The Magnificent Beauty of a Soul

Interior Castle First Dwelling places chapter 1, 1. St. Teresa of Avila

‘I shall now speak about that which will provide us with a basis to begin with. It is that we consider our soul to be like a castle made entirely out of diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in heaven there are many dwelling places. For in reflecting upon it carefully, we realize that the soul of a just person is nothing else but a paradise where the Lord says he finds delight. So, then what do you think that abode will be like where a King so powerful, so wise, so pure, so full of all goods things takes His delight? I don’t find anything comparable to the magnificent beauty of a soul and its marvelous capacity. Indeed, our intellects, however keen, can hardly comprehend it, just as they cannot comprehend God; but He Himself says that He created us in his own image and likeness.’

‘In so far as I can understand the door of entry to this castle is prayer and reflection.’ (IT 1:1,7)


‘Once you get used to enjoying this castle, you will find rest in all things, even those involving much labour, for you will have the hope of returning to the castle which no one can take from you…you can enter and take a walk through it at any time.’


So, as we gather for our prayer this evening, we are invited to enter…by the way of prayer. And we remind ourselves that for Teresa, prayer is an intimate sharing between friends, simply spending time with Him who we know loves us. It does not involve thinking much, but loving much and all we need do is, nothing more than look at Him.

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