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St. Teresa of Avila
Interior Castle

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But alas that so few of us are destined to attain it! A person who takes care not to offend the Lord and has entered the religious life may think he has done everything. But oh, there are always a few little worms which do not reveal themselves until, like the worm which gnawed through Jonas's ivy,142 they have gnawed through our virtues. Such are self-love, self-esteem, censoriousness (even if only in small things) concerning our neighbours, lack of charity towards them, and failure to love them as we love ourselves. For, although late in the day we may fulfil our obligations and so commit no sin, we are far from attaining a point necessary to complete union with the will of God.




142 Jonas iv, 6-7 [The "gourd" of A.V.]





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