Teresa of Avila: Interior Castle: Seventh Mansions: Chapter Two
“But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” (I Corinthians 6.17)
We’ve completed Chapter One of the Seventh Mansions of the Interior Castle where Teresa of Avila writes about the presence of the Trinity. As we move to Chapter Two, she focuses on our oneness with Christ.
Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez summarize Chapter Two in their book: The Interior Castle Study Edition.
“She has dealt with the mystery of the Trinity (the indwelling) in the first chapter. Now, in this second chapter, Teresa focuses on the mystery of Christ in this highest phase of her spiritual life, in which she experiences manifestly that “Christ is living in her.” The mystery of this experience is profound. Doesn’t the Christian life consist merely in a relationship with or the following or imitation of Christ? But here we have a compenetration of two lives, that of Christ and that of our own. This comes about not through empathy, but through a mysterious union of the lives of both persons.” (Teresa of Avila. The Interior Castle Study Edition (p. 410). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition. Kavanaugh and Rodriguez)
Kavanaugh and Rodriquez also note “two Pauline expressions, ‘to live’ and ‘one spirit,’ summarize the content of this second chapter of the seventh dwelling places.” Christ living in us moves us beyond “the following or imitation of Christ” — as important as that is. Here we’re talking about the interfusion or union “of two lives, that of Christ and that of our own”. The Apostle Paul wrote, “But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.”
For this post I used a translation of The Interior Castle by Kieran Kavanaugh O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez O.C.D., ICS Publications, Institute of Carmelite Studies: Washington D.C. Kindle Edition.