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St. Teresa of Avila
Interior Castle

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There is ample evidence as to the intensity with which St. Teresa worked at the Interior Castle. It will suffice to quote one witness. "At the time when our holy Mother was writing the book of the Mansions at Toledo," deposed M. María del Nacimiento, "I often saw her as she wrote, which was generally after Communion. She was very radiant and wrote with great rapidity, and as a rule she was so absorbed in her work that even if we made a noise she would never stop, or so much as say that we were disturbing her."11 The same nun, according to M. Mariana de los Angeles, once saw St. Teresa caught in a rapture while she was writing the book and is reported as asserting that she wrote a portion of it while in this condition.12 This, however, is second-hand evidence, though it tends to confirm the direct evidence. Not that even this can always be trusted. Ana de la Encarnación, for example, declares that she saw St. Teresa writing the Interior Castle at Segovia, which is next to impossible, for we know a great deal about the Saint's movements during these years and there is no record of her having been at Segovia in 1577.




11 [Cit. P. Silverio, IV, xxxvi.]


12 Op. cit., IV, xxxvii.





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