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I am stuck in my spiritual growth… how do I get unstuck? This is frustrating! Part II of II

Q: Dear Sister Carmen, I feel like I am stuck in mansion somewhere in mansion one or two. Is this normal? Where do most people get stuck in the journey through the mansions and is there any common way you can suggest that we get unstuck? Maybe I am just impatient. I feel like I should be growing but I am not. In our first post in this two part series we talked about a few of the reasons we get stuck... Read More

I am stuck in my spiritual growth… how do I get unstuck? This is frustrating! Part I of II

Q: Dear Sister Carmen, I feel like I am stuck in mansion somewhere in mansion one or two. Is this normal? Where do most people get stuck in the journey through the mansions and is there any common way you can suggest that we get unstuck? Maybe I am just impatient. I feel like I should be growing but I am not. A: Teresa posits conformity to God’s will as the first principle of spiritual growth In... Read More

How can we mature through the first few rooms of the Interior Castle?

Q: Dear Sister Carmen, in your last post you provided a really helpful summary of the first few mansions. You mentioned that they are “rooms of humility.” I would be grateful if you could help me understand the kinds of prayer that help us mature through these first few rooms. I have been advised to practice meditation for which Fr. John’s Better Part is a wonderful resource. Is this also consistent... Read More

What does St. Teresa mean by “pesky reptiles”?

Q: Dear Sister Carmen, In the Interior Castles St. Teresa talks about “pesky reptiles” and other creatures. What exactly does she mean when she is saying these things?” A: Those “pesky reptiles!” When you come across a snake unexpectedly, what is your immediate reaction? Well, unless you are a herpetologist it is probably fear, dread or surprise. Let me share with you the reaction of a group... Read More

When is prayer not prayer at all?

January 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Difficulties, Prayer, Teresa of Avila, Vocal

Q: Dear Dan, I read your post about praying at the speed of light. I agree, however, one of the commentators seems to be attempting to dull the point that we must be attentive when we pray for it to be real prayer? They said that it is only our intent that matters. If our intent is all that matters, then what if we regularly intend to pray and be attentive to God but never or rarely are, in fact, attentive... Read More

Sometimes prayer is so frustrating I just give up… what can I do?

Q: Dear Sister Carmen, in the Second Mansion of the Interior Castle, St. Teresa strongly emphasizes the need for perseverance. Can you help me understand how this works in a practical way? I really struggle to keep a consistent prayer time and to stay focused when I pray. Sometimes it is so frustrating that I just give up. I know this doesn’t help but what can I do? A: Many doors have a sign... Read More

What is so special about the Interior Castle?

Q: Dear Sister Carmen, would you share why St. Teresa wrote the “Interior Castle” and why spiritual directors refer to it so often? What makes it so special? A: Dear Friend, your question is very timely as the memorial of St. Teresa is celebrated this Saturday. St. Teresa of Jesus (also known as St. Teresa of Avila) was led by the Holy Spirit into a very special friendship with God. Because she... Read More