St Catherine of Siena

Praise and Glory

“Supreme and eternal good, who has moved You, infinite God, to illuminate me, Your finite creature, with the light of Your truth? You, the same fire of love, are the cause. For it is love that has always constrained and continues to constrain You to create us in Your image and likeness, and to show us mercy by giving immeasurable and infinite graces to Your rational creatures.

“Goodness above all goodness! You alone are supremely good, and nevertheless You gave the Word, Your only begotte

n Son, to associate with us filthy ones who are filled with darkness. What was the cause of this? Love. Because You loved us before we were.

“Eternal greatness! You made Yourself low and small to make mankind great. On whatever side I turn, I find nothing but the abyss and fire of Your love. And can a wretch like me pay back to You the graces and the burning love that You have shown and continue to show in particular to me, and the love that You show to all Your creatures? No, but You alone, most sweet and loving Father, will be thankful and grateful for me—that is, that the affection of Your charity itself will render You thanks. My being, and every further grace that You have bestowed upon me, I have from You. And You give them to me through love, and not as my due. –St Catherine of Siena ‘Little Talks With God’

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Lover and beloved

Then the servant of God, as if actually intoxicated, seemed beside herself.  It was as if the feelings of her body were alienated through the union of love that she had made with her Creator.  And it was as if, in elevating her mind, she had gazed into the eternal truth with the eye if her intellect, and, having recognized the truth, had become deeply in love with it.

And she said, “Supreme one! You, supreme and eternal Father, have manifested to me your truth, the hidden deceits of the devil, and the deceitfulness of personal feelings.  You have done this so that I, and others in this life of pilgrimage, may know how to avoid being deceived by the devil or ourselves!  What moved you to do so?  Love, because you loved me, without my having loved you.

“Fire of love!  Thanks, thanks be to you, eternal Father!  I am imperfect and full of darkness, and you, perfection and light, have shown to me perfection, and the resplendent way of the doctrine of your only-begotten Son.

“I was dead, and you have brought me to life.  I was sick, and you have given me medicine.  And yours was not only the medicine of the Blood that you gave for the diseased human race in the person of your Son, but also a medicine against a secret infirmity of which I was unaware.  –St Catherine of Siena ‘Little Talks with God’

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On fire

“I long to see you so totally ablaze with loving fire that you become one with gentle First truth. Truly the soul’s being united with and transformed into him is like fire consuming the dampness in logs. Once the logs are heated through and through, the fire burns and changes them into itself, giving them its own color and warmth and power.” –St Cathrine of Siena

burning logs image 2 Guide 2015

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A love unequaled

A call from the Hospice yesterday redefined priorities and established a schedule.  There are eyes upon me at the Hospice and I like it.  It is good for me in all aspects.  The conclusion of the conversation produced a weekly routine of visiting the Jennings Center on a set day.  Daily Mass is conducted at 9:30 AM, allowing attendance and then commiserating with assigned patients.  I am coordinating schedules with Mary to allow her to accompany.  The Easter gift complication made me realize our friendship is important to her on a level I did not comprehend.  I am committed to assuring she is rewarded through our acquaintance.  I recognize how important working with the elderly is to her.  She is good at it.  The patients adore her.  One patient I have neglected due to her distance I have become focused upon.  The last visit she sported a Rosary around her neck and a crucifix.  I have concluded praying the Rosary with her is a must.  We will sit in the gathering area as many of the patients in the Marian Gardens take interest when there is a visitor. The prayers will be shared with many.  The affirmed structured commitment to the Jennings Center stimulates the desire to pursue becoming a Eucharist Minister.  The retreat at home established a rootedness within my Hospice activities.  There is no doubt it is where God is calling me at this time.  I received serious attention and assistance from many when I struck my bottom in that hotel room in Toledo.  It is time to give back.  All for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

Father Gerald Vann in ‘Divine Pity’ details dying to one’s self and the world within Jesus Christ not to be a renouncing and rejecting of the world, rather a deeper immersion into the world through faith, hope, and love.  Father Vann utilizes Catherine of Siena as a loving example.

For it was Catherine who, after this ‘mystical death,’ became one of the most famous and the most powerful women of her century, endlessly active, Popes and princes, traveling, negotiating, issuing orders, determining policies, shaping the life of Christendom.  What had intervened during her lengthy near death religious experience? She had learned the truth expressed in the words of the pseudo-Dionysius: Omnium divinorum divinissimum est cooperare Deo in salute animarum: of all divine things the most divine is to share with God in the saving of souls; she had begged Our Lord in ecstasy to take her back to her eternal home (to allow her to remain in death), and she had been reproached by Him—for her egoism.  She had been taught by Him: “You cannot render me any service, but you can help your neighbor.  The soul in love with My truth gives herself no rest but searches ceaselessly to help others.  You cannot give back to Me Myself the love I demand, but I have put you beside your neighbor so that you may do for him which you cannot do for Me.  What you do for your neighbor, then, I consider as being done for me.”

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Three Catherine of Siena poems

Vulnerable

Vulnerable we are, like an infant.
We need each other’s care
or we will
suffer.

I Won’t Take No For An Answer

“I won’t take no for an answer,”
God began to say
to me

when He opened His arms each night
wanting us to
dance.

The Hymns of the Earth

I wanted to be a hermit and only hear the hymns
of the earth, and the laughter of the sky,

and the sweet gossip of the creatures on my limbs,
the forests.

I wanted to be a hermit and not see another face
look upon mine and tell me I was not all the beauty in this world.

For so many faces do that—
cage us.

The wings we have are so fragile
they can break from just
one word, or

a glance void
of love.

I wanted to live in that cloister of
light’s silence

because, is it not true, the heart
is so fragile and shy.

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Consumed in Grace

I first saw God when I was a child, six years of age.
the cheeks of the sun were pale before Him,
and the earth acted as a shy
girl, like me.

Divine light entered my heart from His love
that did never fully wane,

though indeed, dear, I can understand how a person’s
faith can at time flicker,

for what is the mind to do
with something that becomes the mind’s ruin:
a God that consumes us
in His grace.

I have seen what you want;
it is there,

a Beloved of infinite
tenderness.

St Catherine of Siena

St Catherine of Siena

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A life of providence

“…everything is made by divine providence, from the first beginning of the world until the end.  My (God’s)providence gives you and permits everything to happen to you, both tribulations and consolations, whether temporal and spiritual.

“Divine providence grants every circumstance of your life for your good, in order that you may be sanctified in me, and that my truth may be fulfilled in you.  That truth is that I created you in order to possess eternal life, and manifested this with the blood of my only-begotten Son, the Word

“…You, eternal Trinity, are a deep Sea, into which the deeper I plunge the more I find, and the more I find the more I seek.  The soul cannot be filled to excess in your abyss, for it continually hungers after you...  –Catherine of Siena ‘Little Talks With God’.

Falling into the abandoned abyss of being, the existence of solitary yearning,
Plunging into cold waters practicing prayer, breathing viscous hunger, more and more appeasing, flourishing within believing,
Subsisting upon the screams of vocal chords sounding, echoing, chanting, vibrating things not their own, a chorus resounding, a singular high pitched fifing remaining alighting, unifying delighting,
Providence provides the masking of desperate disguises, the knowing of matters confined to refinement,
Pleasing oh Lord the misery of worldly advancement, the deconstructing of plans set upon material amassing, the imploding demands of sensual sidetracking, the fickle unfocused frolicking of fiendish free will all apart of Divine planning,
A blessing, a river crossing, a wrestling match concluded, the journey gradually sauntering beyond the guilt of sin, settling upon the purview within an emptied vessel,
The magnificent depravity of virtue attaining colorful tones fading into the background of a finely detailed dying to a life forgotten, a void,
Out of reach, anew, washed in the blood of One who always knew the predestination of a fate lacking choices amidst a multitude of moments within the overwhelming obliteration, God stands alone, Divine symmetry,
Memory assuaged, more and more the message of the spoken Word becomes lost within the sounds of silence, espousing still trying, letting go, opening awareness, squelching the senses individuality declining, finely tuning the center of creation: faith, hope, and charity,
Synchronized to a song as it was, as it will be, and as it is to come, a funeral party dancing into the grave, life is short while eternity long,

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