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  #1  
Old Jun 8, '08, 11:16 am
redrosetea redrosetea is offline
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Default What exactly is an Ecstasy?

Many Saint are said to go into ecstacy..Do we know what happens to them during this period of time?

I have read that it can last for hrs and when they come out of it, is seems to them it has only been a few minutes

Do they see God..what happens, does anyone really know?
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  #2  
Old Jun 8, '08, 6:02 pm
BenFischer BenFischer is offline
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Default Re: What exactly is an Ecstasy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrosetea View Post
Many Saint are said to go into ecstacy..Do we know what happens to them during this period of time?

I have read that it can last for hrs and when they come out of it, is seems to them it has only been a few minutes

Do they see God..what happens, does anyone really know?
Some saw Jesus, some saw the Virgin Mary, and some saw angels. Typically they were unaware of everything else. It's all private revelation, so in a sense we'll never know unless it happens to us.
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  #3  
Old Jun 10, '08, 5:02 pm
DBT DBT is offline
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Default Re: What exactly is an Ecstasy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrosetea View Post
Many Saint are said to go into ecstacy..Do we know what happens to them during this period of time?

I have read that it can last for hrs and when they come out of it, is seems to them it has only been a few minutes

Do they see God..what happens, does anyone really know?
Ecstacy/rapture are "states" of contemplative prayer. Mystical theologians refer to them as "extraordinary" gifts -- meaning that not all contemplatives experience prayer of this type. In some ways ecstacy is similiar to a very profound state of contemplation in the "ordinary" way described by St. Teresa as the Prayer of Union. You might have heard heard the Prayer of Quiet discussed on these forums . . . union is simply a deepening of that.

What we're refering to with these contemplative prayer states is the level of absorbtion of the faculties of the soul (intellect, will and memory) in infused prayer. Ecstasy/rapture differs from the Prayer of Union in that it lasts longer and is "felt" in a more exterior way.

Ecstacy occurs suddenly and unexpectedly . . . almost as if the soul is seized by God. Ordinary contemplation comes upon the soul more gradually as the faculties are progressively suspended by God as one proceeds through recollection to quiet and finally union itself. Ordinary infused prayer is very brief: 15 to 30 minutes tops. However, St. Teresa described ecstacy as lasting as long as several hours.

Father Dubay, in his wonderful book "Fire Within," described ecstacy this way:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Within
In ecstatic prayer one's inner life of knowing and loving is so intensely increased that the sense perception of the outer world is proportionately lessened, even to the point of disapperance. What Teresa calls the bodily energies, that is, seeing, hearing and touching, lessen and fade away. One can scarcely move the hands; the eyes close, or if one can keep them open, almost nothing is seen; one cannot speak or form words because there is no strength for it.
Here are a few brief words from St. Teresa:
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Teresa
Now when the body is in rapture (ecstacy) it is as though dead, frequently being unable to do anything of itself. It remains in the position it was when seized by the rapture, whether standing or sitting, or whether with the hands opened or closed. Although once in a while the senses fail (sometimes it happened to me that they failed completely), this occurs rarely . . .

. . . At the height of rapture the faculties are lost to other things because of their intense union with God, for then, in my opinion, it neither sees, nor hears, nor feels.
Hope this helps
Dave
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Old Jun 12, '08, 10:13 am
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MarieVeronica MarieVeronica is offline
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Default Re: What exactly is an Ecstasy?

Certain saints, reportedly, levitated (rose into the air) during Ecstasies.. too. Can you imagine being a witness to such an event!
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  #5  
Old Jun 12, '08, 10:28 am
redrosetea redrosetea is offline
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Default Re: What exactly is an Ecstasy?

Yes Marie they did. One was Phillip Neri, and he used to come to mass with a squirrel on his shoulders..The squirrel also levitated..Mother Angelica has mentioned this on her program
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Old Jun 12, '08, 10:30 am
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MarieVeronica MarieVeronica is offline
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Default Re: What exactly is an Ecstasy?

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Originally Posted by redrosetea View Post
Yes Marie they did. One was Phillip Neri, and he used to come to mass with a squirrel on his shoulders..The squirrel also levitated..Mother Angelica has mentioned this on her program
I can think of at least two others. St. Teresa of Avila and St. Joseph of Cupertino.

I didn't know that about St. Philip Neri and the squirrel! lol. How funny. Clear proof that Our dear Lord DOES have a sense of humor!
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  #7  
Old Jun 12, '08, 12:37 pm
DBT DBT is offline
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Default Re: What exactly is an Ecstasy?

Yes, it seems ecstatic prayer comes in a variety of "flavors"

Ecstasy (aka rapture) - in which the body is left as though dead, to paraphrase St. Teresa, for the duration of the prayer.

Flight of spirit (aka transport) - the "sensation" in which the soul seems to have left the body during the time of this prayer.

It is interesting to note that ecstatic prayer like this can be considered something of a spiritual imperfection . . . and, according to St Teresa, this phenomena ceases almost entirely when the soul is brought to perfection in the transforming union. The reason for this, I suppose, can be explained by St. John and all his discussion of the impact of prayer on our sense and spirit. Because ecstasies are percieved so much in our senses (hearing, seeing, feeling, speaking and so on), they are "less spiritually pure" than, say, the Prayer of Union previously described or the "touches" mentioned so much by St. John as one approaches the transforming union.

As a side-note: Brother Lawrence, in his wonderful plain-spoken way, called souls receiving ecstasies "weak" Not what we normally think, I guess, when we view ecstasies as a sign of sanctity in our Saints.

Dave.
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  #8  
Old Jun 12, '08, 1:13 pm
glenaitken glenaitken is offline
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Default Re: What exactly is an Ecstasy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieVeronica View Post
I can think of at least two others. St. Teresa of Avila and St. Joseph of Cupertino.

I didn't know that about St. Philip Neri and the squirrel! lol. How funny. Clear proof that Our dear Lord DOES have a sense of humor!
I think joe cupertino had in addition to this an actual "gift' of flight. the stories i've heard were that he could actually fly at will.
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  #9  
Old Jun 12, '08, 1:15 pm
redrosetea redrosetea is offline
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Default Re: What exactly is an Ecstasy?

Yes I recall hearing that too. I think he flew into the air to once secure a huge cross in some outdoor shrine..the details are fuzzy though
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  #10  
Old Jun 12, '08, 1:43 pm
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JimR-OCDS JimR-OCDS is offline
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Default Re: What exactly is an Ecstasy?

Blessed Margaret of Castello levitated. In fact, it happened as she was ministering to a prisoner, who was an atheist. She her float to the top of the ceiling, inspired the man to conversion. He died shortly after.

Jim
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