Can you please tell us what you think about ecstasy in general?
I will be happy to answer your questions about ecstasy. Ecstasy is a prayer, and it is a time when your love for Christ is greatly strengthened. It is a time when Love, which is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, reaches such a strong point, that it lets the one who prays and loves "come out" towards the one who is loved, in this case Christ. It is the natural development of love, which is the force that must reach the object of its love, that is, the beloved, and it will not stop until it reaches it and finds its rest in it. And this will therefore be possible in full only in Paradise: when the subject, ‘he who prays and who loves’ , will see Christ face to face and will be able to ‘possess’ him in fullness, to be directly possessed by Him, without a mediator and directly. And if we want to use some symbolism, we can say that it is complete nudity. Ecstasy can be compared to water, which begins to make glu-glu-glu, because it has already reached 100 degrees, the boiling point.
Do 21st Century Christians experience ecstasy as they did in the early church?
Ecstasy is a normal stage in the life of an authentic Christian, and in the history of the Church over the centuries we have had countless examples of brothers and sisters who have experienced ecstasy. In the 21st century, we have many examples, including: priests, consecrated brothers and sisters, married couples, young people. I personally know a lot of people like that. There are many mothers and fathers who are fully committed to raising their children and who have experienced ecstasy during personal prayer. It is important to know that ecstasy is a stage in prayer, in the power of love, and that it does not always aim to show God's will or to point to some special mission of the person. Because I repeat this is a normal period in the growth and maturation of Christian love.
Do you think that firm faith, passionate love, combined with loneliness - long fasts and intense prayers in solitude before God can lead to the experience of ecstasy?
Not only the saints have experienced ecstasy, because I repeat, it is a normal adolescence of love. It is not only the ecstasy of those who are declared saints, but ecstasy is also present in the lives of normal people who live a completely normal life. In the Christian life, there are moments when the aspect of inner struggle prevails, when we must practice inner discipline in order to win over ourselves, and there are also moments when the experience of being led by the Holy Spirit prevails. The moment we go to preach the gospel, this act, stimulated by love for Christ and for the brethren, results in growth in love, and therefore sooner or later we will reach the point when we are torn from ourselves, that is, we will be in ecstasy. Ecstasy is a rare fruit of love, that is confirmed and carried out in prayer, but there is also an ecstasy of love that serves the brothers. For example, Mother Teresa and also brothers and sisters who have dedicated themselves with great love to the service of the sick experience the ecstasy of love towards brothers and sisters. The ecstasy you asked me about is primarily in the life of prayer, but I want to repeat again, that there is an ecstasy of love that serves the brethren. For ecstasy, especially that in prayer, the acts of asceticism are helpful, such as: fasting, night prayers - that is awakefullness, silence, loneliness, desert… .