The Greatness of Our Vocation (excerpt)
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
It seems to me that the soul that is aware of its greatness enters into the “holy freedom of the children of God” of which the Apostle speaks (Rom 8:21), that is, it transcends all things, including self.
The freest soul, I think, is the one most forgetful of self.
If anyone were to ask me the secret of happiness, I would say it is to no longer think of ourselves; well, love of God must be so strong that it extinguishes all our self-love.
St. Augustine says we have two cities within us, the city of God and the city of SELF (cf. De Civitate 14:28). To the extent that the first increases, the second will be destroyed.
A soul that lives by faith in God’s presence that has this “single eye” that Christ speaks of in the Gospel (Matt 6:22), that is, a purity of “intention” that seeks only God (Rusbrock l’Admirable 34); this soul, it seems to me, would also live in humility: it would recognize his gifts to it—for “humility is truth” (Interior Castle VI:10)—but it would attribute nothing to itself, referring all to God as the Blessed Virgin did.
Catez, E 2014, I Have Found God: General Introduction, Major Spiritual Writings, translated from the French by Kane, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Listen to the LibriVox recording of The Interior Castle read by Ann Boulais below