Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue by Catherine of SienaSecond only to Divine Mercy in My Soul, this book had the greatest impact on my spiritual reformation.
This opening line, God speaking to St. Catherine, captured my heart and soul:
Open the eye of your intellect, and gaze into Me, and you shall see the beauty of My rational creature.
It is absolutely mesmerizing in its shape-shifting metaphors which often mix together in such a way that only ones spirit can grasp the meaning.
The core metaphor in this book is of The Bridge, who is Christ joining us to God through his dual nature of humanity and divinity. Other important metaphors are the soul described as a tree, and the taking up of the Christian life as the breaking of a thorn by pressing oneself into it, absorbing the pain, and persisting.
This book is miraculous, like the life of my favorite Saint, Catherine of Siena.
Spiritual Guidance from St. Catherine of Siena
Given our fallen human nature, we all struggle in our pursuit of living virtuously. Even if we are faithful Catholics, who are attending Mass on Sundays, frequenting the sacrament of Confession, and praying daily, we can still find it difficult not to allow ourselves to fall into our habitual vices and sins. Studying the writings of the saints, who are the great spiritual masters, can help us as we strive for the life of virtue. In St. Thus, in this New Year of , let us look to St. Catherine as a guide for deepening our lives of virtue.
In fact, it would be rare to ever receive such a letter in our lifetime! Yet, the communications of Saint Catherine of Siena had a profound impact on her times. Though she lived more than years ago, her letters deeply influenced the complex political and religious climate in which she lived. By the age of seven she had taken a vow of chastity refusing to ever marry. While continuing to live at home, Catherine led a life of solitude and near complete silence in a small cell while also serving as household help to her parents and siblings. Later, her confessor and biographer, Father Raymond of Capua, wrote that during this time of preparation, Catherine experienced a mystical marriage to Christ and was eventually told by Jesus to leave her withdrawn existence, mix with her fellow men and learn to serve them. Catherine also began traveling throughout Italy with a band of earnest associates urging reform of the clergy, support for the crusades, and settling disputes between republics, principalities, and powerful Italian families.
Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will., Saint Catherine of Siena, T.
Those miserable persons about whom I spoke to you have no consideration for themselves. The dignity itself of the priest is not increased by virtue nor diminished by any sin, as I have told you. But virtues are an embellishment and give added dignity to the soul beyond what it possesses from the beginning, when I created it in my image and likeness. Those who live thus, know the truth of my goodness, their beauty and dignity, because pride and self-love have not blinded them nor taken away the light of reason. Not having this self-love, they love Me and desire the salvation of souls. But these spoiled persons, completely deprived of light, calmly pass from vice to vice, until they fall into the pit. They have turned the temple of their soul and the holy Church, which is a garden, into a stable for animals.
Saint Catherine of Siena 25 March — 29 April , a laywoman associated with the Dominican Order , was a mystic, activist, and author who had a great influence on Italian literature and the Catholic Church. Canonized in , she is also a Doctor of the Church. She was born and raised in Siena , and at an early age wanted to devote herself to God , against the will of her parents. She joined the Dominican tertiaries. She made herself known very quickly by being marked by mystical phenomena such as invisible stigmata and a mystical marriage. She was then sent by him to negotiate peace with Florence.