If you want to increase your
spirituality and raise it to a higher level, then this is the book to read.
It is adapted from the writings of St. Teresa
of Avila and St.
John of the Cross. It is a little difficult
to read for some lay persons because of a few unfamiliar words. I have
written a dictionary specifically for use with Fire
Within, and that is the purpose of this file.
Everyone who has used this short dictionary has said it enhances the understanding
of what the writers had to say. It is also useful for other religious texts.
ACUMEN: Quickness, accuracy, or keenness of judgement
ADVERTENCE: To call attention to, refer.
ALTRUISTIC: Selflessness, unselfish concern for the welfare of others.
ANATHEMA: A formal ecclesiastical ban, curse, or excommunication.
ANTECEDENT: One that precedes another. A preceding event.
APOSTASY: A rejection of Christian faith.
APOSTOLATE: The office, duties or mission of an apostle.
APROPOS: Being at once opportune and to the point, relevant.
ASCETIC: One who recognizes material comforts and leads an austere life.
ASSIDUOUS: Constant in application or attention, diligent, persistent.
AXIOMATIC: Relating to an axiom, a universally recognized truth.
BEATIFIC VISION: The souls of the just see the divine
essence by an intuitive vision, and face to face. The divine
essence is known immediately showing itself plainly, clearly, openly, not
through any creature.
COGNITION: Mentally knowing, awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
CONCUPICENCES: Strong desires, expecially sexual desires. Lust.
CONNATURAL: Related or similar in nature, innate, inborn.
CONSONANT: Being in agreement with or accord.
CONTEMN: To view with contempt. Despise.
CONTEMPLATION: Thoughtful observation or study, meditation on spiritual
matters. An intimate sharing between friends, a being alone
CORPOREAL: Of, relating to, or characteristic of the body. Bodily.
DARK KNOWLEDGE: Idealess knowing, not expressable by image
or concept. (p62)
DE IURE: What ought to be, in the normal course of things. (p206)
DICHOTOMY: To divide into two contradictory parts.
DIFFIDENT: Shy, timid, lacking in self confidence.
DISCURSIVE: Covering a wide field of subjects, rambling.
DISCURSIVE MEDITATION: Prayer produced in the human manner, modo humano.
DISSONANT: Harsh and inharmonious in sound.
ECCLESIASTICAL: Of, or relating to, or appropriate to, or to use in a church.
ECSTATIC: Being in a state of ecstasy, intense joy or delight.
EFFICACIOUS: Producing or capable of producing a desired effect, effective.
EFFUSION: To pour out, radiate, exude.
ELUCIDATION: To make clear or plain by explanation. To clarify.
EPHEMERAL: Living or lasting for only a brief time.
EPISCOPAL: Of, or relating to a bishop, or church governments by bishops.
EREMITICAL: Of a hermit type life.
ESOTERIC: Intended for a particular group.
ETHICISTS: Specialists in ethics.
EUPHEMISM: To substitute a mild or vague term for a harsh or blunt one.
EXEGESIS: Critical explanation or analysis, especially of a text.
EXISTENTIAL: Of, relating to, or dealing with existence.
EXTRINSIC: Not an essential part, extraneous.
FACILELY: Done or achieved with little effort.
FELICITOUS: Admirably suited. Exhibiting an agreeably appropriate manner.
FINITUDE: The condition of being finite.
FOUR WATERS: Analogy used by St. Teresa for watering the garden of the
soul. There are four stages, the 1st requires hard work and
gives little water. 2nd, is less work, but more water. 3rd is far
less work and a lot more water. 4th is no work and unlimited water. (p78)
GENUS: A class, group, or kind, with common attributes.
GNOSTICISM: The theory of salvation by knowledge, a heresy.
HAGIOGRAPHICAL: Biography or writing of the Saints.
HEDONISM: The persuit of pleasure.
HERESY: An opinion at variance with the authorized teaching of the Church.
HOLISTIC: Concerned with wholes, rather than separation into parts.
HYPERBOLE: A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for effect.
ILLUMINISM: A form of Gnosticism, a belief in ones' own divine enlightenment,
with a sense of 'mission' to enlighten others, and contrary
to the teaching of the Church's magisterium. INCIPIENT: Beginning to exist
INEFFABLE: Incapable of being expressed, indescribable, or unutterable.
INFUSED CONTEMPLATION: A deep love communion with the Triune GOD. A loving
awareness of GOD, a loving contemplation, a loving wisdom.
(p57) See the nine traits common to all infused contemplation.
INFUSED PRAYER: A deepening self communication of the Holy Trinity. We
cannot originate, intensify, or prolong it, by anything we
can do. It is divinely given in its entirety, modo divino. (4th mansion,
INFUSION: To pour in. That which is poured in by GOD.
The touch of burning in the will. The touch of understanding
in the intellect.
INIMICAL: Injurious or harmful, unfriendly, hostile.
INSIPID: Lacking flavor, excitement, stimulation or interest. Dull.
INTELLECT: The power within to have ideas, to reason, to think, and to
know. The power to acquire knowledge.
JEJUNE: Not interesting, dull, lacking in maturity, childish.
JUXTAPOSITION: Place side by side for comparison.
LACONICAL: Using few words, terse, concise.
LEVITATION: When the soul leaves the body (transport), GOD sometimes takes
the body with it. The body rises as if weightless. (6th mansion,
LIGATURE: A tying or bonding. Something that unites.
LOCUTION: A speaking or an utterance. Can be received in three manners,
external (heard with the ears), imaginary (within a persons
inward sense facilities), and intellectual (deepest center of the person,
with no sound or voice heard). (p249)
MANSIONS: The seven rooms of spiritual growth, as taught by St. Teresa
of Avila (The Interior Castle). Imagine seven concentric rooms.
The Beatific Vision is beyond the seventh at the center, and
is the ultimate and final destination. Starting with the first mansion
(outermost room), the soul advances to higher rooms as it satisfies
the requirements of each one. (p73-110)
MEDITATION: To reflect on, to contemplate. A devotional
exercise of or leading to contemplation.
MELANCHOLIA: A mental disorder, severe depression, apathy, withdrawal.
MILIEU: An environment or setting.
MODICUM: A small, moderate, or token amount.
MYOPIA: Lack of discernment, or long range perspective in thinking.
MYSTICAL: Of, or having a spiritual reality or import not apparent to the
intelligence or senses. Relating to direct communion with GOD.
MYSTICAL TOUCH: A deep, intimate contact-union-experience of GOD in one
of His attributes such as power, light, goodness, beauty, or
NADA DOCTRINE: The drastic detachment taught by St. John
of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. (p5)
NEOPHYTE: A recent convert or novice, a new priest.
NIHILISTS: Various theories or systems of thought: nothing really exists
except thought, nothing really matters, nothing in life is
really worth struggling for, or living for. Skeptics.
NUANCE: Subtle degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone.
OBTUSE: Lacking quickness of perception or intellect.
OTIOSE: Of no use, lazy, indolent.
PANTHEISM: Identifying the Deity with the created universe with no distinction
between them, or a belief that all things are divine.
PAROCHIAL: Of, relating to, supported by, or located in
a parish. Narrowly restricted in scope or outlook, provincial.
PASCHAL: Of Easter or Passover.
PATENT: Obvious, plain, open.
PATRISTIC: Of, or relating to the fathers of the early Christian Church.
PAULINE: Of, or regarding, St. Paul.
PEJORATIVE: Tending to make or become worse.
PERDITION: The loss of the soul, eternal damnation.
PERDURE: To endure.
PERNICIOUS: Tending to cause death or serious injury, deadly.
PERSPICACITY: Acuteness of perception or discernment.
PESTIFEROUS: Producing or breeding infectious disease. Morally evil or
PETRINE: Of, or relating to, St Peter.
PHILOLOGY: Literary study, or classical scholarship, love of learning.
POLEMIC: A controversial argument, especially attacking a specific opinion.
PROCLIVITY: A natural inclination or tendency.
PRAYER OF QUIET: A state of prayer which is quiet, deep, and peaceful happiness
in the will, and one does not understand what it is. It comes
after recollection. (4th mansion) (p88) PRIMEVAL: Original or ancient.
PROFICIENTS: Having an advanced degree of confidence.
PROLIX: Tediously prolonged, wordy, speaking or writing excessively.
PROPENSITY: An innate inclination, a tendency.
PROPITIOUS: Presenting favorable circumstances. Kindly, gracious.
PROSAIC: Matter of fact, straight forward, lacking in imagination, dull.
PSALMIST: A writer or composer of psalms (sacred song or hymn).
PUERILITIES: Belonging to childhood, juvenile, immature, childish.
PURGATION: The act of purging or purifying.
QUIETISM: A heresy, where there was to be no human activity in prayer.
RAISON D'ETRE: The reason or justification for existing.
RAPTURE: A state of ecstasy, loss of external senses, a feeling of weightlessness,
the soul is disoriented, loss of sense of time passing, an
experience of deep union with GOD. RECOLLECTION: An infused and gentle
awareness given by GOD and not produced by human effort. One
is gathered together in GOD and desires solitude to be with Him. The senses
and external things slowly lose their hold upon the person.
(4th mansion) (p87)
RECONDITE: Not easily understood.
REDOUND: To have an effect or consequence, to return, recoil.
RESPLENDENT: Dazzling in appearance, brilliant.
REVIVIFIED: To impart new life, energy, or spirit to.
SACERDOTAL: Relating to priests or the priesthood.
SANJUANIST: Of, or regarding, St. John of the Cross.
SCHISM: A separation in the unity of the Christian Church.
SERVILE: Slavish, sub servient.
SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR: A priest who gives spiritual guidance to individuals,
and interprets spiritual happenings and advises a course of
ST. JOHN: Of the Cross, B:1542, D:Dec 13, 1591, a doctor of the Church
because of his ability to guide people to a more perfect life.
He was a Carmelite, and wrote many books, and worked with St.
ST. TERESA: Of Avila, a Carmelite, and doctor of the Church. B:Mar 28,
1515, D:Oct 4, 1582. With St. John of the Cross, she reformed
the Discalced Carmelites and founded 32 monasteries. She wrote
many books, the most famous of which is 'The Interior Castle'. Her books
inspired and guided many people in their spiritual lives.
STOIC: Seemingly indifferent to joy, grief, pleasure,
SUBLIME: Majestic, of high spiritual, moral, or intellectual worth. Not
to be excelled, supreme. Inspiring awe, impressive. Raised
SUBTERFUGE: A deceptive stratagem (maneuver designed to deceive), or device.
SUCCINCTLY: Clear precise expression in few words, concise, terse.
SUNDERANCE: To break into parts.
SUNDRY: Various, miscellaneous.
SUPERFLUITY: The quality of being beyond what is required or sufficient.
SUPERNAL: Celestial or heavenly.
TAUTOLOGY: Needless repetition, same subject with different
words, redundant. TEMERARIOUS: Recklessly daring.
TERESIAN: Of, or regarding, St Teresa of Avila.
THEIST: A believer in GOD.
TIMOROUS: Full of apprehension, timid.
TRANSCENDENT: Surpassing others, supreme, independent of the material world.
TRANSPORT: When the soul leaves the body, but the body is not dead. Out
of body experience. The Flight of the Spirit. (p100)
UBIQUITOUS: Seemingly everywhere at the same time, omnipresent.
UNCTION: The act of anointing.
UNGUENT: A salve for soothing or healing, an ointment.
UNTRAMMELED: Unrestrained, not limited.
VACUOUS: Devoid of matter, empty.
VEHEMENCE: Fervent, intense, full of energy, strong.
VELLEITY: A conscious choice at its lowest level. A wish or inclination.
WEAL: Prosperity, happiness.
WILL: The mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon
a course of action. WOUNDS OF LOVE: A wounding of the soul. "It will
feel like a seraphim is assailing it by means of an arrow or
dart which is all afire with love." (St. Teresa of Avila) These touches
of fiery love spark and enflame longings for the Beatific Vision
Page numbers are from: Fire Within,
by Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.
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