Ecstatic Prayer

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WhiteDove

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Does anyone out there know about this subject? Why does it happen? What does it mean? Has anyone one else here experienced it?

Where does one go for direction? I was told by my priest that it is a mystical experience that he knows nothing about. He said it’s a gift. What would the purpose of such a gift be?
 
It is a wonderful gift! You will find the works of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila helpful in understanding this prayer.
 
Arnulf is correct, however, when searching for explainations, be careful of the sites out there. Many will try to twist things to their own new age agenda. I didn’t see any with solid Catholic teachings.
 
I’m reading St Theresa of Avila’s The Way of Perfection now. My priest recommended her. The three major tenets of her philosophy and spiritual practice are:
1)Love
2)Detachment
3)Humilty

I love this book! She wrote it for her nuns, but it is good for us all. She is delightful and insightful woman!
 
If there are any Carmelite friars or nuns in your area, they might be your best bet for spiritual direction.
 
I think I might get my courage up to talk to a priest friend I know who is a Benedictine. I only told my priest here, whom I confess to. I wrote him a letter describing it and he told me that he didn’t know about it, but recommended St Theresa. He said not to be afraid of it as long as it had a positive impact on my life.

Frankly, I’m embarrarrassed about it because it’s very personal. It’s a very physical experience. Here is anonymous, so it’s not embarrassing.
 
After you finish “The Way of Perfection”, read “The Book of Her Life”, Teresa’s autobiography, which describes in detail her personal experiences of ecstatic prayer, including descriptions of the physical manifestations you speak of, and how to understand and cope with them.
 
I have her book The Interior Castle , which I ordered along with the one I’m reading. I’ll have to get that one too.

I don’t know what this all means, but I don’t think I’m going crazy. :confused: It has caused me to enter into a devout life, which is a change for me from my previous lukewarm ways.

I think her three tenets of Love, Humilty, and Detachment do sum up the spiritual life, and ought to keep me busy, as I’m no where close to attaining those goals!
 
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WhiteDove:
I don’t know what this all means, but I don’t think I’m going crazy. :confused: It has caused me to enter into a devout life, which is a change for me from my previous lukewarm ways.
I’ve had very similiar conversations with my parish priest and what you say above is one of the signs of authenticity he cites . . . being drawn into a more devout, orthodox life.

I agree with the other posters about the Carmelite Saints (St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross in particular) being the place to go for the answers to your questions. There’s a post on the Secular Order you might find helpful . . .
 
You might also want to read the book entitled “The Fire Within” by Father Thomas Dubay. It speaks of this type of prayer and is very helpful.

Jeff S.
 
Thank you for all your advise. I read that thread on the Carmelite Order. I think I will look into that. I’ve already started praying the Liturgy of the Hours at home. I usually pray the morning and evening ones and sometimes the night ones. I wonder if there are any of the Carmelites in Washington State? I live in a more rural area, with fewer choices, although Seattle is not terribly far from here.

I think I’ll get that book The Fire Within, thanks for the tip. I read a very good book which really inspired me. It is called In the Spirit of Happiness and is written by the Monks of New Skete, who started out as Eastern Catholics but are now associated with the Eastern Orthodox Church. That book had a good section on a contemplative method of reading the Bible. Plus it gave a lot of insight into monastic life.

I need to find out more, now that I’m on this path. Another thing that has helped me is starting the practice of attending Daily Mass when possible. Plus, using confession more often has really helped me a lot.
 
Dear WhiteDove,

I would only remind you that “detachment” includes being detached even from spiritual gifts. So, never forget that whatever these gifts might be, when they’re from God, they are meant to lead you to Him. Don’t get sidetracked. Many spiritual masters suggest that we ignore these kinds of experiences or pay no special attention to them–that’s hard to do but their point is very valid as we can tend to get hung up in the feelings and emotions and lose the real Gift. You seem to be doing alright, though. Keep it up.
 
Dear Brother Dan,
Yes, I noticed that after this started happening, then subsided for a while, I did have that happen, becoming attached to it. Now, it seems like I can let it come and go, just like the weather. Actually, at first it was so overwhelming that I really got out of balance, spending too much time in prayer. It was sort of out of control, since it came on totally by surprise. I’d be praying for an hour or two. I got a little behind on my laundry!

Starting these other practices helped bring me down to earth and give me structure. I really have a long ways to go. I needed all the help I could get, I suppose…
 
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WhiteDove:
Thank you for all your advise. I read that thread on the Carmelite Order. I think I will look into that. I’ve already started praying the Liturgy of the Hours at home. I usually pray the morning and evening ones and sometimes the night ones. I wonder if there are any of the Carmelites in Washington State? I live in a more rural area, with fewer choices, although Seattle is not terribly far from here.

I think I’ll get that book The Fire Within, thanks for the tip. I read a very good book which really inspired me. It is called In the Spirit of Happiness and is written by the Monks of New Skete, who started out as Eastern Catholics but are now associated with the Eastern Orthodox Church. That book had a good section on a contemplative method of reading the Bible. Plus it gave a lot of insight into monastic life.

I need to find out more, now that I’m on this path. Another thing that has helped me is starting the practice of attending Daily Mass when possible. Plus, using confession more often has really helped me a lot.
Dear WhiteDove . . . I know of one anyway member of the **Secular Order of Carmel (OCDS) **who resides in Washington State - so yes there is at least one Secular OCDS anyway in Washington State - I’ve never asked if there is an actual Carmelite Monastery of monks or nuns in the area somewhere - but I will in my next contact. I live in Australia incidentally. If you go to the Carmelite Website, I’m very sure you would be to find answers to your queries. I’ll go scratch up some websites and post asap just in case you find them helpful. I’ll also send off an email to my friend in Washington State re your query. God Bless!
 
mmmmmmmmmm…today is the day I will not store in memory. If anyone reads this I’m a rank amateur where computers go and I’ve just noticed that the posts are dated in the top left hand corner!

Not to worry I’ll complete most of what I said I would do . . .obviously there is a reason for today!

Carmelite Seculars OCDS forum:

groups.yahoo.com/group/cincarm/

Carmel OCDS (monastic nuns) in Australia however - but I daresay contacting them will give anyone any info they may be seeking . . .
carmelite.com/

I wont send off that email however! God Bless!
 
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