Quote of the Day
I ask you to love me with the same love with which I love you. But for me you cannot do this, for I loved you without being loved. Whatever love you have for me, you owe me, so you love me not gratuitously, but out of duty, while I love you not out of duty, but gratuitously. So you cannot give me the kind of love I ask of you. This is why I have put you among your neighbors, so that you can do for them what you cannot do for me—that is, love them without any concern for thanks and without looking for any profit for yourself. And whatever you do for them, I will consider done for me.
— Saint Catherine, The Dialogue (a conversation between the Eternal Father and a soul)
Scripture of the Day: John 15:12–17
Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
Saint of the Day: Catherine of Siena
Italian, b. 1347, d. 1380, canonized 1461
Saint Catherine laid down her life in response to God’s love for her. After a mystical vision at age 6, the girl turned to a life of prayer and solitude. At 7, she made a private vow of perpetual virginity. As she matured, Catherine’s parents began to prepare her for marriage, but she resisted to the point of cutting her hair and relinquishing adornments. While she never officially took the religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, she lived them perfectly. Catherine became a Third Order Dominican and remained at home, where her life was dedicated to penance and works of mercy. She tended the sick, including those dying of bubonic plague. Her strong foundation of prayer strengthened her vocation as spiritual guide, which led to her involvement of the more worldly side of church affairs and politics. Having the courage to speak the truth to popes and kings, Catherine played a role in bringing the seat of the papacy back to Rome from Avignon, France.
In 1970 Pope John Paul II named Saint Catherine, who was unschooled, except by the Lord in prayer, a Doctor of the Church.
The soul, who is lifted by a very great and yearning desire for the honor of God and the salvation of souls, begins by exercising herself, for a certain space of time, in the ordinary virtues, remaining in the cell of self-knowledge, in order to know better the goodness of God towards her. This she does because knowledge must precede love, and only when she has attained love, can she strive to follow and to clothe herself with the truth.
But, in no way, does the creature receive such a taste of the truth, or so brilliant a light therefrom, as by means of humble and continuous prayer, founded on knowledge of herself and of God; because prayer, exercising her in the above way, unites with God the soul that follows the footprints of Christ Crucified, and thus, by desire and affection, and union of love, makes her another Himself. Christ would seem to have meant this, when He said: To him who will love Me and will observe My commandment, will I manifest Myself; and he shall be one thing with Me and I with him. In several places we find similar words, by which we can see that it is, indeed, through the effect of love, that the soul becomes another Himself.
— Saint Catherine, The Dialogue, Prologue
- Read/listen bio at American Catholic
- Read bio at EWTN
- Read Pope Benedict XVI’s Wednesday audience remarks on the saint (November 2010)
- Read The Life of Saint Catherine of Siena by her confessor, Blessed Raymond de Capua
- Read Did you know that…
- Pray 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Catherine of Siena
Writings of Saint Catherine
- Read The Dialogue
- Read Selected letters (includes chief events in the life of Saint Catherine, pp 21–24)