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The Interior Castle
by St. Teresa of Avila
Translated from the Autograph of St. Teresa of Jesus by
The Benedictines of Stanbrook
Thomas Baker, London 
Dom Michael Barrett, O.S.B.Censor Deputatuus
Nihil Obstat:✠ Edward Apostolic Administrator Birmingham, Oscott.
February 24, 1921
Read by Kris McGregor
THE INTERIOR CASTLE
St. Teresa of Avila
St. Teresa’s introduction to the work
1. Plan of this book. 2. The Interior Castle. 3. Our curable self ignorance. 4. God dwells in the
centre of the soul. 5. Why all souls do not receive certain favours. 6. Reasons for speaking of these
favours. 7. The entrance of the Castle. 8. Entering into oneself. 9. Prayer. 10. Those who dwell in
the first mansion. 11. Entering. 12. Difficulties of the subject.
1. Effects of mortal sin. 2. It prevents the soul’s gaining merit. 3. The soul compared to a tree. 4.
Disorder of the soul in mortal sin. 5. Vision of a sinful soul. 6. Profit of realizing these lessons. 7.
Prayer. 8. Beauty of the Castle. 9. Self-knowledge 10. Gained by meditating on the divine perfections.
11. Advantages of such meditation. 12. Christ should be our model. 13. The devil entraps beginners.
14. Our strength must come from God. 15. Sin blinds the soul. 16. Worldliness. 17. The world in
the cloister. 18. Assaults of the devil. 19. Examples of the devil’s arts. 20. Perfection consists in
charity. 21. Indiscreet zeal. 22. Danger of detraction
1. Souls in the second mansions. 2. Their state. 3. Their sufferings. 4. They cannot get rid of their
imperfections. 5. How God calls these souls. 6. Perseverance is essential. 7. Temptations of the
devil. 8. Delusion of earthly joys. 9. God alone to be loved. 10. Reasons for continuing the journey.
11. War fare of the devil. 12. Importance of choice of friends. 13. Valour required. 14. Presumption
of expecting spiritual consolations at first. 15. In the Cross is strength. 16. Our falls should raise
us higher. 17. Confidence and perseverance. 18. Recollection. 19. Why we must practise prayer.
20. Meditation kindles love.
1. Souls in the Third Mansions. 2. Insecurity of this life. 3. Our danger of falling from grace. 4. The Saint bewails her past life. 5. Our Lady’s patronage. 6. Fear necessary even for religious. 7. St. Teresa’s contrition. 8. Characteristics of those in the Third Mansions. 9. The rich young man in the Gospel. 10. Reason of aridities in prayer. 11. Humility. 12. Tepidity. 13. We must give all to God. 14. Our debt. 15. Consolations and aridities
1. Imperfections of dwellers in the first three mansions. 2. Our trials show us our weakness. 3. Humility learnt by our faults. 4. Love of money. 5. Liberty of spirit. 6. On bearing contempt. 7. Detachment proved by trials. 8. Virtue and humility are the essentials. 9. Perfection requires detachment. 10. We should try to make rapid progress. 11. Leave our cares in God’s hands. 12.Humility more necessary than corporal penances. 13. Consolations rarely received until the fourth mansions. 14. Advantages of hearing of them. 15. Perfection consists in love, not in reward. 16. St. Teresa’s joy at seeing other souls favoured. 17. These graces should be striven for. 18. Obedience and direction, 19. Misguided zeal for others.
1. Graces received in this mansion. 2. Mystic favours. 3. Temptations bring humility and merit. 4.
Sensible devotion and natural joys. 5. Sweetness in devotion. 6. St. Teresa’s experience of it. 7.
Love of God, and how to foster it. 8. Distractions. 9. They do not destroy divine union. 10. St.
Teresa’s physical distractions. 11. How to treat distractions. 12. They should be disregarded. 13.
1. Physical results of sensible devotion. 2. Effects of divine consolations. 3. The two fountains. 4.
They symbolize two kinds of prayer. 5. Divine consolations shared by body and soul. 6. The incense
within the soul. 7. Graces received in this prayer. 8. Such favours not to be sought after.
1. The Prayer of recollection compared to the inhabitants of the castle. 2. The Shepherd recalls His flock into the castle. 3. This recollection supernatural. 4. It prepares us for higher favours. 5. The mind must act until God calls it to recollection by love. 6. The soul should here abandon itself 8. into God’s hands. 7. The prayer of recollection, and distractions in Prayer. 8. Liberty of spirit gained by consolations. 9. The soul must be watchful. 10. The devil specially tempts such souls. 11. False trances and raptures. 12. How to treat those deluded in this way. 13. Risks of delusion in this mansion.
1. Graces of the fifth mansions. 2. Contemplation to be striven for. 3. Physical effects of the Prayer
of union. 4. Amazement of the intellect. 5. The Prayer of union and of quiet contrasted. 6. Divine
and earthly union. 7. Competent directors in these matters. 8. Proof of union. 9. Assurance left in
the soul. 10. Divine union beyond our Power to obtain.
1. The soul compared to a butterfly. 2. The grandeurs of creation. 3. Symbol of the soul and the silkworm. 4. Preparation of the soul for God’s indwelling. 5. Mystic death of the silkworm. 6. Effects of divine union. 7. Increase of fervour and detachment. 8. Trials succeeding the prayer of union. 9. Longing for death and zeal for God’s honour. 10. This zeal supernatural. 11. God alone works this grace. 12. The same zeal as that felt by our Lord on earth. 13. Christ’s keenest suffering.
1. Zeal for souls left by divine union. 2. The soul may fall from such a state. 3. How divine union may always be obtained. 4. Union with the will of God the basis of all supernatural union. 5. Advantage of union gained by self-mortification. 6. Defects which hinder this union. 7. Divine union obtained by perfect love of God and our neighbour. 8. Love for God and our neighbour are proportionate. 9. Real and imaginary virtues. 10. Illusionary good resolutions. 11. Works, not feelings, procure union. 12. Fraternal charity will certainly gain this union.
1. The spiritual espousals. 2. The prayer of union resembles a betrothal. 3. Before the spiritual nuptials temptations are dangerous. 4. The great good done by souls faithful to these graces. 5. Religious subject to the devil’s deceptions. 6. Satan’s strata-gems. 7. Why they are permitted. 8. Prayer and watchfulness our safeguards. 9. God’s watchfulness over such souls. 10. Progress in virtue. 11. Insignificance of our actions compared with their reward. 12. St. Teresa’s motives for writing on prayer.
1. Love kindled by divine favours. 2. Our Lord excites the soul’s longings. 3. Courage needed toreach the last mansions. 4. Trials accompanying divine favours. 5. Outcry raised against souls striving for perfection. 6. St. Teresa’s personal experience of this. 7. Praise distasteful to an enlightened soul. 8. This changes to indifference. 9. Humility of such souls. 10. Their zeal for God’s glory. 11. Perfect and final indifference to praise or blame. 12. Love of enemies. 13. Bodily sufferings. 14. St. Teresa’s physical ills. 15. A timorous confessor. 16. Anxiety on account of past sins. 17. Fears and aridity. 18. Scruples and fears raised by the devil. 19. Bewilderment of the soul. 20. God alone relieves these troubles. 21. Human weakness. 22. Earthly consolations are of no avail. 23. Prayer gives no comfort at such a time. 24. Remedies for these interior trials. 25. Trials caused by the devil. 26. Other afflictions. 27. Preparatory to entering the seventh mansions.
1. Our Lord excites the love of His spouse. 2. The wound of love. 3. The pain it causes. 4. The call of the Bridegroom. 5. Effect on the soul. 6. A spark of the fire of love. 7. The spark dies out. 8. This grace evidently divine. 9. One such wound repays many trials. 10. First reason of immunity from deception. 11. Second and third reasons. 12. The imagination not concerned in it. 13. St. Teresa never alarmed at this prayer. 14. ‘The odour of Thine ointment.’ 15. No reason to fear deception here.
1. Locutions. 2. Sometimes caused by melancholia. 3. Caution needed at first. 4. Locutions frequently occur during prayer. 5. Resist those containing false doctrine. 6. First sign of genuine locutions. 7. Effect of the words: ‘Be not troubled.’ 8. ‘It is I, be not afraid.’ 9. ‘Be at Peace.’ 10. Second sign. 11. Third sign. 12. The devil suggests doubts about true locutions. 13. Confidence of the soul rewarded. 14. Its joy at seeing God’s words verified. 15. Its zeal for God’s honour. 16. Locutions coining from the fancy. 17. Imaginary answers given to prayer. 18. A confessor should be consulted about locutions. 19. Interior locutions. 20. First sign of genuine interior locutions. 21. Second sign. 22. Third sign. 23. Fourth sign. 24. Fifth sign. 25. Results of true locutions. 26. They should remove alarm. 27. Answer to an objection.
1. Courage required by the soul for the divine espousals. 2. Raptures. 3. Rapture caused by the spark of love. 4. The powers and senses absorbed. 5. Mysteries revealed during ecstasies. 6. These mysteries are unspeakable. 7. Moses and the burning bush. 8. Simile of the museum. 9. St. Teresa’s visit to the Duchess of Alva. 10. Joy of the soul during raptures. 11. No imaginary vision. 12. True and false raptures. 13. Revelations of future bliss. 14. The soul’s preparation. 15. The soul blinded by its faults. 16. God ready to give these graces to all. 17. Faculties lost during ecstasy. 18. Spiritual inebriation. 19. Fervour and love of suffering left in the soul. 20. Scandal caused to spectators by such favours. 21. Our Lord’s predilection for such a soul. 22. Illusionary raptures
1. The flight of the spirit. 2. Self-control completely lost. 3. Symbol of the two cisterns. 4. Obligations following the se favours. 5. Humility produced by them. 6. How our crucified Lord comforted such a soul. 7. A humble soul fears these favours. 8. Mysteries learnt during the flight of the spirit. 9. Imaginary visions sometimes accompany intellectual ones. 10. How the flight of the spirit takes place. 11. The soul fortified by it. 12. Three great graces left in the soul. 13. The third grace. 14. Fear caused by this favour.
1. The soul longs for death. 2. The soul cannot help desiring these favours. 3. St. Teresa bewails her inability to serve God. 3. Fervour resulting from ecstasies. 5. Excessive desires to see God should be restrained. 6. They endanger health. 7. Tears often come from Physical causes. 8. St. Teresa’s own experience. 9. Works, not tears, are asked by God. 10. Confide entirely in God. 11. The jubilee of the soul. 12. Impossibility of concealing this joy. 13. The world’s judgment of this jubilee. 14. Which is often felt by the nuns of St. Joseph’s. 15. The Saint’s delight in this jubilee.
The Sixth Mansions chapter 7:
1. Sorrow for sin felt by souls in the Sixth Mansion. 2. How this sorrow is felt. 3. St. Teresa’s grief
for her past sins. 4. Such souls, centred in God, forget self-interest. 5. The remembrance of divine benefits increases contrition. 6. Meditation on our Lord’s Humanity. 7. Warning against discontinuing it. 8. Christ and the saints our models. 9. Meditation of contemplatives. 10. meditation during aridity. 11. We must search for God when we do not feel His presence. 12. Reasoning and mental prayer. 13. A form of meditation on our Lord’s Life and Passion. 14. Simplicity of contemplatives’ meditation. 15. Souls in every state of prayer should think of the Passion. 16. Need the example of Christ and the saints. 17. Faith shows us our Lord as both God and Man. 18. St. Teresa’s experience of meditation on the sacred Humanity. 19. Evil of giving up such meditation.
The Sixth Mansions Chapter 8:
1. Our Lord’s presence accompanying the soul. 2. St. Teresa’s experience of this. 3. Confidence and graces resulting from this vision. 4. Its effects . 5. It Produces humility. 6. And prepares the soul for other graces. 7. Consciousness of the presence of the saints. 8. Obligations resulting from this grace. 9. Signs that this favour is genuine. 10. A confessor should be consulted. 11. Our Lord will enlighten our advisers. 12. Cautions about this vision.
1. The jewel in the locket. 2. The simile explained. 3. The apparition explained. 4. Awe produced by this vision. 5. False and genuine visions. 6. Illusive visions. 7. Effects of a genuine vision. 8. Conviction left by a genuine vision. 9. Its effects upon the after conduct. 10. A confessor should be consulted. 11. How to treat visions. 12. Effects of seeing the face of Christ. 13. Reasons why visions are not to be sought. 14. The second reason. 15. Third reason. 16. Fourth reason. 17. Fifth reason. 18. Sixth reason. 19. Additional reasons. 20. The virtues more meritorious than consolations. 21. Fervent souls desire to serve God for Himself alone.
1. Reasons for speaking of these supernatural favours. 2. An intellectual vision. 3. God compared to a palace in which His creatures dwell. 4. Forgive as we are forgiven. 5. The vision shows God to be Truth itself. 6. We should imitate God by truthfulness. 7. Why God reveals these truths.
The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila audio mp3 edition – The Sixth Mansions chapter 11
1. Favours increase the soul’s desire for God. 2. The dart of love. 3. Spiritual sufferings produced. 4. Its physical effects. S. Torture of the desire for God. 6. These sufferings are a purgatory. 7. The torments of hell. 8. St. Teresa’s painful desire after God. 9. This suffering irresistible. 10. Effects of the dart of love. 11. Two spiritual dangers to life. 12. Courage needed here and given by our Lord.
The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila audio mp3 edition – The Seventh Mansions chapter 1
1. Sublime mysteries of these mansions. 2. St. Teresa abashed at treating such subjects. 3. Our Lord introduces His bride into His presence chamber. 4. Darkness of a soul in mortal sin. 5. Intercession for sinners. 6. The soul an interior world. 7. The spiritual nuptials. 8. Former favours differ from spiritual nuptials. 9. The Blessed Trinity revealed to the soul. 10. Permanence of Its presence in the soul. 11. The effects. 12. This presence is not always equally realized. 13. It is beyond the soul’s control. 14. The center of the soul remains calm. 15. The soul and the spirit distinct though united. 16. The soul and its faculties not identical.
The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila audio mp3 edition – The Seventh Mansions chapter 2
1. The spiritual nuptials introduced by an imaginary vision. 2. Spiritual betrothal and marriage differ. 3. Spiritual marriage lasting. 4. Not so spiritual betrothal. 5. Spiritual marriage permanent. 6. St. Paul and spiritual marriage. 7. The soul’s joy in union. 8. Its conviction of God’s indwelling. 9. Its peace. 10. Christ’s prayer for the divine union of the soul. 11. Its fulfilment. 12. Unalterable peace of the soul in the seventh Mansion. 13. Unless it offends God. 14. Struggles outside the seventh Mansion. 15. Comparisons explaining this.
1. Effects of the graces last received. 2. The soul only cares for God’s honour. 3. But still performs its duties. 4. Other fruits of these favours. 5. The soul’s fervent desire to serve God. 6. Christ dwells within this soul. 7. And recalls it to fervour if negligent. 8. God’s constant care of such souls. 9. Their peace and silence. 10. Few ecstasies in the Seventh Mansions. 11. Probable reasons for this. 12. Allusions in Holy Scripture to this state. 13. Watchfulness of such souls. 14. Crosses suffered in this state.
1. Vicissitudes of the Seventh Mansion. 2. Humility produced by them. 3. Such souls free from mortal and from wilful venial sins. 4. The fate of Solomon. 5. Holy fear. 6. These favours strengthen souls to suffer. 7. Crosses borne by the saints. 8. Effect of vision of our Lord on St. Peter. 9. Fruits of these favours. 10. Why the spiritual marriage takes place. 11. Love for Christ proved by our deeds. 12. True spirituality. 13. Humility and the virtues must combine with prayer. 14. Zeal of advanced souls. 15. Strengthened by the divine Presence within them. 16. Examples of the saints. 17. Both Martha and Mary must serve our Lord. 18. Christ’s food. 19. Mary’s mortification. 20. Her grief at the Passion. 21. Can we lead souls to God? 22. How to do so. 23. Love gives value to our deeds. 24. Conclusion.