Mystical Marriage: The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa

“Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
(Revelations, 19:9)

In one of the most haunting texts in the tradition of Christ-mysticism, the Spanish Carmelite nun, mystic and Doctor of the Church, Theresa of Avila (1515–1582), spoke of her union with Christ: “It pleased the Lord that I should sometimes see the following vision. I would see beside me, on my left hand, an angel in bodily form…. In his hands I saw a great golden spear, and at the iron tip there appeared to be a point of fire. This he plunged into my heart several times so that it penetrated my entrails. When he drew it out I felt that he took them with it, and left me utterly consumed with a great love for God.… The sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one can not possibly wish it to cease, nor will one’s soul be content with anything less than God.”
Provincial Museum of Alberta; Maison Saint-Gabriel; Cupids Museum; Fanshawe Pioneer Village; Musée Colby-Curtis - Société historique de Stanstead; Doon Heritage Crossroads; St. Marys Museum; British Museum, London, England; Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, Sanibel, Florida, USA

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