Joy – Theological


Teresa Forcades


Ps 119:32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle. Book IV chapter I §5 (16th century) cf. Way 28.11 I

ntroductory remarks:

O Jesus! how I wish I could elucidate this point! It seems to me that I can perfectly distinguish the difference between the two joys, yet I have not the skill to make myself understood; may God give it me! I remember a verse we say at Prime at the end of the final Psalm; the last words are: ‘Cum dilatasti cor meum’—‘When Thou didst dilate my heart’. To those with much experience, this suffices to show the difference between sweetness in prayer and spiritual consolations; other people will require more explanation. The sensible devotion I mentioned does not dilate the heart, but generally appears to narrow it slightly; although joyful at seeing herself work for God, yet such a person sheds tears of sorrow which seem partly produced by the passions. I know little about the passions of the soul, or I could write of them more clearly and could better define what comes from the sensitive disposition and what is natural, having passed through this state myself, but I am very stupid. Knowledge and learning are a great advantage to everyone.