Interior Trials Part III
Bonnie enjoyed a wonderful relationship with God, but her new faith community emphasized a pharisaical lifestyle and called it holiness. Under their influence Bonnie became preoccupied with her sins. At first she thought she was getting closer to God, but then she began to experience intense periods of aridity and misery. So she tried harder to correct her sins. She also searched for spiritual guides to help her recover her lost relationship with God. Their counsel resulted in even a greater focus on her faults. This increased her alienation from God.
God communicates loving messages to us and we know these words are from Him. When we become preoccupied with our sins or perceived sins we stifle His healing words and begin to doubt His goodness and protection. The ineffective spiritual guide fails to listen to God or the troubled soul. They already have their solution: Fix your “sins” and get busy at church. This brings the soul unbearable trials.
*Based on material from The Interior Castle: Sixth Mansions: Chapter One (Teresa of Avila).