In 2009 Mary Cannon brought me a book, Entering the Castle, saying that she was led to give it to me. That morning she led me through a prayer unlike any I’ve experienced before or since. Mary was a remarkable woman. She died from brain cancer, November 23, 2016.
In Entering the Castle the author, Caroline Myss, revisits the writings of Sister Teresa of Ávila, who wrote The Interior Castle in 1577 as a guide for spiritual development through service and prayer. I’ll use Myss’ book, as well as, others as your guide for Spiritual Health in 2017. Myss carries the reader through the Castle beginning in the dungeon where we will find the “reptiles” in our lives.
Entering your Castle is “embarking on a life’s journey that will transform you and your relationship with God and the world.” This is serious spiritual work. You’ve likely asked yourself, “What is my purpose for being here? or “What am I meant to do? I know I have.
Let’s go together, hand-in-hand, on this spiritual journey “into a deeper, more authentic experience of God” in 2017. We will enter our own personal “castle” and sit with our soul as we draw our truth to our hearts. You will learn to hear more clearly the voice calling to your soul. You will see your soul as a castle.
Teresa of Ávila said, “I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms.”
First step is to get your mind out of the way. Prepare to enter one room at a time. You begin by clearing the soul in the lower rooms, in your dungeon. You will discover your “reptiles” there. “Teresa called them—those interior sufferings of mind, heart, and spirit that you need to face and expel from your soul” Here you learn to wait for God.
Expectations are the worst of the reptiles. In Alcoholics Anonymous they say, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.” If you find yourself wondering where your resentments originate, consider what you were expecting. We think our expectations are reasonable. We think we are entitled. The truth is life doesn’t owe us.
Other “reptiles” are jealousy, hatred, and meanness.
This first room requires that you open yourself to guidance. You face, figuratively, the people you need to forgive. You face your own dark side. You examine your attachments to material things in your life. You become aware of all the sources of stress and power struggles that cause you trouble. Much prayer is required. It is important to work on clearing your dungeon before you go into another chamber of your castle.
The attraction to the divine is the most basic force of our lives. – Caroline Myss
I am a Certified Professional Coach and I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My Website.