Catholic Dictionary




The state of soul referred to by St. Teresa of Ávila (1515-82) in her Interior Castle as the Fourth Mansion. She calls this the prayer of quiet or divine delights because it is here that God's presence is felt for the first time with spiritual delight. It is also called the prayer of silence and has three phases: 1. passive recollection, with grace acting directly on the faculties; 2. quietude, with the intellect and will enjoying God's presence in quiet and repose; 3. sleep of the faculties, with the intellect and will seized by God; the imagination and memory, although active, are weakened and ineffectual. This last phase is a preparation for full union of the soul with God.