"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "

Thomas á Kempis

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"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."

St Philip Neri

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"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "

Thomas á Kempis

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 St Teresa of Avila  (1515- 1582)
Founder of the Discalced Carmelites and Doctor of the Church

 

INTERIOR CASTLE

By St Teresa of Avila

CONTENTS
 

TRANSLATOR'S INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION (by  E. Allison Peers)

1. General background
2. Origin of the book
3. Description of the Mansions
4. About the manuscripts
5. List of Abbreviations

FIRST MANSIONS

1. The beauty and dignity of our souls
2. The hideousness of a soul in mortal sin

SECOND MANSIONS

1. The great importance of perseverance

THIRD MANSIONS

1. Insecurity in this life of exile
2. Aridities in prayer

FOURTH MANSIONS

1. The difference between sweetness or tenderness in prayer and consolations
2. Explains by a comparison what is meant by consolations
3. Prayer of Recollection

FIFTH MANSIONS

1. Explain how in prayer the soul is united with God
2. The effects of the Prayer of Union
3. Another kind of union
4. Cautions about proceding cautiously

SIXTH MANSIONS

1. With greater favours comes greater trials
2. Several ways in which Our Lord awakens the soul
3. How God speaks to the soul
4. When God suspends the soul in prayer by rapture
5. How God exalts the soul through flights of the spirit
6. How to know when this prayer is genuine
7. Keep in mind the Humanity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
8. About intellectual visions
9. About imaginary visions
10. Other favours which God grants to the soul
11. Desires to enjoy God imperil its life

SEVENTH MANSIONS

1. About the great favours which God bestows here
2. The difference between spiritual union and spiritual marriage
3. The striking effects produced by this prayer
4. Why Our Lord grants such great favours

EPILOGUE