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St. Teresa, should I strive to quiet my mind during prayer?

January 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Featured, Meditation, Mental Prayer, Prayer, Teresa of Avila

Teresa of Avila 22 copy

Q: Dear Saint Teresa, I have read a number of books on prayer that advocate methods of suppressing, shutting down, or eliminating thinking all together during prayer.  In one centering prayer book it said to “let your thoughts go” and that “thoughts are a normal part of prayer.” Even though the book claimed that it was not teaching to eliminate thoughts, in the end, the method taught that we seek a state... Read More

Do we really need to worry all that much about our spiritual progress?

September 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Dan Burke, Teresa of Avila

Spiral Transit Interior Castles Featured

Q: Dear St. Teresa, is it not better to somewhat ‘go with the flow’ of God’s leading in our life, doing our best, and not worry too much of where we are in the spiritual perfection? A: Dear friend, we must beg the Lord for guidance. We must frequently consider that without him we are lost. We must never trust ourselves. We must be vigilant regarding our progress in virtue – especially how we love others. We... 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 of Sisters with one such encounter... 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 to God. Is this really... Read More

What is so special about the Interior Castle?

October 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Sr. Laudis, Teresa of Avila

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 cooperated so completely with... Read More

Reflection on the narrow path to life – St. Teresa of Avila

O my Lord, how obvious it is that You are almighty! There’s no need to look for reasons for what You want. For, beyond all natural reason, You make things so possible that You manifest clearly there’s no need for anything more than truly to love You and truly leave all for You, so that You, my Lord, may make everything easy, It fits well here to say that You feign labor in Your law. For I don’t see, Lord, nor do I know how... Read More

Which should I fear more, the devil, or my own venial sins?

August 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Meditations, Saints and Blesseds, Sin, Teresa of Avila

Q: Dear St. Teresa, which should I fear more, the devil, or my own venial sins? A: If this Lord is powerful, as I see that He is and I know that He is, and if the devils are His slaves (and there is no doubt about this because it’s a matter of faith), what evil can they do to me since I am a servant of this Lord and King? Why shouldn’t I have the fortitude to engage in combat with all of hell? May it please His majesty... Read More