Father Andrew Doze

The Holy Family; crossing a threshold

The great overturn…occurs midway, at the fourth mansion, the starting point of true conversion.

What appears to be indisputable is that, in every life, thresholds are crossed beyond which things are no longer the same. As we reflect on this, we shall understand.

What Teresa of Avila calls the fourth mansion is this central experience which can be lived in thousands of ways. It often is a difficult ordeal; man gives up his limited human logic, his thoughts as man, as Jesus says to Peter, his self-sufficiency as an adult, to open himself to the radically new experience which comes from God, this childlike trust that the genius of Theresa of the Child Jesus expressed better than anyone else.

Jesus had gone up to the temple; he comes down from it. The temple represents the world of human good-will which is liable to fall back on itself and bypass life as did the Pharisees.

The Holy Family is the world of communication in which one constantly progresses. It is the world of communion.

In simplified terms, one could say that the temple is this beautiful construction that man can realize in the first phase of his spiritual life with the help of God. It aptly expresses the summit of the first three mansions, of man’s new spiritual beginning. In the Holy Family, in a very humble and hidden way, almost indescribable since it is so simple and so new, it is the Lord himself who makes us accede to the gradual discovery of love and liberty in the spirit.  –Andrew Doze ‘Joseph: Shadow of the Father’