Interior Castle – Sixth Mansions – Chapter 3
Locutions and The Spiritual Guide
We need to distinguish “locutions” (direct messages/personal revelation) that come from God from messages coming from our imagination or the devil. Teresa teaches us locutions from God align with the scriptures and include several signs:
- The first sign a locution comes from God is it bears a sense of power and authority.
- The second sign a locution comes from God is there will be great tranquility in the soul.
- The third sign a locution comes from God is the words do not vanish from our memory.
If a locution aligns with scripture and the three signs are present, we may need to do one more thing. If what we are considering is a matter “of great importance and involves some action on the part of the hearer, or matters affecting a third person” we should seek the advice of a spiritual guide. This guide should be a “learned” person of “clear insight and a servant of God”. We do this to avoid being deceived by the devil or our imagination.
Even if we know the locutions we’ve received come from God, consultation is an important step in vital matters. If the spiritual guide is a knowledgeable servant of God possessing clear insight, God will help him or her “recognize the work of His spirit”. If the wise spiritual guide doesn’t see God’s activity in the locution we received, “we have no further obligations” to that locution. It is then dangerous to follow our own opinion in these matters.
But if all things are in alignment — the locution is consistent with the scriptures, it comes with great power and authority, we have tranquility in our soul, and the words are engraved in our memory — and now the locution is validated by a wise spiritual guide as the work of the Spirit, we can move forward with great confidence and blessing.
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