Thursday, April 29, 2010

Feast of My Patroness -- Catherine of Siena

Today is the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena. I was drawn to this holy woman and doctor of the Church early on in my reversion to the fullness of the Catholic Faith. She was holy, fearless, feisty and courageous. Her goal was to surrender completely to the will of God over time -- it is a process of spiritual growth that only God can nurture and direct.

What I liked most in reading again about her and thinking about her this morning is this from American Catholic:
In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her "children."(emphasis added)

I pondered the the second to last sentence and thought that Pope Benedict XVI is doing that for the Church right now, with holiness, courage and humility. This is a lesson from which we can all learn -- the battle against Satan needs spiritual soldiers. And, while Christ has won the victory over death, it is only those who choose to follow that will not be lost to Satan's influence. We all have free will, which St. Catherine so eloquently explains, needs to be conformed lovingly and gently to the will of God. Surrender to His Providence is key. It would be prudent of all of us to try and live by these words of this wonderful saint:
Lose yourself wholly; and the more you lose,
the more you will find.

Have a blessed and abundant Feast of St. Catherine of Siena. May she bless and pray for all those who bear her name today, as well as all those who wear the habit of the Dominican Order.

You can follow this link to her great work, The Dialogue. It is to be savored slowly.

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