Interior castles

Lynn Pitts
Faith Columnist

Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts. …

(1 Chronicles 6:54 KJV)

It was St. Teresa of Avila who coined the phrase “interior castles.”

She was a nun who lived in Avila, Spain. Amid the castles of Spain, St. Teresa built her own mental castles: Her prayers, thoughts, beliefs, convictions were formed, shaped, and honed by that place and by her intellect and her faith.

Her most famous writing, Nada Te Turbe (Let Nothing Disturb You), was a prayer found in her breviary, written in her own hand in 1577 and published in 1588.

I am intrigued by that phrase.

Now I have never been one to go ballistic, to saddle up and ride off in all directions, but I freely admit that some things do disturb me! (I will refrain from listing them here, because a) why should I burden you with my complaints, and b) I am sure you have your own.)

There are some battles I am willing to fight, but there are a great many smaller squabbles in which I am willing to follow what I think of as my troika: “Let it go; give it up; and set it free!”

Or as a friend of mine was fond of saying: “Whatever.”

But it is the “interior castles” that I keep thinking about. There are some folks who have never had an unspoken thought. Whatever is on their mind falls right out of their mouth like a gumball out of a machine.

There are thoughts that bear reconsidering. There are others that should be locked up in some interior castle, never to be thought again, much less spoken. There are some thoughts that are so precious and dear that they must be spoken, as a gift to the world!

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