Elsbet Stagel (XIV Century).

(...) And while I was praying my former life came into my mind, how much time and how long I spent in the world in frivolous pursuits. (...) And from this thought I came into such great remorse that my heart became full of bitter and unaccustomed torment (...) that I was feeling physical suffering and pain, as if my heart had a physical wound. (...) And (...) I saw that a light, beautiful and blissful beyond measure, was coming from heaven and it surrounded me and shone through me and illuminated me entirely, and my heart was transformed all of sudden and filled with an unspeakable and strange joy, so that I utterly and completely forgot all the misery and torment that I had ever known until this time. And in the light and in the joy, I saw and sensed that my God was taken up from the heart and out through my mouth and high into the air, and there it was given me to see my soul clearly (...) all its form and grace and beauty was shown to me fully. (...) It was a round, beautiful, and illuminating light, like the sun, and was of a gold-colored red, and this light was so immeasurably beautiful and blissful that I could not compare it with anything else. (...) And it seemed to me that a splendor went out from me that illuminated the whole world, and a blissful day dawned over the whole earth. And in this light which was my soul, I saw God blissfully shining, as a beautiful light shines out of a beautiful radiant lamp, and I saw that he nestled up my soul so lovingly and so kindly that he was wholly united with it and it with him. And in this union of love my soul acquired from God the certainty that all my sins had been wholly forgiven me (...). Buber, Ecstatic Confessions, P.83-84.

And when the soul had gotten a good look at the body, and had seen how deathlike and wretched it was (...) it went back into the body, without knowing how. And when it had come back into the body, it was not deprived of this glad contemplation, but even while dwelling in the body it saw itself and God in it, as pure and essential as when it had been entranced out of the body.

And this grace lasted in me for eight days, and when I came to myself again and became aware that a living spirit was in me, I stood up and was the most joyful person, so it seemed to me, in the whole earth. (...) And from the abundance of the measureless joy my body had grown so light and agile and so without any infirmity that from those eight days I never felt whether I had a body (...). Ibid., P.84-85.


Last updated: 1999/04/05