The Interior Castle

The Interior Castle

Prayer is less a work of mental exercise than it is a rest in God’s love. In his book, Creative Prayer, Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh relates the following story: “I remember one of the first people who came to me for advice when I was ordained was an old lady who said: “Father, I have been praying almost unceasingly for fourteen years, and I have never had any sense of God’s presence.” “So” I said, “Did you give him a chance to put in a word?” “Oh well,” she said, “No, I have been talking to him all the time, because is not that prayer?” I said; “No, I do not think it is, and what I suggest is that you should set apart fifteen minutes a day, sit and just knit before the face of God.” And so she did. What was the result? Quite soon she came again and said:  “It is extraordinary, when I pray to God, in other words, when I talk to him, I feel nothing, but when I sit quietly, face to face with him, then I feel wrapped in his presence.” You will never be able to pray to God really and from all your heart unless you learn to keep silent and rejoice in the miracle of his presence, or if you prefer, of your being face to face with him although you do not see him.”       

Our soul is the most precious part of ourselves. Its matchless beauty has yet to be discovered by most of humanity. Soul care grows in importance as we move closer to Jesus. In her spiritual masterpiece, the Interior Castle, Teresa of Avila describes the importance of the soul and the necessity to keep it beautiful. Teresa tells us that Jesus is at the center of our soul castle. He patiently waits for us to come to him. We come to him through prayer. Teresa explains how we grow in prayer.

Prayer is a journey of love. On this journey, we can linger in love with the Lord, and let ourselves be loved by him. Prayer gives us the push to know God better and to trust that he will help us in our needs. Prayer is a haven of the heart where we strive to see ourselves through God’s eyes of love. 

For more on prayer development, read my book From Ash to Fire: A Contemporary Journey through the Interior Castle of Teresa of Avila. Available on Amazon.

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Written by
Carolyn Humphreys, O.C.D.S.