The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

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Image credit: “St. Teresa of Ávila” (detail) | Peter Paul Rubens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

By Carmelite Sisters, Integrated Catholic Life, Oct 15, 2022 

“There is a treasure that lies within buried in the darkness and often messiness of the soul. To discover it one must be willing to enter the door of the castle through prayer…”

The De Beers Jewelry marketing slogan of “Diamonds are Forever” might have been a perfect catchphrase for Saint Teresa’s “Diamond”, better known to us as the Interior Castle. However, this company was not yet around in 1577 when she was ordered to write another book.

“Forever” was a well-chosen word because of the properties and symbolism inherent in the diamond. In the story of her Life (Chapter XL, Par. 14) Teresa had likened God to a diamond.

“Let us suppose the Godhead to be a most brilliant
diamond, much larger than the whole world,
or a mirror like that to which I compared the soul
in a former vision, only in a way so high that I
cannot possibly describe it;
and that all our actions are seen in that diamond,
which is of such dimensions as to include everything,
because nothing can be beyond it.
It was a fearful thing for me to see, in so short a time,
so many things together in that brilliant diamond,
and a most piteous thing too, whenever I think of it,
to see such foul things as my sins
present in the pure brilliancy of that light.” ….

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