Heart to Heart Chat
October 2, 2022
There had been so many great saints that the history of the Catholic Church had registered. One of them is Teresa of Avila. She experienced levitation during her prayer. “Her levitation incidents seem to have occurred spontaneously during states of spiritual rapture. During the incidents she would feel intimidated and have a sense of humility as she perceived the experience God sent. Often Teresa would be in a state of trance while levitating. In some cases, the nuns would try to keep her on the ground but would fail.” This was part of her mystical experience. Is mystical experience a prerogative of a few?
I have experienced with a retreat preacher who cried profusely every time he celebrated mass. When I asked him about that experience, he explained to me that he was so profoundly touched by the deepest love of God touching him intimately through the Real Presence of Christ. Mysticism is certainly not the privilege of a few saints. It is a spiritual experience open and available to us all. Mysticism is not a paranormal experience or what we experience in an altered state of consciousness. It is to come in touch with our true self with searing clarity. Usually our consciousnesses are blocked by ego, wounds of the past, social pressure, false fear and so many other things. So many things we experience in life do not allow us to be in touch with our true consciousness. When we really experience that connectedness with our true self that becomes a mystical experience. As Ruth Burrows defines it, “is being touched by God in a way that is beyond words, imagination and feeling. God, as we know, is Oneness, Truth, Goodness and Beauty. So, any time we are genuinely touched by oneness, truth, goodness or beauty, without anything distorting that, we are having a mystical experience.” In which case, what kinds of things might induce mystical experiences in our lives? The answer is: anything that takes us beyond our ego, our wounds, the social pressures within which we breathe, anything that helps us to put us in touch with our real person and that helps us to become a better person. It could be such as what my retreat preacher experience during mass, when you experience deep sense of forgiveness, when we are deeply moved by an act of kindness and love or to experience the deep suffering of a friend. In all such experiences, and through many other experiences too, we are deeply touched by God and that offers us a great clarity to face our true self, the real who we are. Such a deep spiritual experience sets us toward a new level of spiritual growth. Rekindle in us a desire to pray well. Help us to seek deeper and better relationship with the Lord. Let us keep our hearts open to such mystical experiences in our spiritual life that we can experience God more personally.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Xavier Ilango