Translated from the original by Ana Giménez.
A new and deeper way of living the Gospel is explained in the third mansion, deeper than in the two previous ones. It consists in a trip to our inner selves in search of our “core”, following the evangelical model of the rich young man. Teresa follows the ideas of a religious movement of her time known as the “recogidos” (partisans of recollection).
We are going in search of the treasure of life enclosed in the deepest part of our being. The ideal thing is to enter in the third mansion when a certain degree of friendship with Jesus is born, we do pray frequently, growth of the virtues and the sacraments are sometimes received. If you have just arrived to spiritual life, you may also enter and start to practise in your life what you are learning, because the mansions are different ways of living the Gospel which enjoy a certain degree of autonomy.
We will learn many things: we will continue with meditation prayer learnt in second mansion, vocal prayer, learnt in first mansion, we will also keep on practising the virtues and friendship with Jesus Christ, etc. We will not forget what has been learnt before, as it will be assimilated.
I once said that this is like having three children, if we love one of them, we also love the two eldest ones. At the beginning we will be tested to make sure that we are applying to our daily life what has previously been learnt. For the first time and hand in hand with the very Sacred Humanity of Christ our prayers will be directly addressed to God Father.
Remember that we said that in meditation prayer, after a reflection and dialogue we have to allow ourselves to be looked by Jesus, a look of affection and spirits. In the third mansion we are going to learn to quieten images in our mind till we stay in silence of love. The very same one that lovers have when everything has been said. That full silence which maintains ourselves united to the loved person with barely any words.
The rich young man in the Gospel is asked to renounce relinquish his wealth and to follow Jesus. Saint Teresa understands it not in an economic sense, but in a personal way. Jesus wants our innermost self, our person. To get to that, we have to make up our mind, as adult love comes from determination, not from emotion. This goodwill resolution, as solid as we can, doesn´t mean that we may get it on the spot. We need time and considerable effort.
When we go deep down into our personality, to the core, we can find two little boxes-I can´t think of a better example- we are in one of the boxes and in the one next to it, God one and triune, the One who dwells in us. Very few people dare to approach to the little box of our innermost self, we are scared. Furthermore, we surround it by walls to protect ourselves. In this box the best and the worst of ourselves is shut up. We frequently choose to evade it and move around with masks. Our Lord, who created in His image and likeness and brought us up, will ask us to go down with no fear (even better if we go with a friend) let´s open our little box and let´s contemplate the beauty and qualities with which we were created and still are brought up. Once you have discovered the best in you, notice your dark side carefully, you will find mistakes, flaws, miseries and sins. Don´t get scared. Except Jesus and Mary, we all have them. If we are conscious, they are a very heavy burden to walk in freedom. Hand to Jesus Christ that dark side in, over and over again; leave it at the foot of the Cross, ask The Holy Spirit -the One kept in the box next to you -for help.
Only humble people are able to free themselves from the slavery of their human weakness. Let´s be brave to learn to live like the eagles, with one eye on God and the other on reality. In my opinion, the virtue of humility that Teresa mentions from the beginning, gains a full meaning here. We will walk through life without masks, in truth, not in falsehood. The knowledge of ourselves-that we have been practising since first mansion- reaches now its full meaning. It is a way to tell God that we want to be honest, to live in love and justice, to take charge of us and as Him to help us to correct-as much as we can- anything from that dark area which we find difficult to eradicate.
(Read third mansion, slowly, with no fear. It is marvellous)
(I keep on using the tree, one of the great symbols in the History of religions, along with the rock and the mountain. It is the tree of Christ´s Cross from which we -the leaves, the united fruit in the same root- are born to the faith in God. In the following posts, I will use pictures under water showing that most things are in us and we only need to learn how to dive. The photos edited are taken from Canva program, easy to use. You may use these pictures to communicate others the wish to lead a spiritual Christian life).