Contemplative School of the Heart
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A series of six reflections led by
Julienne McLean and Amanda Moss
October 2007 – March 2008 in North London

The text for study were selections from The Interior Castle – the major work on mystical theology and contemplative prayer by St Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite reformer and teacher on prayer in the Spanish golden age of mysticism.


27th October

Our Interior Castle – the journey of prayer and wholeness


24th November

Encountering deeper waters – towards contemplative prayer


15th December

Embracing our shadow – the lizards and the snakes


26th January

Transformation in Christ – the emergence of the butterfly


23rd February

Resting in Silence and Stillness


29th March

Mary and Martha


St Teresa on Prayer

‘…I thought of the soul as resembling a castle, formed of a single diamond or very clear crystal, containing many rooms…the gate by which to enter this castle is prayer and meditation.’ (First Mansion)

‘…In the prayer of quiet, when the water flows from the spring itself and not through the conduits, the mind ceases to act…this joy does not appear to originate in the heart, but in some more interior part, as it were, in the depths of our being...I think this must be the centre of the soul.’ (Fourth Mansion)

‘…I think the prayer of union is the ‘cellar’ in which our Lord places us, when and how He chooses, but we cannot enter it through any effort of our own. His Majesty alone can bring us there and come into the centre of our souls….’ (Fifth Mansion)

‘…Both Mary and Martha must entertain our Lord and keep Him as their Guest, nor must they be so inhospitable as to offer him no food. How can Mary do this while she sits at His feet, if her sister does not help her?’ (Seventh Mansion)