St. Teresa of Avila (March 28, 1515 – October 4, 1582) was a famous Christian mystic nun.
All of these quotes are from her fascinating book, The Interior Castle. The entire book is available for a listen on YouTube, here.
“I thought of the soul as resembling a castle…”
“All our interest is centered in the rough setting of the diamond, and in the outer wall of the castle - that is to say, in these bodies of ours.”
“So accustomed have they grown to living all the time with the reptiles and other creatures… they have almost become like them.”
“Although this is only the first mansion, it contains riches of great price, and any who can elude the reptiles which are to be found in it will not fail to go further.”
“We suffer terrible trials because we do not understand ourselves… we fail to realize that there is an interior world close at hand.”
“How great are Thy secrets, and how different are spiritual things from any that can be seen or understood here below.”
“But we shall never succeed in knowing ourselves unless we seek to know God.”
“The soul is still absorbed in wordly affairs, engulfed in worldly pleasure and puffed up with worldly honors and ambitions.”
“Reason tells the soul how mistaken it is in thinking that all these earthly things are of the slightest value by comparison with what it is seeking.”
“When [the soul] is cleansed, God unites it with Himself, in a way which none can understand save it and He, and even the should itself does not understand this in such a way as to be ablel to speak of it afterwards.”