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway.


The One you love is calling.


His call is flute music.

Far away.

Be brave, and walk through the country of your own wild heart.

Be gentle, and know that you know nothing.

Be still.


Keep walking.

This is your rightful place.

That is your Beloved reclining in the inner-most chamber, waiting for you. Offering wine from a bottle with your crest on the label.

The path home to your true love unobstructed after all.

Know that the Beloved has chosen as His dwelling place, the core of your own being.

For that is the single, most beautiful place in all creation.

Waste no time.

Enter the center of your soul.

Listen to Mirabai Starr read the full version of The Calling at

Envision your Future

Envision your Future

“Every day, your creative work calls you to the edge of the unknown, to the frontier of what you imagine is possible. It can feel like standing at a cliff’s edge in a gusting wind. Dangerous. Compelling. Hurtling you forward into the adventure even as your primal brain, whose job it is to keep you from being eaten by dinosaurs, screams in frantic alarm.

Run away! says Primal Brain.

No! Let the wind take you! There’s magic to be made here! says Creative Heart.

Primal Brain: Are you crazy? What’s the matter with you? Turn around! Run away! Run, before the wind blows you over the cliff-edge and smashes you on the rocks below!

(Here Primal Brain serves up several graphic images of you, flattened and bleeding at the base of the cliff, very, very dead, while gulls circle your body, waiting to swoop down and devour you for dinner.)

Creative Heart: I can’t hear you! I’m wa-a-y out here, sailing across the sky! You should come — it’s the most fun you’ll ever have! You can see the curvature of the earth from here!

Sound familiar? No wonder you’re exhausted, as your Creative Heart pulls you to your deep desire, while your Primal Brain feels left behind, terrified, shivering and bereft, doing its best to drag you back to safety.

Civil war is a bloody business.

You may not always be so acutely aware of the conflict raging within you. You may experience the effects of it as feelings of being overwhelmed, stuck, physically ill or simply uninspired, spinning your wheels, your big dreams held hostage by habitual cycles of short-lived enthusiasm followed by collapse, stagnation and procrastination…

Because you’re often traversing unmapped territory, you may feel under enormous stress, uncertain, small, bewildered…

Because you’re opening your heart to the stars, your boundaries may be fuzzy, and you may find you need more and more time alone just to recover from being with people…

You may feel spun around, ping-ponging between exhilaration and despair at the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the way your life is right now, and the way you long for it to be.”

Hear the invitation of the Beloved to rest into a time of Silence and Solitude. To discern the way He would have you to go. When it is time to go.

From Hiro Boga at

Practicing Personal Retreat

While on Retreat. Take time to notice your life rhythms and how they are working for you these days. Reflect upon your sacred rhythms, inviting God to guide you.

  • What are your sacred rhythms these days? How is God meeting you there? How are you arranging your life around your desires?
  • Where do you sense God inviting you to greater freedom in your life? What longings are stirring in you?
  • What is most life-giving for you right now? Envision yourself as you live more fully into this.
  • What limitations are challenging you in this season of life? How can you be more compassionate to yourself in the midst of this?
  • How is God inviting you to stretch and grow? How can you order your life more intentionally to cooperate with God there?
  • In what ways is God calling you to reclaim, recommit or recalibrate your sacred rhythms for God’s purposes in your soul?

(From Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God. by Ruth Haley Barton.)



“O Jesus! Meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being defamed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.


That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen, and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.” 


(The Litany of Humility is attributed to Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930) who served as the Secretary of State for Pope St. Pius X.)


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