Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saints: St Teresa

Joan Osborne: St Teresa


St Teresa was an ecstatic saint, one who was said to receive holy visions. Hers involved painful experiences through which she received divine wisdom. Here is her description of one of her visions, of an angel:

I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron's point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it...

Teresa battled various illnesses for much of her life, so the modern cynic might regard this not as a vision but as a fever-induced hallucination. However you see it, it is a fact that she developed a system of meditation which helped her in her studies of the Divine. Prayers are offered to her for relief from severe pain. Joan Osborne’s St Teresa is a perfect example of the kind of prayer I mean.

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