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St. Teresa of Avila
Interior Castle

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But in this Mansion everything is different. Our good God now desires to remove the scales from the eyes of the soul,216 so that it may see and understand something of the favour which He is granting it, although He is doing this in a strange manner. It is brought into this Mansion by means of an intellectual vision,217 in which, by a representation of the truth in a particular way, the Most Holy Trinity reveals Itself, in all three Persons.218 First of all the spirit becomes enkindled and is illumined, as it were, by a cloud of the greatest brightness. It sees these three Persons, individually, and yet, by a wonderful kind of knowledge which is given to it, the soul realizes that most certainly and truly all these three Persons are one Substance and one Power and one Knowledge and one God alone; so that what we hold by faith the soul may be said here to grasp219 by sight, although nothing is seen by the eyes, either of the body or of the soul,220 for it is no imaginary vision. Here all three Persons communicate Themselves to the soul and speak to the soul and explain to it those words which the Gospel attributes to the Lord -- namely, that He and the Father and the Holy Spirit will come to dwell with the soul which loves Him and keeps His commandments.221




216 [Acts ix, 18.]


217 Gracián reads: "vision or knowledge, born of faith."


218 Luis de León added the following note here: "Though man in this life, if so raised by God, may lose the use of his senses and have a fleeting glimpse of the Divine Essence, as was probably the case with St. Paul and Moses and certain others, the Mother is not speaking here of this kind of vision, which, though fleeting, is intuitive and clear, but of a knowledge of this mystery which God gives to certain souls, through a most powerful light which He infuses into them, not without created species. But as this species is not corporeal, nor figured in the imagination, the Mother says that this vision is intellectual and not imaginary.


219 Gracián reads: "grasp better, it seems."


220 Gracián reads: "either of the body (for God is Spirit) or of the imagination.


221 St. John xiv, 23.





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