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.”
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