With the feast day of Teresa of Avila in October, this month’s Spiritual Reading Group will be on Ruth Burrows’ book on Teresa’s Interior Castle. This session will be in two parts each focusing on essential grounding for understanding Teresa: our call to ‘become human’ and grow toward union with God, and Ruth Burrows’ insights into the difference between the essence of mystical encounter and the experienced effects. This clarification helps to make sense of Teresa’s mystical experiences.
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
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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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Next Spiritual Reading Group – Wednesday 17 November 2021 – Wendy Crouch on Hildegard of Bingen.
Bookings are closed for this event.