October 15 is the day of Saint Teresa of Ávila (d. 1582) according to the Catholic faith. Teresa was a prominent mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation.
Her writings, especially the Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, have helped generations of believers. Her writings on prayer and contemplation are drawn from her experience and are powerful, practical and graceful. The central mystical thought of all of Teresa's writings is the ascent of the soul.
The first stage of the soul's ascent, or "mental prayer", is that of devout contemplation and the devout observance of the passion of Christ.
The second is the "prayer of quiet", in which the human will is lost in that of God by virtue of a charismatic, supernatural state given of God. One's prevailing state becomes one of quietude.
The third is the "devotion of union" which is an essentially ecstatic state of union with God.
The fourth is the "devotion of ecstasy or rapture," a passive state, in which the consciousness of being in the body disappears. It is the climax of mystical experience., productive of the trance.
Teresa, pronounced a Doctor of the Church in 1970, is one of the foremost writers on mental prayer, and her position among writers on mystical theology is unique because it is based on her personal experience which, combined with deep insight and analytical gifts, allowed her to explain the subject clearly.
Her book, The Interior Castle, was the base upon which modern mystic Caroline Myss based her book, Entering the Castle.
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St Theresa of Avila - The Interior Castle
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