Meditative Study of the Mysticism of the Waters in El Castillo Interior of Santa Teresa De Jesus and El Cantico Espiritual of San Juan De La Cruz

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This study examines a key concept in the two most significant of the sixteenth-century Spanish mystical writers. Treating their writings both as literary and theological works, it reviews the Biblical, liturgical and historical roots of the symbolic and metaphorical meanings of water in Christian thought, and shows how this imagery is extended in the key writings of St. Teresa and San Juan. Finally, it situates their work in the context of Christian spirituality.


“… the richness already inherent within the focal figures of the study is given even greater meaningfulness by the profound experiences of our author….Within this particular study of two of the greatest saints of the Christian Church, especially with reference to that church’s character within the tradition of sixteenth-century Spain…She has chosen to focus upon ‘the mystery of the waters’ as they diversely appear within the writings of these two Spanish saints, and in genuine meditation would choose to drink from that ‘crystalline fountain.’” – Clyde Curry Smith, Professor Emeritus of History and Religions, University of Wisconsin – River Falls

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (main headings):
Preface; Introduction
1. The Art of the Mystic (The Mystical Sensibility; The Symbolism of Water in the Old Testament/Ritual; Jesus and the Fulfillment; Water in the Roman Rite)
2. The Landscape of the Mystic: San Juan de la Cruz – El cántico espiritual; Santa Teresa de Jesús – The Dwelling Places
3. The Journey – Search or Pilgrimage? (Anticipation and Preparation; Journey; Destination and Fulfillment – Spiritual Matrimony)
4. Water Imagery (Santa Teresa – The Wellspring of God;s Love; San Juan – Transformation; Four Shared Truths)
5. Union with the Beloved (Santa Teresa – Requirements and Signposts, Freedom of the Will, God’s Grace; San Juan – The Role of Faith, Vision of God in the Crystalline Fountain)
6. Following Union: The Eternal Soul (Santa Teresa – Union, Transformation, Growth; San Juan – the Gaze with the Beloved; The Individual in the Embrace of the Beloved; The Rivers of God)
7. Conclusion
Appendices: Ruakh; Redactions of El cántico spiritual; Adjective position in Spanish; Visions and Images of the Author upon contemplation of El Castillo interior
Bibliography; General Index; Index of Biblical References; Citation to El castillo interior and El cántico espiritual

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