The Interior Castle
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The Interior Castle (Classics of Western Spirituality)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  1,854 ratings  ·  134 reviews
The acclaimed modern translation of St. Teresa of Avila's classic book on spiritual awareness and guidance
Celebrated for almost five centuries as a master of spiritual literature, 16th-century saint Teresa of Avila is one of the most beloved religious figures in history. Overcome one day by a mystical vision of a crystal castle with seven chambers, each representing a di...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 6th 2004 by Riverhead Books (first published 1588)
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Karen Locklear
Update: I am blogging about this book. Here is the blog address if interested:

First of all, don't read this book straight through and expect to get meaning from it. This is not one of those books.

This is a book that needs to be experienced. There is so much to it, I can't even begin to explain well enough to give it credit. Meditation and pondering are definetely required!

I have 78 pages left. I intend to finish it tonight. Then in the morning I've decide...more
Les Walters
As a Carmelite Secular (i.e. a lay member of the Carmelite Order, founded by St Teresa in 16th century), I keep coming back to The Way of Perfection again and again, and always learn something new and important. It's foundational to our prayer life as we're committed to the practise of contemplative prayer and to growth in holiness and Teresa knew what she was talking about. Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez have done a fine job of translating from the Spanish and making Teresa intelligble a...more
Although St. Teresa was a 16th century nun, she was as busy as the rest of us when "encouraged" by her spiritual director to write this book for her nuns. I read it as part of a Sunday school class, and I found myself cracking up at how Mirabai Starr captures her. One minute she is fervently advocating for humility and self-expression and prayer and the next she's literally writing I don't where I was. Between opening and managing some 15 or more Carmelite convents, dodging the suspicious Spanis...more
Anyone wanting to re-connect with Christian thought and learn about a devotional/rational relationship to God, this is an incredibly beautiful book.
Más que una filosofía de introversión espiritual me pareció una especie de manual patológico del católico/cristiano. Algo muy lobotomizante.
This is a book about prayer written by Saint Teresa of Avila, a 16th century Carmelite nun, mystic and doctor of the Church.

In this book, she presents a model of the human soul as a castle cut from a single diamond. This castle is divided into seven groups of mansions, beginning at the outer gate and moving inward toward the center. We enter the castle whenever we pray, for the gate to the outermost mansion is prayer. (Those who never pray remain in a courtyard outside the gate.)

As we progress...more
This is an excellent, though a difficult, book and one I feel I will return to in the future.

Saint Teresa wrote The Interior Castle relatively late in her life, after years as a nun, and with a lifetime of spiritual discipline behind her. Therefore, she is easily able to identify common pitfalls which present obstacles to spiritual growth and advancement. Her advice is practical and surprisingly relevant to readers some 400 years after the book was written. However, she may easily surpass the a...more
The Interior Castles is a very wonderful book on how to get closer to God and how to overcome the trials come upon you. St. Theresa originally wrote this for the sisters in her convent, at the urging of a friend of hers. She says that the way to the "ultimate marriage with God" is through humility and a humble life, and through prayer. She also says that we have to be aware of when God speaks to us, and know when Satan is trying to veer us away from Him.

The reason why I gave it only three stars...more
Dec 16, 2010 Kathy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: mystics, prayer warriors, people on their spiritual journey through prayer
Recommended to Kathy by: Mary Clark
You can't read this book quickly. The thoughts are deep. And the translation sometimes makes for slower reading as well. I gave up on the English version, and ordered the original Spanish. It makes so much more sense, but still slow reading. i've had it 3 years and still am not done, but then I don'tread it every day either.
Olive Chan
From what I've heard, this translation of this classic work is one of the more understandable ones. It's difficult material to get through simply because it's so deep. But it's not a classic for no reason! I recommend this for anyone looking to explore more of the mystic's approach to their relationship with God.
The book for the most part consists of The Book of Her Foundations, all the details of which are rather difficult to retain especially the way St. Teresa writes jumping around. The parts that still stick with me are the stories of miracles regarding the ladies wishing to become nuns.
Hope to return to this very soon.

Within this volume is a book entitled, Meditations on the Song of Songs--which is what I'm beginning next. Already read the other two works in this volume: The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle.
This book has taught me more about the spiritual life than any text apart from the Bible. I continue to return to it whenever the well runs dry.
St. Teresa is painfully 16th century in her writing style but the wisdom imparted is incredible--you just have to not get lost along the way.
I am always reading this book. There are so many aspects I learn everytime I pick it up.
Not an easy read but worth the effort.
St. Teresa of Avila is one of my favorite saints. After years of collecting her famous quotes from various other readings, I finally decided to sit down and read perhaps her most famous book, Interior Castle. Overall, Teresa is giving us a kind of roadmap for spiritual development by using the analogy of a castle with multiple rooms to describe the soul and its union with God...the further in we get, the closer we are to that union. This book is not particularly easy to read. At times St. Teresa...more
Carol Apple
“Few tasks which I have been commanded to undertake by obedience have been so difficult as this present one of writing about matters relating to prayer: for one reason, because I do not feel the Lord has given me either the spirituality or the desire for it….”

So Teresa of Ávila (1515 – 1582) begins The Interior Castle (published 1577), a book which became a lucid and beautifully written spiritual classic. A learned woman who had already written several books, Teresa had been instructed to write...more
Josh Morgan
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Cafe.

My latest review for christianaudio reviewer's program is Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle (which was made possible with a complimentary copy from christianaudio). As many people know, my undergraduate studies focused on religion, particularly hagiographies and texts like St. Teresa's. So I was quite excited to have the opportunity to read (er, listen) to this book. I was familiar with St. Teresa before, but I had not read this book yet.

♥ Ibrahim ♥
Our Lord Jesus Christ told us that in the Father's House there are many mansion, and for our be love saint here, Teressa, these mansions could be seven and they represent the mansions of the soul as it seems to grow, develop and be united with its Beloved the Lord. How close are we getting to the Lord? Are we making some progress?

The beautiful thing about Teresa is that she writes as words come to her mind in full spontaneity. So, her words come so genuine, so simple, so real, so much from the...more
Emma Bolden
When I was a kid, I was completely obsessed with books about saints. However, I tended to only read books that told the stories of saints that, well, died in really gory ways, or got their eyes plucked out or attacked by arrows. I'm both sorry and not sorry that I didn't read more about or by Teresa of Avila -- I'm sorry because I wish I'd come across this earlier in life, and I'm not sorry because this seems to be one of those books that comes to a person at the perfect time. I've only read it...more
Sharon Ellis
"Interior Castle" by St. Teresa of Avila -
Firstly, Thank you to the nuns and persons who have lovingly preserved this work over the centuries.
I fell deeply into the mystical nature of this book and was amazed with the content - what I mean is - how deeply Holy Spirit took me to these places that St. Teresa described. This bopok helped me to understand many mystical things going on in my own life.
How good the Lord is - Eternally - I thank God that He helped St. Teresa chronicle her testimony, a...more
Mark Carr
This is not one of those books you plow through finish say, 'Whew, now I'm enlightened!" As deep calls to deep so St. Teresa's writings cause you stop frequently and wonder and think about what has just been said.
It is not only the spiritual journey she describes that captures your imagination, but the attitude and manner with which she speaks that is so foreign to today's values and surface tendencies.
This book inspires because it shows that prayer and Christian meditation is so much more than...more
Mary Overton
St. Teresa describes the numinous experience as later defined by Rudolf Otto in his book The Idea of the Holy:

"The splendour of Him Who is revealed in the vision resembles an infused light like that of the sun covered with a veil as transparent as a diamond .... The soul to whom God grants this vision almost always falls into an ecstasy, nature being too weak to bear so dread a sight. I say 'dread,' though this apparition is more lovely and delightful than anything that could be imagined even th...more
Mary Rubega
Born 1515-1582 Avila Spain; Doctor of the Church; Doctor of Prayer; mystic

This is written as a manual for other Carmilite sisters on the union with God through prayer. It describes each person as having seven internal spiritual mansions, each mansion consists of many rooms. You enter the first mansion via prayer, the second by prayer and fasting. Within each mansion there are serpents which try to prevent you from moving to the deeper mansion.

As you move further into the mansions, you get a prof...more
A book that I will definitely have to come back to as there is too much to absorb. But I love how Teresa of Avila does a great job of pulling people into the best things they can do: prayer and action!

And to recognize that prayer is also a gift we receive from God as we spend time in His presence and is not meant to leave us with nothing to do after... But that to inspires us into action... And that as we are drawn to God there is nuances to each dwelling as we draw nearer and for And that each...more
Jacqueline Hannaford
Read The Interior Castle. There is much that is thought provoking in this work. It actually kind of echoes Rainbow Painting in that it discusses progressively more profound states of meditation (like the External, Internal and Secret of Rainbow Paintings). The imagery of the castle and the rooms within help the reader begin to understand the progression of the spiritual path, complete with all of the doubt and confusion therein.

However, I have real difficulty with her references to humans as "w...more
An excellent view into the soul. Her humility made me realize I'm probably still not even in the castle yet. Makes you want to try harder with prayer and spirituality.
I think the translation I was borrowing may be a bit... what's the word... obscure... but I got the general idea... it's a consoling concept really... that there is a whole realm of God's Love hidden in the very depths of our own heart & soul... all the beauty that we long for in going on a pilgrimage to a shrine -- can be found in the indwelling presence of God wherever we are! The Heavenly mansions Jesus has promised begins with us making room for Jesus in our own hearts, now. God is with...more
This was a hard one. There were times when I completely understood what she was saying. There were other times that I didn't really have a clue as to her point. I also got confused because she emphasized that the book was about prayer, but it seemed to be more about our general spiritual walk and closeness to God. When I read it with the "closeness to God" mindset, it made more sense. When I tried to read it as about "prayer", I got confused. Prayer is an important spiritual discipline but isn't...more
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Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1970 she was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI.

Born in Avila, Spain, on March 28, 1515, St. Teresa was the...more
More about Teresa of Ávila...
The Way of Perfection The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Ávila, Vol. 1 Let Nothing Disturb You A Life of Prayer: Faith and Passion for God Alone

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“This Beloved of ours is merciful and good. Besides, he so deeply longs for our love that he keeps calling us to come closer. This voice of his is so sweet that the poor soul falls apart in the face of her own inability to instantly do whatever he asks of her. And so you can see, hearing him hurts much more than not being able to hear him… For now, his voice reaches us through words spoken by good people, through listening to spiritual talks, and reading sacred literature. God calls to us in countless little ways all the time. Through illnesses and suffering and through sorrow he calls to us. Through a truth glimpsed fleetingly in a state of prayer he calls to us. No matter how halfhearted such insights may be, God rejoices whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us.” 19 likes
“The devil frequently fills our thoughts with great schemes, so that instead of putting our hands to what work we can do to serve our Lord, we may rest satisfied with wishing to perform impossibilities.” 19 likes
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