The Interior Castle is considered St. Teresa’s masterpiece. Written when her life was reaching a fuller maturation of mystical union with God, this book is the fruit of her lived experience, of the soul's spiritual journey.
Perhaps it’s surprising that right in the middle of this classic work, Teresa takes a sharp turn from descriptions of spiritual castles and fortifications and dwelling places to….butterflies.
But this was no unmoored flight of fancy for Teresa. For her, the life cycle of the butterfly is a perfect image of the transformation that the human person achieves in Christ.
As Teresa narrates in the Fifth Dwelling Places, chapter 2, the silkworm spins its cocoon—its life’s work—and then (apparently) dies. But what emerges from the cocoon “tomb” is the beautiful butterfly, now totally transformed into a radically new life. In contemporary terms, the silkworm-become-butterfly describes the movement into the wholeness (of one’s personality), as union with God deepens.
As she does with the butterfly image, Teresa evokes the image of the castle as a progressive inner journey through its many spacious rooms and “dwelling places.” Finally the soul reaches the center where, now transformed, it is united with God. It’s the ultimate Easter story: death to self leads to total transformation and new life in God.
The Interior Castle: Study Edition is really two books in one: St. Teresa’s classic text accompanied by a wealth of related material to enhance your reading and learning experience. In this rich study edition, Father Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD – the English translator of St. Teresa’s works—offers the reader:
- a chapter of Teresa’s text, followed by the principal themes in each chapter;
- interpretive notes for each chapter covering doctrine, history, and sociology;
- questions for reflection and discussion;
- a glossary of terms, noting their sometimes unique meaning in Teresa’s writings;
- and a biblical index of scriptural texts or allusions to them found in Teresa’s work.
If you’re looking for a book on Easter transformation, this is it.
Until April 12, 2017, you can buy The Interior Castle: Study Edition at a special discount of 40% off the cover price of $26.95 --that’s just $16.17. At this bargain price, you’ll want to add it to your Easter basket today!