Translated from the original by Ana Giménez.
The umbrella means the received text, what has been written in first, second and third mansion
Geniuses don´t invent everything. They are able to understand the spirit of a period, they assume History and the moment they have to live, they think about it and internalize it and launch it again as far as they can, enriched with their creativity.
This is the case of Teresa
In the 5th century the first spiritual itinerary was written (Gregory of Nyssa in his “Life of Moses”). In this very same century the three periods of spiritual life are invented, those who start off, those who take a step forward and finally, those who enter into union with God (Dionysius the Areopagite). At the beginning of the second millennium Bernard of Clairvaux established another opinion: we are created on God´s own image and we know ourselves to be humble; secondly, we meditate the mysteries of Christ Man´s life; and thirdly, the union with God. This criterion is the one that Teresa follows.
The three first mansions explain the two first steps by Bernard. However, she does it her own way, describing the spiritual situation applied at any single mansion. She adds an extra mansion.
As Teresa belongs to the movement of “The recollected” (“Los recogidos”)
Let me explain.
The need to renew the Church came from way back, from even earlier than the 16th century. First of all the religious orders thought about the need to go back to Rules and Constitutions of every order. They were called the “observants” (“observantes”). Some others, later thought that to fulfil a few rules was not enough if they wouldn´t change their hearts. That´s when this movement-of great influence in the 16th century- was born, that’s the one Teresa joins.Without a change of the heart, there is nothing to do. There was a need to get to the bottom, so people would change and with them, as well as society. It is about a change from deep inside. Hence, recollection prayer in the third mansion.
On the other hand, when serious crisis is experienced, Church has always answered the same way: by teaching meditation prayer to God´s people, that is, go beyond vocal prayer and learn to pray with the Bible; look after the poor and those who suffer (see Sunday´s Gospel).
Presents from the umbrella
If you take notice of the reading of the three mansions, it remits again and again to previous writings. She refers to the books of Life and to The Way of Perfection. She doesn´t repeat what was said in those two books. Then The Interior Castle is an incomplete book.
We have to draw on the reading of previous writings in almost all the mansions, except from the seventh, which is unique and new.
An exercise to be practised as soon as you can, consists in reading chapters 11 to 13 of Life and next the three first mansions. You will see that she follows the same thought process.
For example, in the first mansion of The Castle, there is a lack of essential elements of Teresian´s spirituality: God and vocal prayer. They must be explained in the first mansion´s method of teaching; both things will be seen over the following days
A big hug to the “servants of love”, who are willing to live the seven mansions with the depth that God may grant them.