Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Great St. Catherine

Since March is National Women's History Month and this is the last day of the month, I thought I would share a reflection from a remarkable Catholic woman, who was bold, intelligent and creative. She was a Dominican laywoman-St. Catherine of Siena.  She is a canonized saint and one of the three women Doctors of the Church. She is a woman I greatly admired along with St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese of Lisieux, the other two women Doctors. The following words were a Meditation of the Day in Magnificat, the daily missal, that I couldn't live without. I recently met Fr. Peter Cameron, O.P., the editor of Magnificat and I told him how much Magnificat means to me. He told me that he chooses the reflections. The reflections help make Magnificat the great resource that it is. I recently read this piece at a retreat day that I gave and as I was reading it, I realized how powerful it is. And so that is why I am sharing it today. 
Living the New Wine of Christ
Love God not for your own sake, for your own profit, but love him for his sake, because he is the highest Good and is worthy of being loved. Then your love will be perfect and not mercenary. You will be unable to think of anything except Christ crucified and the wine you have drunk-that is, the perfect charity which you see God has shown and given you before the creation of the world, since he was in love with you before you even came to be. If he had not so fallen in love with you he would never have created you. But because of the love he had for you as he saw you within himself, he was moved to grant you being. How your thoughts will be stretched when you drink this charity! I mean you will be thinking about what there is still to drink, eagerly desiring to taste and possess the supreme eternal beauty of God. 
Now we have found the place where love resides and where the soul may get it, and we have found out how we are to take hold of it. I beg you then, for the love of Christ crucified, not to be indifferent. No, set your mind on going to that place, and on keeping to the road I have shown you. If you do this you will fulfill God's will and desire in your regard, for he seeks and wills nothing else but that you be made holy.....
He is our gentle God, and he has no need of us. He loved us before we loved him and he have himself to us as a gift, not because he had to. I don't want you to be ungrateful for so great a favor, but thankful and appreciative in response to the grace and loving mercy of the Holy Spirit....Keep living in God's holy and tender love.  St.Catherine of Siena