The Feminine in Prayer in The Interior Castle

By Vilma Seelaus

(The author is a member of the community of Barrington Carmel and a member of the Carmelite Forum. This article is based upon a talk by the author entitled "The Feminine in Prayer," available in cassette form from Alba House Communications. The following article was first published in Spiritual Life) 

In preparing this study, I soon discovered that writing about the feminine in prayer would not be an easy task. I envisioned putting Teresa in conversation with today's feminist spiritual writers to see how they might both encourage and challenge each other. My hunch was that women's present-day experience of God would illumine Teresa's and lead to a better understanding of her writings, and that she in turn would have much to offer them in their spiritual journey. However, midway in my reading and reflection I suddenly felt overwhelmed. Women from the most diverse backgrounds and from different world religions are telling the story of their struggle with the experience of God in a patriarchal society. A ten-page, fine print bibliography found at the back of a book of essays on women's spirituality indicates the amount of literature available on the topic.

As women have a new experience of themselves as women, a fresh experience of God opens up. Women's search for a spirituality more congruent with this changed sense of themselves is accompanied by serious scholarship. Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza's In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins, is but one example among many. A reviewer of this book, himself a very reputable Biblical scholar, claims one can no longer do Biblical studies without giving this book serious consideration. The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion is a source for contemporary feminist thought. The cross-cultural, ecumenical dimension of feminist spiritual literature is evident in titles such as "The Three Faces of Goddess Spirituality,' "The Buddhist Feminine Ideal," and "Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue. It seems that women from all great world religions are being sensitized to the effects of a patriarchial culture on women's spiritual search.

In her article, "Feminist, The Frog Princess and the New Frontiers of Spirituality," Madonna Kolbenschlag brings together the threads of emerging feminist spirituality, which I have distilled into 3 main areas:

1) For many women the past experience of masters and mentors is clearly secondary. Women are taking full responsibility for a spirituality that grows organically from within, from their own experience as women. They are learning acceptance of and engagement with life forces and passages as they struggle to transform alienating images of God and of women and her role in society.

2) The new spirituality of women is revolutionary in that it is articulated in a context of solidarity with other women where they find support and affirmation, interpreters and listeners. Women are bonding with other women, which is a radical shift from women's traditional mistrust of one another.

3) The third characteristic relates spirituality and affectivity. Male spirituality, almost the only model given to women in the past; is often characterized by rigorous asceticism. Sexuality, affectivity, creativity and mysticism are kept in separate compartments.1 Today, a too rational, abstract, masculine theologizing gives way to feminine acceptance of one's deepest feelings as integral to the spiritual journey

From this shift in focus, women are learning to trust their own experience as women, they attempt to articulate their unique story as women in solidarity with other women, and they recognize feelings as integral to feminine spirituality. As a result, a patriarchal God is in trouble. The God of Sarah, of Rachel and Rebecca struggles for a place with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Women have been excluded from divine realities. Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza captures this well when she writes, "We are all used to hearing: God the Father loves you, and if you join the brotherhood and fellowship of all Christians, you will become sons of God and brothers of Christ who died for all men." But language holds symbolic content. Fiorenza continues, "Such exclusive language has communicated to women for centuries that they are nonentities, subspecies of men, subordinated and inferior to them not only on a cultural, but also on a religious plane. Feminists hold that the combination of male language for God with the stress on the sovereignty and absolute authority of the patriarchal God has sanctioned men's drive for power and domination in the Church as well as in society."2

"The point of women's reflections on the damaging effects of patriarchy is not to make men the enemy."3 Instead, as Anne Carr points out, Christian feminist theology, in its new apprehension of God and of Christ, affirms a vision of human wholeness, integrity and community where women and men work together in mutuality and trust toward a better world.4

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Some feminists take a different position. They claim that the Christian churches are too deeply embedded in patriarchy to offer hope for the future, so they turn elsewhere for a faith tradition more open to women's experience. Many women are leaving the church because they cannot find a place in its life and worship.

With God in such trouble, can one speak meaningfully today about prayer from a feminine perspective, since women in increasing numbers are alienated by symbols of God as exclusively male? Celie in The Color Purple says, "When I found out that God was white and a man I lost interest."5 As I worked with this question a further complication presented itself. Not only is God in trouble. Long held beliefs about the feminine are also being questioned. Under "feminine" the dictionary states: "having qualities regarded as characteristic of women and girls - as gentleness, weakness, delicacy, modesty, etc."6 Feeling weak and delicate may at times be part of a woman's experience, but it does not define her being. Jung's concept of the anima/animus polarity as present in both women and men is most insightful, but as critical Jungian scholars points out, Jung's description of the anima emerges out of Jung's experience of confrontation with the feminine in himself and is therefore seen through a veil of projection. The unconscious femininity of a man is not the same as the conscious femininity of a woman. Anne Ulanov, a Jungian feminist writer, warns against creating a psychology for women out men's anima projections. The anthropologist Margaret Mead offers further insight. Her research indicates that the so-called feminine qualities such as intuition, receptivity, sensitivity, tenderness, etc., may have cultural foundations. In some cultures, boys learn tenderness from the mother and girls learn masculine type bravery from the father.7

In our culture we have stereotyped what it is to be male and what is is to be female. Both women and men suffer because of this.

We live in an age of rediscovery: rediscovery of God and of ourselves as women. No wonder the art of story-telling emerges in contemporary feminist consciousness. Women's stories have yet to be told; recorded history is from a male perspective. The expression of women's spiritual search is related to the telling of women's stories. If women's stories are not told, the depth of women's souls will not be known. Yet the simple act of telling a woman's story from a woman's point of view is a revolutionary act. It has seldom been done before. A new language must be created to express women's experience and insight, new metaphors discovered, new themes considered. As a result, women are challenged to greater trust of their own experience of God and of themselves. In telling their stories within an atmosphere of trust, a new feminist spirituality comes closer to term. The day of birthing is hopefully near. For as the I Ching says, "After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns.8 

Teresa of Avila

In 16th century Spain, Teresa of Avila told her story, a story powerful enough to illumine our own centuries later. Words are difficult to find when we try to articulate a depth experience. She had been commanded to write, therefore Teresa had to ask the Lord's help because she didn't know where or how to begin. The spirituality of her day did not speak to her experience.9 As Teresa sat before her writing tablet her mind was blank; she felt aversion for the task, her physical infirmities were many. At some point in her struggle Teresa's cry for help issued in a creativity beyond her own imaginings. From the depth of her spirit emerged an image which said it all: the vision of her soul as crystal castle with God at the center. Remarkable and awesome as the vision is, Teresa describes it with amazing simplicity.

Today, while beseeching Our Lord to speak for me because I wasn't able to think of anything to say nor did I know how to begin to carry out this obedience, there came to my mind what I shall now speak about, that which will provide us with a basis to begin with. It is that we consider our soul to be like a castle made entirely out of a diamond or of a very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in heaven there are many dwelling places. For in reflecting upon it carefully, Sisters, we realize that the soul of a just person is nothing else but a paradise where the Lord says He finds His delight."10 

This image of her soul as a crystal castle became the unifying symbol for Teresa to write about prayer.

Teresa's vision contains the foundation for a Christian theology of person. We can better understand how remarkable is Teresa's vision of her castle soul by looking at prevailing attitudes toward women in 16th century Spain. In his introduction to the Way of Perfection, Kieran Kavanaugh gives a vivid example of the prevailing attitude toward women in Teresa's time. He writes:

There were the interpretations of genetic laws which claimed that women were a mistake of nature, a kind of unfinished man. The shocking extent to which antifeminism could reach is evident in a passage from a writing by Francisco de Osuna: "Since you see your wife going about visiting many churches, practicing many devotions, and pretending to be a saint, lock the door; and if that isn't sufficient, break her leg if she is young, for she can go to heaven lame from her own house without going around in search of these suspect forms of holiness. It is enough for a woman to hear a sermon and then put it into practice. If she desires more, let a book be read to her while she spins, seated at her husband's side." The scholastic theologians themselves were influenced by Aristotle's reasoning that women were guided by their passions rather than stable judgments. For this reason women were not considered capable of something as serious as a life of prayer. The theologians who directed Teresa could not understand how a woman, especially one as imperfect as Teresa presented herself to be, could receive such favors from God. These could only be an illusion from the devil. No wonder Teresa thought so little of herself. She didn't feel capable of much.11 

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In "Feminism, A Vision of Love," Chat McKee aptly sums it up when she writes, "In patriarchy, the hardest thing we women will ever do is remember who we really are, souls of great majesty and beauty and creative power."12 Prayer became Teresa's vehicle for remembering. Deep within her being God embraced Teresa in loving union and in this embrace reflected to her the image of her true nature which at the same time belied man's misconception of women. The Divine Light in the central dwelling place mirrored the soul of Teresa for her to see, and God reassured Teresa of her worth and dignity so that Teresa exclaimed with awe, "I don't find anything comparable to the magnificent beauty of a soul and its marvelous capacity. Indeed our intellects, however keen, can hardly comprehend it, just as they cannot comprehend God; but He Himself says that He created us in His own image and likeness" (I,1,1).

In Article 4, Question 93 of Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica is found the question: "Whether the image of God is found in every man?" According to the objection it is clear that every individual is not an image of God because the apostle says (referring to 1 Cor. 11:7) that man is the image of God, but woman is the image of man. Thomas counters by saying that man is image of God by reason of his intellectual nature, so the image is found in all men. However, he concludes his argument by adding, "But in a secondary sense the image of God is found in man and not in woman, for man is the beginning and end of woman, just as God is the beginning and end of every creature."13

Teresa is enabled to claim image and likeness for herself and her daughters with God's authoritative word. Significantly, Teresa ends her reflections on the dwelling places of the soul by reiterating this same truth. In the Epilogue, one senses almost a note of triumphant exultation in her closing words to her daughters, "Although no more than seven dwelling places were discussed, in each of these there are many others, below and above and to the sides, with lovely gardens and fountains and labyrinths, such delightful things that you would want to be dissolved in praises of the great God who created the soul in His own image and likeness" (InteriorCastle, Epilogue, 3). The castle image reflects both the soul's power to commune with God and God's delight in the soul. As the relationship between God and the soul develops in prayer, it leads to spiritual betrothal where God and the soul are as intimate as two candles with a single flame. In spiritual marriage God and the soul are like rain falling into the river; the waters can no longer be divided (VII,2,4).

Relationship, intimacy, communion seem to emanate from the center dwelling place to all the rooms of the castle. These are characteristics of the feminine. Could it be that the divine ground of incomprehensible mystery is a feminine reality? The soul, our very being, conditioned as it is by the presence of God for relatedness, intimacy and communion with God, therefore images the divine feminine. Aliveness to ourselves as image of God leads to the awareness of God and awareness of self as one awareness. Rahner would say that "without any experience of God, however nonthematic and nonreflective in character, experience of the self is absolutely impossible."14 

Receptivity, Openness, Surrender

God is central to the human person. Relatedness to God defines the soul. Such relatedness is an ontological imperative for full human becoming. According to Sebastian Moore, "We are not an emptiness waiting to be filled, but a fullness wanting, as it were, to happen."15 God in the center room seeks to penetrate all the dwelling places of life and being.

To describe this inner process Teresa uses the image of the silkworm. With a wonderful feel for nature she writes,

The worms nourish themselves on mulberry leaves until, having grown to full size, they settle on some twigs. There with their little mouths they themselves go about spinning the silk and making some very thick little cocoons in which they enclose themselves. The silkworm, which is fat and ugly, then dies, and a little white butterfly, which is very pretty, comes forth from the cocoon. (V,2,2) 

The worm is an archetypal image of earth, dissolution and death; the butterfly of healing, transcendence and transformation.

God at the center is our conditioning for divine intimacy. At the same time, our actual experience is frequently the evasiveness of God. Something within our finitude seems to block the experience of God and the inner pull toward transcendence. Teresa names the something "self-love, self-will and attachment to earthly things" (V,2,6). Teresa's description of the first three dwelling places is symbolic of the life struggle against these inner forces. In the fourth dwelling places, what Teresa names the "supernatural" in prayer creates a further dynamic. While human effort in prayer is itself a gift of God, human activity is but a preparation for receiving greater favors from God. Teresa insists that the scope of human effort in prayer is limited. Our part is to believe in and surrender to God's abiding Presence and will in our lives (See IV,3,4). If the butterfly is to come forth, the worm must die; it must be willing to enclose itself in darkness. The soul's darkness has two sources. Sin darkens the soul. God therefore seems absent. In a different manner, the presence of God also darkens the soul. During the time of union the soul neither sees, nor hears, nor understands. The devil darkens the intellect, cools the will's ardor and makes self-love grow, whereas the darkness of the faculties in divine union has a positive effect (V,1,9; V,4,8). Selfishness dies and the person grows in conformity with the will of God. As Jack Welch points out, "The cocoon is simultaneously a dark sepulchre and an incubator sustaining life."15 In the darkness of supernatural prayer attachments and inordinate self-love give way to surrender. A person can do nothing in mystical prayer except to be open, to be receptive, and to surrender to God's loving embrace. Now is the time to be open to God in faith, to receive God in hope and to surrender to God in love.

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The experience of God in supernatural prayer initially overwhelms the psyche. As Teresa explains in the fourth dwelling places, the faculties, being at the outskirts of the castle, tend at first to run wild; they feel cut off from what is happening in the deeper regions of the soul. The perfume of the divine presence, however, eventually penetrates the faculties which then settle down in receptive silence, amazement, awe and suspension.

According to Lonergan's analysis of religious experience, religious consciousness tends to come full circle. First there is the gift of God's love, that intersubjective moment of emotional identification that can range in intensity from a quiet, largely unnoticed experience to a thunderclap.17 Teresa describes this in the sixth dwellng places. "For often when a person is distracted and forgetful of God, His Majesty will awaken it. His action is as quick as a falling comet. And as clearly as it hears a thunderclap, even though no sound is heard, the soul understands that it was called by God" (VI,2,2). "This issues," says Lonergan, "in a second moment, the intentional dynamic state of being in love with God. From this dynamic state comes the impulse to mysticism. The mystic withdraws from the world mediated by meaning into a silent and all-absorbing self-surrnder in response to God's gift of His Love. The mystic becomes explicitly conscious of the gift of God's love which initially sparked his desire for God."18

Receptivity, openness and surrender as integral to mystical prayer are traditional qualities of the feminine. These condition the soul for silent communion in response to the gift of God's Love. They create what might be considered a feminine consciousness which allows intersubjective communion with God to happen. Everyday empirical consciousness is more in the masculine mode. In Lonergan's categories we need to be attentive, intelligent, reasonable and responsible if we are to meet moment by moment situations. We also need to be loving. When the need to love is in response to divine love it leads to an all-absorbing self-surrender into God's love.19 In prayer, feminine consciousness conditions entrance into the deeper dwelling places for both women and men.

The best in feminist spirituality today enables women to reappropriate the feminine qualities of receptivity, openness and surrender. In "Feminist, the Frog Princess and the New Frontiers of Spirituality," Madonna Kolbenschlag reiterates Teresa's experience. She says,

Women have discovered the great lie about spirituality. It is not something objective. One cannot study the 'Great Masters' and possess it. One cannot probe the past tradition and understand it. One cannot rely on the testimony of others or the authority of experts in order to cultivate it. Women today are discovering that spirituality is authentic when it is intrinsically subjective, when it is brought forth painfully, from the woinb of their own expenence. They are creating a new 'wisdom literature' out of the alchemy of their own lives.20 

Teresa continually sought advice from the male confessors and theologians of her day, but in the end her spirituality was brought forth painfully from the womb of her own experience. Her male advisors began to recognize and seek out her wisdom and insight, and she conversely became their teacher and guide. The silkworm in the darkness of the cocoon was transformed into a little white butterfly.

All-absorbing surrender into God's love was a frequent experience for Teresa. It created a double anxiety, however. Some of the men who directed Teresa were afraid of passivity. Out of their masculine consciousness, loving surrender seemed like an idle waste of time. These men wanted Teresa to practice discursive prayer from which she would draw resolutions to change her life. However, describing discursive meditation in the sixth "dwelling places" of the Interior Castle, Teresa concludes with the remark, "This prayer is the kind that those whom God has brought supernatural things and to perfect contemplation are right in saying they cannot practice" (VI,7,11).

While some of Teresa's confessors feared passivity, others went to the opposite extreme. They counseled letting go of all corporeal things as obstacles to the mystical life-even the humanity of Christ (VI,7.5).

For a short time Teresa heeded this advice, but afterwards never ceased lamenting her mistake (VI,7,15). Out of her own painful experience she offers a corrective to both positions. Over-absorption is indeed dangerous and in the seventh chapter of the sixth dwelling places (VI,7,13), Teresa gives good advice for dealing with it. But she also chides those who insist on discursive prayer.

Let not those who travel by road of discursive thought condemn those who cannot, or judge them incapable of enjoying the sublime blessings that lie enclosed in the mysteries of our good, Jesus Christ. Nor will anyone make me think, however spiritual he may be, that he will advance by trying to turn away from these mysteries. (VI,7,12) 

Teresa discovered through personal experience that the will cannot always be occupied in loving. "To be always withdrawn from corporeal things and enkindled in love is the trait of angelic spirits, not those who live in mortal bodies," remarks Teresa with conviction. She continues, "It is necessary that we speak to, think about, and become companions of those who having had a mortal body accomplished such great feats for God. How much more is it necessary not to withdraw through one's own efforts from all our good and help which is the most sacred humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ" (VI,7,6).

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To resolve the contradiction of the faculty's inability for discursive thought because of the soul's abiding presence of God, and yet its need to be enkindled by the humanity of Christ and the mysteries of His life, Teresa moves into feminine consciousness. Instead of discursive thought she creatively allows the intellect simply to receive truths by means of the memory (VI,7,IO). She simply blows on the fire so that heat will be given off and her soul can then remain enllindied in love. (VI,7,8).

What helps in prayer is helpful in everyday life. Crises and impasse are often better resolved by contemplative, feminine consciousness than by rational, discursive thought, necessary as rationality is to human life. Out of the depth of contemplative prayer, creative possibilities and imaginative solutions emerge which give life and hope to otherwise impossible situations.

The forces of divergence, which for milennia have caused the human community to separate, have shifted to those of convergence. Today, individual consciousness gives way to global awareness. The pollution of the environment, the exhaustion of natural resources, the threat of nuclear holocaust are forcing the human community to re-examine its roots in the earth, to relate itself harmoniously to its ecological base if life is to survive at all on our planet. Our moment in history seems to insist that masculine consciousness, which until now has effected wonders in technological expansion, make room for the rediscovery of its polarity, feminine consciousness. What separates and divides must give way to a new spiritual vision of the oneness of all things, especially the oneness of all persons within the mystery of God whose image each person reflects.

The image of the castle tells how profoundly this spiritual vision shaped Teresa's life. She had a way of intuiting the unity of all things and of bringing together disparate elements - people of diverse and uncongenial backgrounds; inner peace and calm in the midst of exterior trials; and especially the deepest mystical experience with loving service of persons in need. Mysticism can never be divorced from life (VII,4, 12).

Even before the first foundation of Discalced Carmelite Nuns, while still at the convent of the Incarnation, Teresa gathered people around herself in an extended community of women and men. Although she suffered from men's ignorance and misconception of women she did not despise men or push them away. On the contrary, she opened herself to them in friendship and love. During her most troubled years she and a small group, a priest, a Dominican religious, a lay woman and a lay man made a pact of friendship together for support and mutual upbuilding.21 Men especially were fascinated by Teresa and she accepted the sincerity of those who wanted to help her even though they often increased her fears. She also bonded with other women. When her confessors failed to understand her she turned to a lay woman, Dona Guiomar, for spiritual direction.22 In this she was certainly ahead of her times! Union with God placed Teresa in harmony with all of life.

Images tend to be short-lived in Teresa's writings. She moves from one to another in her effort to express the inexpressible. Symbols of the Holy constantly fade before the reality. For this reason probably the most significant Teresian symbol is that of Jesus on the Cross. The castle is Teresa's dominant, coordinating image but the cross firmly grounds her spiritual doctrine. On the very last page of her work, Teresa ends by saying: 

In sum my Sisters, what I conclude with is that we shouldn't build castles in the air - but during the little while this life lasts, and perhaps it will last a shorter time than each one thinks, let us offer the Lord interiorly and exteriorly the sacrifice we can. His majesty will join it with that which He offered on the Cross to the Father for us. Thus even though our works are small they will have the value our love for Him would have merited had they been great. (VIII,4,15)

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"If Christianity claims to have a truth supericr to any other truth in its symbolism," according to Tillich, "then it is the symbol of the cross as a denial of the idolatrous tendency of all symbols."23 Every symbol is partial. Thus symbols for God, whether King, Lord, Father, Mother, Friend, Spouse, intrinsically demand their own negation. In criticizing the functions of the symbols of God and Christ, feminist theology exposes the idolatry which occurs when something finite-maleness, sexuality -is lifted to the level of the infinite. All symbols yield finally to awareness that none of them adequately depict God; symbols open up but cannot grasp or contain the transcendent. Thus they need continual refashioning as the historical and cultural development of peoples take place. Lacking today's symbolic consciousness, Teresa appears untroubled by exclusively male images of God. Yet the depth and authenticity of her mystical experience made it impossible for Teresa to take literally metaphors for God, which taken literally paralyze the imagination. Teresa is prolific in metaphors for God, often masculine images. But she knew God was not like men and she often called upon God in defense against men's shortsightedness, especially in regard to women. In the final analysis Teresa's metaphors, images and description of God are both masculine and feminine. Christ is emperor, judge, king, master and redeemer (VI,5,4). Christ is also Teresa's friend, companion, bridegroom and spouse, who gives her everything of His to offer to the Father (VI,5,6). The majesty of Jesus frightens Teresa, yet His eyes are beautiful, meek and kind (VI,9,5,7). Water is a favorite image. In traditional symbolism, "all waters are symbolic of the great mother, associated with birth, the feminine principle, the universal womb, the prima materia, the waters of fertility and refreshment and the fountain of life."24 God, therefore, is a flowing spring (IV,3,8) - a full flowing river-a great gush of water (VII,2,6). In the fourth dwelling places the soul is like a suckling child which, if it turns away from its mother's breasts, dies (IV,3,10). In the seventh dwelling places, "from the divine breasts where it seems God is always sustaining the soul there flow streams of milk bringing comfort to all the people of the castle" (VII,2,6). In criticizing exclusively masculine images of God and Christ feminist theology exposes the idolatry which occurs when something finite, masculine, is lifted to the level of the infinite in a literal interpretation. If women are truly images of God they need to be nourished in their spiritual life and in their religious imagination with multiple symbols of God, including the feminine. This is a point of serious consideration toward a revision of Christian worship. 


I conclude this study as I began it, by again claiming the difficulty, even hazard that exists in my topic, "The Feminine in Prayer." If God is imaged as a great patriarch, with humanity as His subordinates, all persons are then feminine before God, women and men. Receptivity, openness and surrender in this framework become servility and weak submissiveness.

From Teresa's exposition of prayer in the Interior Castle comes a different understanding. Teresa's experience of God and of Christ is one of mutuality and interrelatedness, not subordination. Teresa surrenders to God, but God also surrenders to Teresa. As she says, "God becomes the dwelling place we build for ourselves... His majesty wants to join our little labors with great ones He suffered so all the work may become one" (V,2,5).

Teresa restores the feminine in God, so that the God of Teresa is both masculine and feminine. Teresa, the woman, as image of God, enjoys a unique reflection of the divine. She says in the seventh dwelling places, "The more we know about His communication to creatures, the more we will praise His grandeur and make every effort to have esteem for souls in which the Lord delights so much" (VII,2,3). Were such esteem for one another experienced by women and men everywhere, our planet earth would indeed be a paradise as is the castle soul.

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1. Madonna Kolbenschlag, "Feminist, the frog Princess and the New Frontiers of Spirituality," New Catholic World (July - August, 1982), p. 160.

2. Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza, "Feminist Spirituality, Christian Identity, and Catholic Vision," in Women Spirit Rising, ed. Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1979), p. 139.

3. Betty Friedan, "Beyond Women's Liberation," McCalls (August 1972), pp. 82-83.

4. Ann Carr, "Is a Christian Feminist Theology Possible?" Theological Studies (June, 1982), p. 282.

5. Alice Walker, The Color Purple (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985), p. 202.

6. Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged, s.v. feminine."

7. Margaret Mead, Why Do We Speak of Feminine Intuition?" Anima (Fall. 1981), pp.50-55.

8. Richard Wilhelm, trans., I Ching (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968), p.97.

9. See Ciriaco Moron-Arroyo 'I Will Give You a Living Book': Spiritual Currents at Work at the Time of St. Teresa of Jesus," in Carmelite Studies 3.. Centenary of St. Teresa, ed. John Sullivan (Washington, DC: ICS Publications, 1984), pp.95-112.

10. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle, in The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Vol. Two, trans. Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilo Rodriguez (Washington, DC: ICS Publications, 1980)I, 1, 1 (p.283). Unless otherwise noted, all Teresian quotations in this paper are from the Interior Castle; since the book is divided into seven dwelling places" of several chapters apiece, the original "dwelling places." chapter and paragraph from which a passage is taken will be indicated in the text by a Roman numeral and two arabic numerals, respectively. (Thus a quotation marked "V,2,3" would be from the third paragraph of the second chapter of the fifth dwelling places.")

11. Kieran Kavanaugh, "Introduction to the Way of Perfection," in Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Vol. Two, p.23. Kavanaugh notes that the passage cited is from Francisco de Osuna, Norte de Estados (Seville, 1531), as quoted in Daniel de Pablo Maroto, Dinamica de la Oracion (Madrid, Editorial de Espiritualidad, 1973), p.109.

12. Chat McKee, "Feminism, A Vision of Love," Women of Power Journal (Summer, 1985), p.5.

13. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part I, Q. 93, art. 4, in The Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, VoL One, edited, annotated, and with an Introduction by Anton C. Pegis (New York: Random House, 1945), pp. 889-890.

14. Karl Rahner, "Experience of Self and Experience of God," in Theological Investigations, Vol. 13, trans. David Bourke (New York: Seabury Press, 1975), p.126.

15. Sebastian Moore, Let This Mind Be In You: The Quest for Identity through Oedipus to Christ (Minneapolis, MN: Winston Press, 1885), p. 5.

16. John Welch, Spiritual Pilgrims: Carl Jung and Teresa of Avila (New York: Paulist Press, 1982). pp. 142-143.

17. Bernard Lonergan, Method in Theology (New York: Seabury Press, 1972), pp. 101-124, 273.

18. Ibid., pp. 101-124, 273.

19. Ibid., pp. 3-25.

20. Kolbenschlag, "Feminist, the Frog Princess, and the New Frontiers of Spirituality," p. 160

21. Teresa of Avila, The Book of Her Life, in The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Vol. One, trans. by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otillo Rodriguez, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: ICS Publications, 1987), chap. 16, #7 (p. 151).

22. Ibid., chap. 30, #3 (p. 254).

23. Paul Tillich, Theology of Culture, ed. Robert Kimball (New York: Oxford University Press. 1964). p. 67.

24. J.C. Cooper, Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols (London: Thames and Hudson, 1978), p. 188.

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