A mini-description of the illuminative state...leading to the unitive state. From a footnote, 418, in the online copy of the Interior Castle. Follow the tags for more postings.
In a letter dated May 1581, addressed to Don Alonso Velasquez, then bishop of Osma, St. Teresa writes as follows: 'She [herself] has received such an assurance of coming one day to the fruition of God that she almost imagines she has already come into possession of Him, without, however, the joy that will accompany it. She is in the same position as one who by legal contract has received a splendid property which will become his, and whose fruit he will enjoy at a given date. Until then he only holds the title-deeds, without being able to take possession of the property. Nevertheless my soul would not like to come immediately into the possession of God, for it does not believe that it has deserved such a grace. It only desires to continue in His service, even at the cost of terrible sufferings. It would not mind thus serving Him to the end of the world, after having received such a pledge.' St. John of the Cross, in treating of this subject (Spir. Cant. stanza xxii. 3) says: I believe that no soul ever attains to this state without being confirmed in grace in it.' See also Ribera, in the Acta Ss. p. 554, circa finem.