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St. Teresa of Avila
Interior Castle

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Some days before she was granted this marvellous vision, St. Teresa had had a very intimate conversation on spiritual matters with P. Jerónimo Gracián; the upshot of this was that she undertook to write another book in which she would expound afresh the teaching on perfection to be found in her Life, at that time in the hands of the Inquisitors.4 This we learn from a manuscript note, in Gracián's hand, to the sixth chapter of the fourth book of Ribera's biography of St. Teresa:
What happened with regard to the Book of the Mansions is this. Once, when I was her superior, I was talking to her about spiritual matters at Toledo, and she said to me: "Oh, how well that point is put in the book of my life, which is at the Inquisition!" "Well," I said to her, "as we cannot get at that, why not recall what you can of it, and of other things, and write a fresh book and expound the teaching in a general way, without saying to whom the things that you describe have happened." It was in this way that I told her to write this Book of the Mansions, telling her (so as to persuade her the better) to discuss the matter with Dr. Velázquez, who used sometimes to hear her confessions; and he told her to do so too.5




4 Cf. The Life of Teresa of Jesus, translated and edited by E. Allison Peers; Image Books Edition, p. 62.


5 Cf. Relations, VI (Vol. I, The Complete Works of St. Teresa, translated and edited by E. Allison Peers; Sheed and Ward, p. 334).





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