Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come within us. Do you think it’s of little importance to know what heaven is and where you must seek your most sacred Father? You already know that God is everywhere. It’s obvious then, that where the king is, there is his court; in sum, wherever God is, there is heaven. Without a doubt you can believe that where His Majesty is present, all glory is present. Consider what St. Augustine says, that he sought Him in many places but found Him ultimately within himself.
Well, let us imagine that within us is an extremely rich palace, built entirely of gold and precious stones; in sum, built for a Lord such as this. Imagine, too, as is indeed so, that you have a part to play in order for the palace to be so beautiful; for there is no edifice as beautiful as is a soul pure and full of virtues. Imagine, also, that in this palace dwells this mighty King who has been gracious enough to become your Father; and that He is seated upon an extremely valuable throne, which is your heart.
For days and years the soul was outside this castle, walking with strangers—enemies of the well-being of the castle. Having seen their perdition they’ve already begun to approach the castle. Once the great King, who is in the center dwelling place of this castle, sees their good will, He desires in His wonderful mercy to bring them back to Him. Like a good shepherd, He makes them recognize His voice and stops them from going so far astray.
In my opinion, if I had understood as I do now that in this little palace of my soul dwelt so great a King, I would not have left Him alone so often. I would have remained with Him at times and striven more so as not to be so unclean. It’s a shame and unfortunate that through our own fault we don’t understand ourselves or know who we are.
O my Jesus! What a sight it is when You, through Your mercy, return to offer Your hand and raise up a soul that has fallen. How such a soul knows the multitude of Your grandeurs and mercies, and its own misery. Oh, what extraordinary mercy and what favor so beyond our ability to deserve! Oh, my soul, bless forever so great a God!
(Collected from the writings of St. Teresa of Jesus)