The soul will certainly suffer great trials at this time, especially if the devil sees that its character and habits are such that it is ready to make further progress: all the powers of hell will combine to drive it back. (Teresa of Avila: Second Mansions)
Teresa emphasizes perseverance in the Second Mansions of the Interior Castle. She says this part of our journey is less dangerous than the First Mansions because we are closer to the center of the castle where the King resides. It is more difficult because the Devil wages a “fierce war” against us.
We learned five things to help us navigate the Second Mansions:
- Listen to God: He speaks to us through conversations with good people, sermons, books, trials, and prayer.
- Develop Spiritual Habits: Establish sustainable “spiritual habits” especially around prayer and meditation. Start small, repeat daily.
- Rely on Your Faculties: Your reason, faith, memory, will, and understanding are reliable guides. Use them.
- Consult Spiritual Guides: We never grow beyond the need for experienced mentors with practical wisdom.
- Maintain a Fixed Determination: We drive the devil away when we resolve not to be defeated.
Thank you for reading Teresa of Avila Turns 500. Please join me as we move to the Third Mansions of the Interior Castle.
For an overview of the First Mansions click here.
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