13. Let the Christian be valiant; let him not be like those who lay down to drink from the brook when they went to battle (I do not remember when). Let him resolve to go forth to combat with the host of demons, and be convinced that there is no better weapon than the cross. I have already said, yet it is of such importance that I repeat it here: let no one think on starting of the reward to be reaped: this would be a very ignoble way of commencing such a large and stately building. If built on sand it would soon fall down. Souls who acted thus would continually suffer from discouragement and temptations, for in these mansions no manna rains; farther on, the soul is pleased with all that comes, because it desires nothing but what God wills.
14. What a farce it is! Here are we, with a thousand obstacles, drawbacks, and imperfections within ourselves, our virtues so newly born that they have scarcely the strength to act (and God grant that they exist at all!) yet we are not ashamed to expect sweetness in prayer and to complain of feeling dryness.
15. Do not act thus, sisters; embrace the cross your Spouse bore on His shoulders; know that your motto should be: 'Most happy she who suffers most if it be for Christ!' All else should be looked upon as secondary: if our Lord give it you, render Him grateful thanks. You may imagine you would be resolute in enduring external trials if God gave you interior consolations: His Majesty knows best what is good for us; it is not for us to advise Him how to treat us, for He has the right to tell us that we know not what we ask. Remember, it is of the greatest importance--the sole aim of one beginning to practise prayer should be to endure trials, and to resolve and strive to the utmost of her power to conform her own will to the will of God. Be certain that in this consists all the greatest perfection to be attained in the spiritual life, as I will explain later. She who practises this most perfectly will receive from God the highest reward and is the farthest advanced on the right road. Do not imagine that we have need of a cabalistic formula or any other occult or mysterious thing to attain it our whole welfare consists in doing the will of God. If we start with the false principle of wishing God to follow our will and to lead us in the way we think best, upon what firm foundation can this spiritual edifice rest?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
What I'm Reading... The Interior Castle by Saint Teresa of Avila- Part 1
Lately I've been reading as much as I can about prayer. Since I'm usually reading at night after the lights are out, I've found reading by the glow of a computer monitor works well, and was happy to find a online copy of Saint Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle. And so I wanted to share little parts of the manuscript that stood out while I was reading: