Current Carmelite Reading
The Interior Castle, by St. Teresa of Avila. Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. Study Edition prepared by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Carol Lisi, O.C.D.S. Published in 2010 by ICS Publications, Institute of Carmelite Studies, Washington, DC.
The spirituality scholar, Dr. Susan Muto, has described this work of St. Teresa in A Practical Guide to Spiritual Reading:
This, the most sublime and mature of St. Teresa’s mystical writings, expresses the full flowering of her deep experience in guiding souls toward spiritual perfection. In its central image, language, and style, the book is extremely simple. St. Teresa envisioned the soul as a castle made of a sing diamond in which there are many rooms, just as in heaven there are many mansions. She describes the various mansions of this castle—the degrees of purgation and continual strife—through which the soul in its quest for perfection must pass before reaching the innermost chamber, the place of complete transfiguration and communion with God.
The Lay Carmelite Community ,of which I am a member, has chosen this book for our ongoing formation. The study edition has features that were not part of St. Teresa’s original work. After each chapter is a commentary section that explains Teresa’s thought and major ideas. The commentary section is followed by interpretive notes about doctrine, history and sociology, as well as Scriptural texts that support St. Teresa’s ideas.
A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe, by Joe Paprocki. Published by Loyola Press, Chicago. This book can be considered a shorter, simpler, engaging version of the topics in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Joe devised an acronym for the four pillars of the Catholic Faith: Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer. The acronym is H.E.L.P.
H = We Hold on to our faith that is revealed to us through Scripture and Tradition and is summarized in the Creed.
E = We Express our faith in the liturgy and sacraments of the Church.
L = We Live our faith according to Catholic morality.
P = We Pray our faith by maintaining a healthy prayer life.
According to Joe “these four pillars provide us with all of the H.E.L.P. that we need.”
I am reading this book with the participants in “A Lawn Chair Catechism” at the blog, CatholicMom.com.