«I saw an angel close by me, and most beautiful.
I saw in his hand a long spear of gold,
and at the iron's point there seemed to be a little fire.
It 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 get rid of it
(Saint Teresa of Avila, Autobiography, XXIX, 13)