Ecstasy of St. Teresa

by Kevin Birnbaum

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Teresa of Ávila, the 16th-century Spanish Carmelite mystic, reformer, Doctor of the Church, and subject of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s brilliant Ecstasy of St. Teresa in Rome’s Santa Maria della Vittoria.

Mystic that she was, St. Teresa taught that the foundation of the spiritual life was really quite simple:

Contemplative prayer [oración mental] in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us. (CCC 2709)

Photo by Napoleon Vier.