The Chaos of our Thoughts: Part One

I only want you to be warned that, if you would progress a long way on this road and ascend to the Mansions of your desire, the most important thing is not to think much, but to love much; do, then, whatever most arouses you to love. (Teresa of Avila: Interior Castle: Fourth Mansions: Chapter One)

I give you a new commandment, that you should love one another. (Jesus)

Teresa says, “the most important thing is not to think much, but to love much”. She is not suggesting we dispense with our reasoning ability — just a couple of paragraphs before she says, Knowledge and learning are a great help in everything.” Teresa also encourages us to use all our faculties: reason, will, memory, understanding, and faith.

But Teresa’s “not to think much but to love much” comment has an important point: We need a more stable center than our scattered, racing, contradictory, and undisciplined thoughts. And love is an important part of this center. Properly understood, love provides a discerning filter to guide our actions and non-actions. 

In the chaos of our scattered and distracting thoughts, I encourage you to remember Teresa’s wise advice, “the most important thing is not to think much but to love much; do, then, whatever most arouses you to love.”

Follow on Twitter: @Dave_Small

Contact Information: teresaofavilaturns500@gmail.com

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Jesus Follower, Blogger, Public Speaker. Teresaofavilaturns500.wordpress.com

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Posted in 4th Mansions - Chapter 1
4 comments on “The Chaos of our Thoughts: Part One
  1. smalin920 says:

    What a great quote! I believe overthinking cripples so many people and is definitely a tool the devil uses often to inhibit people from even basic acts of kindness and love.

  2. Dave Small says:

    I like your comments Lindsay. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Penny says:

    I’m very slowly reading through the Interior Castle, and this is probably the most important message in the entire book. For those of us who are more interested in theology and theory, frequent reminders that Christianity is about love are vital.

  4. Dave Small says:

    Well said Penny — thanks for sharing your comments. Nice to hear about your contemplative read through the Interior Castle.

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