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St. Teresa of Avila
Interior Castle

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But note very carefully, daughters, that the silkworm has of necessity to die; and it is this which will cost you most; for death comes more easily140 when one can see oneself living a new life, whereas our duty now is to continue living this present life, and yet to die of our own free will.141 I confess to you that we shall find this much harder, but it is of the greatest value and the reward will be greater too if you gain the victory. But you must not doubt the possibility of this true union with the will of God. This is the union which I have desired all my life; it is for this that I continually beseech Our Lord; it is this which is the most genuine and the safest.




140 St. Teresa added here the word acullá, "yonder", which Luis de León altered to en lo susodicho, "in what is (said) above". [This affects the sense: Luis de León's alteration suggests that the silkworm is referred to, which seems to me unlikely. I take acullá to refer to the end of one's life and acá to mean "here and now".]


141 [Lit.: "to kill it ourselves." By "it", which in the Spanish can only stand for "life", is presumably meant the Pauline "old man".]





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