Spiritual marriage is like rain falling from heaven into a river or stream, becoming one and the same liquid, so that the river and rainwater cannot be divided…
Saint Teresa of Avila
Topic: Immanence & Transcendence
Union may be symbolized by two wax candles, the tips of which touch each other so closely that there is but one light; or again, the wick, the wax, and the light become one, but the one candle can again be separated from the other and the two candles remain distinct; or the wick may be withdrawn from the wax.
But spiritual marriage is like rain falling from heaven into a river or stream, becoming one and the same liquid, so that the river and rainwater cannot be divided; or it resembles a streamlet flowing into the ocean, which cannot afterwards be disunited from it. This marriage may also be likened to a room into which a bright light enters through two windows—though divided when it enters, the light becomes one and the same.
Saint Teresa of Ávila, born Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada (28 March 1515 – 4 October 1582), was an influential Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, and a central figure of the Counter-Reformation. Best known for her deep theological insights, she authored several important works that reflect her devotion to a life of contemplative prayer. Known for her mystical experiences, Teresa embraced the spiritual path as a Carmelite nun, where she found the essence of her vocation. Her understanding of contemplative life through mental prayer has had an enduring impact on Christian spirituality, even transcending the confines of her own religious tradition.
In addition to her spiritual contributions, Saint Teresa is remembered for her significant role in reforming the Carmelite Order of her era. Her reformative efforts were a response to a perceived laxity in her order, focusing on the renewal of commitment to solitude and poverty. Along with Saint John of the Cross, she initiated a movement that resulted in the establishment of the Discalced Carmelites, an order that emphasized austerity and the contemplative life. Notably, this significant institutional development occurred posthumously, with neither Teresa nor John alive when the Carmelite Order ultimately separated into two distinct branches.
The Interior Castle
of Avila, St. Teresa. The Interior Castle. [Quoted in The Culturium online article ‘Teresa of Ávila: The Ecstasy of Love’ Sept 9, 2016.]
Saint Teresa of Avila
Copyright © 2017 – 2023 LuminaryQuotes.com About Us