By John Lanagan
My Word Like Fire Ministries
About Carolyn Greene and her book, Castles in the Sand: When Lighthouse Trails published this book, I read it, and was in awe (still am). Greene showed how contemplative spirituality is infesting Christian colleges and churches, and she did it in the form of a very entertaining novel. One of her characters is Tessa, the young girl who is lured into the trances and teachings of contemplative spirituality.
Another character is…Teresa of Avila, the Catholic mystic. Unlike Tessa, Teresa is a real, historical figure. Who levitated.
Anyway, after its publication, I began to take Greene’s book to unusual places and then write about the experience. I took Castles in the Sand to an A.A. meeting and gave it to a member. I left it in a labyrinth. I gave a copy to emergent Shane Claiborne after one of his lectures (Here). I even gave copies to people at a vampire movie.
During the last several years, fascination with Teresa of Avila has become more and more common. If you run into someone influenced by Teresa of Avila–and you will–this book can help explain why such mysticism should be rejected. And now, finally, the Question and Answer interview:
Q. Carolyn, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. As author of Castles in the Sand, a novel that shows the danger of contemplative prayer, why did you focus so much on Teresa of Avila? I am asking because Teresa is now being glorified and her meditative practices adopted not just by Catholics, but by many Protestants.
A. For the very reason you just stated, John. Several years ago I began to notice that wherever contemplative spirituality was to be found, so was Teresa of Avila. Click here to continue reading.