“Self-knowledge opens to us the reality of the mystery and ugliness of sin as well as to the mystery and beauty of grace. Teresa envisioned the human soul as a castle containing many rooms. Outside the castle there was darkness and fearsome reptiles and creatures trying to impede our way into the castle. The key to the entry of the castle is prayer and reflection.
Once inside we become aware of light emanating from the deepest center, that innermost room, where dwells the Glory of God. However, some of these fearsome creatures manage to squeeze in with us, for they are the temptations, the bad habits, the patterns of sin that accompany us and although the Light continues to stream from the center of the castle, we still experience darkness for that which accompanies us into the castle blocks the light trying to reach us.
There is much work to be done in the first room. We wage a daily battle between the person we wish to be, the person we really are and the person God created us to be. To come to self-knowledge we must be very willing to be honest and this requires humility. What am I really like? How do others see me? Do I spend my time trying to be someone I am not? Do I feel guilty being who I am? How much of the false values of the world around me have I absorbed?”