Translated from the original by Ana Giménez.
I´ll say it again in relation to what I believed has been mentioned on more than one occasion: Church, to respond to consecutive crises lived, has always opted to look after poor and suffering people, and to teach meditation prayer (apart from vocal prayer). In the crisis we are facing nowadays the solution should be the same one. The movement of the recogidos (partisans of recollection) of the 16th century also intended to offer to any Christian the possibility of living with the utmost possible perfection the precepts of love to God and to our neighbours by following closely the mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ. It is in this context in which we have to understand the third mansion and the interpretation of the parable of the young rich man. At first sight, the denial of the young man seems to refer to his wealth. The recogidos go beyond, they suggest Christian people to surrender themselves entirely, specially their inner self, as they consider that following Jesus Christ in a perfect way is not only for consecrated people or members of religious orders, but for any believer.
So, if we want to get to the essence of Christianity, the third mansion is compulsory because, among other reasons, if you try to live it, you will for ever forget to live in the shallows, you will have a life of your own without any need to live from any others´ life.
If we understand it that way, and we live the parable of the young rich man, it leads us to take a decision: we will try to live flawlessly the love to God and to our neighbour. Once this resolution has repeatedly been taken, an unknown world will suddenly open to us, the world of love. Because in Teresa of Jesus´s understanding love is born from will´s decision. There are degrees, from mutual awareness to friendship and from there to different degrees of adult love.
The resolution is explained this way in Teresa´s writings: “but if the Lord is to take complete possession of the soul more than that is necessary. Words are not enough, any more than they were for the young man when the Lord told him what to do if he wished to be perfect. (Interior Castle 3.1.6).That is, it must be followed by good works. To achieve it there is a need to enter within ourselves,
“Enter, then, enter within yourselves, and get right away from your own trifling good works” (The Interior Castle 3.1.6).Not just any work is worth, we aim for “persevering in this detachment and abandonment of everything” (The Interior Castle 3.1.8).The Lord wants us to be conscious of our misery: “it is God’s will that His elect should be conscious of their misery and so He withdraws His help from them a little — and no more than that is needed.” (The Interior Castle 3.2.2).The Lord is asking us to leave all for His sake. (The Interior Castle 3.2.4).Detached from the things we have abandoned, masters of our passions, practicing our virtues “and order our lives as His Majesty ordains: let us desire that not our wills, but His will, be done.”(Interior Castle 3.2.6).The most difficult thing to surrender to Jesus Christ is our own misery. I will explain that below although I can anticipate that we will enter deeper down within ourselves to leave the limitations we can´t correct to the feet of Christ. Those sentences are not to be understood strictly as if the offering should we accomplished overnight, it is a donation process of ourselves to the love of God so He can restore what may be necessary and will fill us up with Him.
It may be noted that this interpretation of the rich young man is present in the Carthusians from whom very likely Saint Teresa learns it from, as I mentioned in a previous post: “Summary of what has been published about the Third Mansion.”
With the help of The Holy Spirit, we will -little by little -lead to life what has been said and what is to come.
A big hug.
(Photo Pia, https://www.pexels.com/es-es/foto/persona-en-cuerpo-de-agua-3046582/)
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