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Pilgrimage and Possession: Conversion in the Writings of St Teresa and St John of the Cross

Sister Eileen Mary SLG

Sister Eileen Mary SLG (1921-99) entered the Community of the Sisters of the Love of God in 1952 and in her latter years lived an eremitical way of life at the Community’s Bede House in Kent. She was a member of the ecumenical Columbanus Community of Reconciliation in Belfast from 1983 to 1989. As Sister Eileen Lyddon, she wrote ‘Door Through Darkness: St John of the Cross and Mysticism in Everyday Life’ (New City, 1994).

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Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross, reformers of the Carmelite Order in sixteenth-century Spain, inhabited a thought-world very different from our own. Sister Eileen Mary shows us that the human condition of pilgrimage is not fundamentally changed by varying cultural and social factors. She points out that the way of conversion which Saint John of the Cross teaches reveals and enlarges our humanity. By exploring a connection between Teresa’s ‘Interior Castle’ and the ancient Chinese philosophy of ‘I-Ching’, she illustrates how Christians move into full possession of their baptismal inheritance.


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53 pages

143 x 222 mm

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