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Date(s) - 04/11/2020
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM


This month’s conversation will discuss Ruth Burrow’s book on Teresa’s Interior Castle. Some pre-reading is available before the session. This discussion will be in two parts each focusing on essential grounding for understanding Teresa: the process of ‘becoming human’, and the difference between the essence of mystical encounter and the experienced effects.

You are invited to read the chapter Fourth Mansion Part I which deals with some of the issues, concepts and common confusions about Teresa’s writing. Ruth Burrows writes, in relations to the difference between essence and effect, “My conviction is that anything that can be described, given an account of, simply cannot be the mystical encounter in itself.” It is the effects, not the essence, that can be described. “If we have faith, surely we know that God gives himself without measure and we can’t attempt to gauge the depth of the giving by our totally inadequate plumb lines of sense (what we feel).” page 41

From the back cover:
INTERIOR CASTLE EXPLORED is a penetrating interpretation of St Teresa of Avila’s central teaching on prayer. But it is more than a contemporary Carmelite commentary on that 16th-century Carmelite classic; it is also, in its own right, a guide to the life of deep union with God.
First published in 1982, INTERIOR CASTLE EXPLORED has itself become known as a spiritual classic written by a widely-praised and bestselling author. RUTH BURROWS is a Carmelite Nun from Quidenham in Northfolk.

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The “Carmelite Conversations” program for 2020 has one more session with Br Matthew Tonini on John of the Cross. The original program was altered month by month throughout the year due to Coronavirus restrictions and availability of presenters who were comfortable with Zoom. Some of the topic that did not go ahead in 2020 will hopefully be offered in 2021.


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