Teresa of Avila wrote several books during her life that have become spiritual classics. Interior Castle (1577) unveils a profound spiritual vision in which Teresa saw the soul as "a castle made of a single diamond . . . surrounded by six mansions the soul must traverse on its journey to the center of the castle and union with God." One approached the seventh mansion in the center, where the King of Glory dwells, by going through the other mansions of Humility, Practice of Prayer, Meditation, Quiet, Illumination, and Dark Night. In each of the seven mansions readers will experience a deepening desire to know God more intimately by conforming their wills to His will.
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St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), a major figure of the Roman Catholic Reformation, was a prominent writer and a monastic reformer. She joined the Carmelite order of nuns as a young woman and spent long hours in a form of meditation that she called the "prayer of quiet" and the deeper "prayer of union." She wrote several books that have become spiritual classics. Her best-known work is Interior Castle. She is one of the thirty-three Doctors of the Roman Catholic Church, and one of only three female Doctors, along with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Therese of Lisieux.