Ecstasy or Stroke? The result’s the same

People on both sides of the experience tend to make a big deal of “ecstasies” or similar spiritual experiences. For the recipient, the risk is pride at being “honored” with such an experience. For those on the “outside”, and for the recipient, there is often unnecessary obsession with proving whether an experience is “authentically supernatural” or has a “scientific explanation.”

Both of these attitudes miss the mark. The goal of the experience is to make the recipient focused in prayer, so whether the experience is “supernatural” or “natural,” so long as it’s focusing the recipient in prayer *and* the praying person is not taking pride in the experience, what does it matter?

To wit, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to “actively pray” at Mass. I’m recollected, but I can’t remember the responses of the Mass, can’t read, and can’t remember any other of the vocal prayers I usually pray in my head at Mass.

So if the goal of prayer is to get to where you can pray without words, does it really matter if it’s some kind of “mystical state” or just my brain aneurysm?


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