Gillian T. W. Ahlgren. Mar. 28, 2016 | National Catholic Reporter
The Interior Castle
by Teresa of Avila, tran. by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (Paulist Press, 1979)
My “Take and Read” came from the hands of a favorite professor, just after I had finished my first course in church history. “Gillian,” Grover Zinn said, placing a book in my hands, “you have to read this.”
I was 19 years old, and I had been led to Grover soon after my first trip to Europe. That trip had been unexpected: a wonderful and thoroughly surprising odyssey that had taken me into the ethereal landscapes of the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat, Spain, and then into the inner world of the sculptures and stained glass windows of the cathedral of Chartres. If God had ever wanted to capture the imagination of a young woman, that would have been the way. And now Professor Zinn, a specialist in the Christian mystical tradition, was handing her Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle after introducing her to a host of writers, all calling us to take life-giving relationship with God seriously: Antony and the desert dwellers, Bernard of Clairvaux’s On Loving God, Bonaventure’s Soul’s Journey into God, Julian of Norwich’s Showings. The road had been well paved.