Thursday, August 25, 2016
“I saw an angel beside me toward the left side, in bodily form. He was not very large, but small, very beautiful, his face so blazing with light that he seemed to be one of the very highest angels, who appear all on fire. They must be those they call Cherubim…I saw in his hands a long dart of gold, and at the end of the iron there seemed to me to be a little fire. This I thought he thrust through my heart several times, and that it reached my very entrails. As he withdrew it, I thought it brought them with it, and left me all burning with a great love of God. So great was the pain, that it made me give those moans; and so utter the sweetness that this sharpest of pains gave me, that there was no wanting it to stop, nor is there any contenting of the soul with less than God”. (St. Teresa, Life…Chapter 19).
The transverberation is commonly referred to as St. Teresa's entrance into the state of Spiritual Marriage. This state is described in the Saint's 7th mansion in her book The interior Castle. It is interesting to note that when St. Teresa's incorruptible heart was preserved, a small puncture site was discovered thus confirming this precise experience.
The state of spiritual marriage is the lot of the very few in the spiritual life. But this is so because according to both St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross, we are the ones who put limits to the gifts of God. Even though it is equally true that it is pure gift and therefore unmerited, God is willing to grant it to those who dispose themselves to it by acts of total surrender and abandonment to the will of God, which can take the form of spiritual darkness and sufferings. The journey to the different mansions of our soul entails a journey of transformation, of leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar, of following unknown paths, and even complete surrender of reason to the darkness of faith. Even though we may never reach this high state of union, it still does us good to realize what God prepares for those who love Him. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, or has it even dawned on man, what is in store for us, if we only allow God to work His miracle in us. This is the lesson we glean from the lives of the Saints. May God help us.