“I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.”
— St. Teresa of Avila, Divine Locutions (1565)
“[Asking Jesus to enter my life] really was a physical thing. I mean I felt it physically, in that there was a change in my body and I felt something going into me. I felt it. I knew it. Like it was from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. I could feel it just tingling inside of me. And it was the presence of the Lord. And it came into me like it was poured into my heart. And I felt it start in the center of me and just go out. It was very real. It wasn’t just, okay the Bible says I’m saved, but I know it! I felt it also.”
— Sarah, Religious America: Lighthouse in Loleta (WGBH 1972)
I was reminded of Teresa’s and Sarah’s ecstasy after seeing Kenny Paul Smith’s 2011 nomination for worst book cover in religious publishing:
Doyle is an astute and confessional observer. This is from the opening chapter (“Women Have Great Power to Influence Men”):
There are a lot of saved and unsaved women in this world who don’t have any idea of how much power that they have inside of them. Women are very persuasive, and have the power of leading men into doing a lot of foolish things.
In order for a woman to discover the power and potential that God has blessed her with, she must be saved and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If a woman has enough sense to resist the devil, she would become very powerful towards God’s ministry.
God has blessed a woman to have a persuasive power toward men. I believe that if all the women in the world were to get saved and live their lives for Jesus Christ, there would be more men in the world who would get saved.
Though I’ve yet to pinpoint everything going on in these passages, or why I’ve juxtaposed them, it reminds me of an erotic religious street with traffic flowing in all directions.
You can order Doyle’s book (in hard or e-format) here for only $27.