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St. Teresa of Avila
Interior Castle

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Although I said "to some", there are really very few who do not enter these Mansions that I am about to describe. Some get farther than others; but, as I say, the majority manage to get inside. Some of the things which are in this room, and which I will mention here, are, I am sure, attained by very few;108 but, if they do no more than reach the door, God is showing them great mercy by granting them this; for, though many are called, few are chosen.109 So I must say here that, though all of us who wear this sacred habit of Carmel are110 called to prayer and contemplation -- because that was the first principle of our Order and because we are descendent upon the line of those holy Fathers of ours from Mount Carmel who sought this treasure, this precious pearl of which we speak, in such great solitude and with such contempt for the world -- few of us111 prepare ourselves for the Lord to reveal it to us. As far as externals are concerned, we are on the right road to attaining the essential virtues; but we shall need to do a very great deal before we can attain to this higher state and we must on no account be careless. So let us pause here, my sisters, and beg the Lord that, since to some extent it is possible for us to enjoy Heaven upon earth, He will grant us His help so that it will not be our fault if we miss anything may He also show us the road and give strength to our souls so that we may dig until we find this hidden treasure, since it is quite true that we have it within ourselves. This I should like to explain if the Lord is pleased to give me the knowledge.




108 Gracián has scored through part of this sentence in the autograph.


109 St. Matthew xx, 16.


110 Gracián substitutes for "are": "follow the rule of being."


111 Gracián inserts the word "perhaps".





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