2cornucopias

Who Inhabits Your Soul?

In 14 Book Corner on 2014/04/25 at 12:00 AM

A question based on the excerpt from Saint Teresa of Avila’s  Way of Perfection, ch.28 (© Institute of Carmelite Studies)

In my opinion, if I had understood as I do now that in this little palace of my soul dwelt so great a King, I would not have left Him alone so often. I would have remained with Him at times and striven more so as not to be so unclean. But what a marvelous thing, that He who would fill a thousand worlds and many more with His grandeur would enclose Himself in something so small! In fact, since He is Lord He is free to do what He wants, and since He loves us He adapts Himself to our size.

So that the soul won’t be disturbed in the beginning by seeing that it is too small to have something so great within itself, the Lord doesn’t give it this knowledge until He enlarges it little by little and it has the capacity to receive what He will place within it. For this reason I say He is free to do what He wants since He has the power to make this palace a large one. The whole point is that we should give ourselves to Him with complete determination, and we should empty the soul in such a way that He can store things there or take them away as though it were His own property. And since His Majesty has the rights of ownership, let us not oppose Him. And since He doesn’t force our will, He takes what we give Him; but He doesn’t give Himself completely until we give ourselves completely.

This fact is certain; and because it is so important, I bring it to your minds so often. He never works in the soul as He does when it is totally His without any obstacle, nor do I see how He could. He is the friend of all good order. Now, then, if we fill the palace with lowly people and trifles, how will there be room for the Lord with His court? He does enough by remaining just a little while in the midst of so much confusion.

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