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St. Teresa of Avila
Interior Castle

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It is true that anyone whom Our Lord brings to the seventh Mansion very rarely, or never, needs to engage in this activity, for the reason that I shall set down, if I remember to do so, when I come to deal with that Mansion, where in a wonderful way the soul never ceases to walk with Christ our Lord but is ever in the company of both His Divine and His human nature. When, therefore, the aforementioned fire is not kindled in the will, and the presence of God is not felt, we must needs seek it, since this is His Majesty's desire, as the Bride sought it in the Songs.194 Let us ask the creatures who made them, as Saint Augustine says that he did (in his Meditations or Confessions,195 I think) and let us not be so foolish as to lose time by waiting to receive what has been given us once already. At first it may be that the Lord will not give it us, for as long as a year, or even for many years: His Majesty knows why; it is not our business to want to know, nor is there any reason why we should. Since we know the way we have to take to please God -- namely, that of keeping His commandments and counsels -- let us be very diligent in doing this, and in meditating upon His life and death, and upon all that we owe Him; and let the rest come when the Lord wills.




194 Canticles iii, 3.


195 "Or Confessions" is a marginal addition in St. Teresa's hand. The passage alluded to comes from Chapter XXXI of the Soliloquies, a work first published in Spanish at Venice in 1512 and often reprinted in Spain during the sixteenth century. A passage very similar to this will be found in the Confessions, Bk. X, Chap. VI.





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