Quote shared from Mystic Path to Cosmic Consciousness
“You need not go to heaven to see God;
nor need you speak loud, as if God were far away;
nor need you cry for wings like a dove to fly to Him.
Only be in silence, and you will come upon God within yourself.”
~ Saint Teresa of Avila
I had just spouted my doubt on the historical accuracy of the Bible, and here I am quoting a Catholic Nun who was born in 1515 and died in 1582. But it’s appropriate, because Saint Teresa was controversial in her day for many reasons (many of which I mentioned in my previous post); and I likely first heard of her from one of Caroline Myss’ books because Myss was very into the Catholic mystic known as Saint Teresa of Avila, and I’ve read nearly everything written by Caroline Myss.
Here is Caroline’s take of Saint Teresa’s influence on her own personal life.
(From Myss’ website on Saint Teresa of Avila): “I believe that the divine is everywhere and exists within even the most intimate details of our lives. All that we experience today has its purpose in tomorrow’s events; sometimes, the purpose is not evident for years of tomorrows. Yet, God prepares you for your spiritual journey, no matter how complicated, painful, or demanding it might become. For this reason, patience, trust, and faith must become constants for you; you cannot, and indeed you must not, even attempt to believe you know what is best for you. The divine will reveal its plan for you; you have to be open to receive it. With this bit of advice, let me now share why and how I came to fall in love with Teresa of Avila, whose life’s work with the soul is the foundation of ‘Entering the Castle,’ as well as my personal spiritual journey and practice.” – Caroline Myss
Myss’ book on this subject is officially called Entering the Castle: Finding the Inner Path to God and Your Soul’s Purpose– (January 1, 2008)
Some general background on Saint Teresa of Avila (from Wiki):
“Teresa of Ávila, born Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus (28 March 1515 – 4 or 15 October 1582)[a], was a Spanish noblewoman who felt called to convent life in the Catholic Church. A Carmelite nun, prominent Spanish mystic, religious reformer, author, theologian of the contemplative life and of mental prayer, she earned the rare distinction of being declared a Doctor of the Church, but not until over four centuries after her death.[b] Active during the Catholic Reformation, she reformed the Carmelite Orders of both women and men. …
…Teresa, who had been a social celebrity in her home province, was dogged by early family losses and ill health. In her mature years, she became the central figure of a movement of spiritual and monastic renewal borne out of an inner conviction and honed by ascetic practice. She was also at the center of deep ecclesiastical controversy as she took on the pervasive laxity in her order against the background of the Protestant reformation sweeping over Europe and the Spanish Inquisition asserting church discipline in her home country. The consequences were to last well beyond her life. One papal legate described her as a ‘restless wanderer, disobedient, and stubborn femina who, under the title of devotion, invented bad doctrines, moving outside the cloister against the rules of the Council of Trent and her prelates; teaching as a master against Saint Paul‘s orders that women should not teach.’ … (Special note: St. Paul was actually Saul of Tarsus, the tax collector, a Jewish Pharisee who never met Jesus in person except for his instant conversion on the road to Damascus when Saul said that the spirit of Jesus suddenly appeared before him and ‘showed him the Light’–by temporarily blinding him. Saul did not meet the original disciples of Jesus until after that conversion, although he was present for the martyrdom–the stoning– of St. Stephen–a fancy way of saying that he had attended the killing of St. Stephen and that he had also been a major persecutor of all followers of Jesus prior to his “conversion”. )
…Her written contributions, which include her autobiography, The Life of Teresa of Jesus and her seminal work The Interior Castle, are today an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature. Together with The Way of Perfection, her works form part of the literary canon of Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practice, and continue to attract interest from people both within and outside the Catholic Church….”
So again, I can say that spiritual inspiration comes in many forms from many places. And after a recent ‘discussion’ with someone dear to me who was questioning my personal beliefs with: ‘What are they? …I know you aren’t Christian. So what is it DO you believe in?’
I can easily point to the Saint Teresa of Avila quote above and say… “THAT! I believe in THAT.” — heartfelt words spoken by a Catholic Saint.