From the Dialogue On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of Siena
How a soul, elevated by desire of the honor of God,
and of the salvation of her neighbors, exercising
herself in humble prayer, after she had seen the union
of the soul, through love, with God, asked of God four
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. That this may be seen more clearly,
I will mention what I remember having heard from a handmaid of
God, namely, that, when she was lifted up in prayer, with great
elevation of mind, God was not wont to conceal, from the eye of
her intellect, the love which He had for His servants, but rather
to manifest it; and, that among other things, He used to say:
"Open the eye of your intellect, and gaze into Me, and you
shall see the beauty of My rational creature."
"And look at those creatures who, among the beauties which I
have given to the soul, creating her in My image and similitude,
are clothed with the nuptial garment (that is, the garment of
love), adorned with many virtues, by which they are united with
Me through love. And yet I tell you, if you should ask Me, who
these are, I should reply" (said the sweet and amorous Word of
God) "they are another Myself, inasmuch as they have lost and
denied their own will, and are clothed with Mine, are united
to Mine, are conformed to Mine."
It is therefore true, indeed,
that the soul unites herself with God by the affection of love.
So, that soul, wishing to know and follow the truth more manfully,
and lifting her desires first for herself -- for she considered that
a soul could not be of use, whether in doctrine, example, or prayer,
to her neighbor, if she did not first profit herself, that is, if
she did not acquire virtue in herself -- addressed four requests to
the Supreme and Eternal Father.
The first was for herself; the
second for the reformation of the Holy Church; the third a general
prayer for the whole world, and in particular for the peace of
Christians who rebel, with much lewdness and persecution, against
the Holy Church; in the fourth and last, she besought the Divine
Providence to provide for things in general, and in particular,
for a certain case with which she was concerned.
How finite works are not sufficient for
punishment or recompense without the
perpetual affection of love.
Then, the Eternal Truth seized and drew more strongly to
Himself her desire, doing as He did in the Old Testament,
for when the sacrifice was offered to God, a fire descended
and drew to Him the sacrifice that was acceptable to Him; so
did the sweet Truth to that soul, in sending down the fire of
the clemency of the Holy Spirit, seizing the sacrifice of desire
that she made of herself, saying: “Do you not know, dear daughter,
that all the sufferings, which the soul endures, or can endure, in
this life, are insufficient to punish one smallest fault, because
the offense, being done to Me, who am the Infinite Good, calls for
an infinite satisfaction?
However, I wish that you should know, that not all the pains that
are given to men in this life are given as punishments, but as
corrections, in order to chastise a son when he offends; though
it is true that both the guilt and the penalty can be expiated by
the desire of the soul, that is, by true contrition, not through
the finite pain endured, but through the infinite desire; because
God, who is infinite, wishes for infinite love and infinite grief.
Infinite grief I wish from My creature in two ways: in one way,
through her sorrow for her own sins, which she has committed against
Me her Creator; in the other way, through her sorrow for the sins
which she sees her neighbors commit against Me.
Of such as these, inasmuch as they have infinite desire, that is,
are joined to Me by an affection of love, and therefore grieve when
they offend Me, or see Me offended, their every pain, whether
spiritual or corporal, from wherever it may come, receives infinite
merit, and satisfies for a guilt which deserved an infinite penalty,
although their works are finite and done in finite time; but, inasmuch
as they possess the virtue of desire, and sustain their suffering with
desire, and contrition, and infinite displeasure against their guilt,
their pain is held worthy.
Paul explained this when he said: 'If I had the tongues of angels, and
if I knew the things of the future and gave my body to be burned, and
have not love, it would be worth nothing to me.' The glorious Apostle
thus shows that finite works are not valid, either as punishment or
recompense, without the condiment of the affection of love."
Prayer to Saint Catherine
O admirable Saint Catherine, thou who
did merit to make of thy whole life the
noblest holocaust, constantly inspiring
thyself to a most ardent love for Jesus,
the Lamb without blemish, and for His
beloved Spouse the Church, whose rights
thou did strenuously affirm and support
in troubled times.
Obtain, likewise, for us the grace not
only to pass unscathed through the corruption
of this world, but also to remain unshakably
faithful to the Church, in word, in deed, in
example, to see always, and to make others see,
in the Vicar of Christ our anchor, as it were,
in the storms of life, the beacon light that points
the way to the harbor of safety in the dark night of
our times and of men’s souls. Amen
The Precious Blood
Prayer by Saint Catherine
Ocean of Divine Mercy:
Flow upon us.
Most pure Offering:
Procure us every Grace!
Hope and Refuge of sinners:
Atone for us!
Delight of holy souls:
Draw us! Amen
Prayer of Thanksgiving to the Trinity
by Saint Catherine of Siena
O Eternal God! O Eternal Trinity! Through the union of Thy
Divine nature Thou hast made so precious the Blood of Thine
Only-begotten Son! O Eternal Trinity, Thou art as deep a
mystery as the sea, in whom the more I seek, the more I find;
and the more I find, the more I seek. For even immersed in the
depths of Thee, my soul is never satisfied, always famished and
hungering for Thee, Eternal Trinity, wishing and desiring to see
Thee, the True Light.
O Eternal Trinity, with the light of understanding I have tasted
and seen the depths of Thy mystery and the beauty of Thy creation.
In seeing myself in Thee, I have seen that I will become like Thee.
O Eternal Father, from Thy power and Thy wisdom clearly Thou hast
given to me a share of that wisdom which belongs to Thine Only-begotten
Son. And truly hast the Holy Spirit, who proceedeth from Thee, Father
and Son, given to me the desire to love Thee.
O Eternal Trinity, Thou art my maker and I am Thy creation. Illuminated
by Thee, I have learned that Thou hast made me a new creation through
the Blood of Thine Only-begotten Son because Thou art captivated by love
at the beauty of Thy creation.
O Eternal Trinity, O Divinity, O unfathomable abyss, O deepest sea,
what greater gift could Thou givest me then Thy very Self? Thou art a
fire that burns eternally yet never consumed, a fire that consumes
with Thy heat my self-love. Again and again Thou art the fire who
taketh away all cold heartedness and illuminateth the mind by Thy
light, the light with which Thou hast made me to know Thy truth.
By this mirrored light I know Thou are the highest good, a good above
all good, a fortunate good, an incomprehensible good, an unmeasurable
good, a beauty above all beauty, a wisdom above all wisdom, for Thou
art wisdom itself, the food of angels, the fire of love that Thou
givest to man. Amen
From the Dialogue On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of Siena
Saint Catherine of Siena
by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo; 1746; Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden, Germany;
God the Father with Saints Catherine of Siena and Mary Magdalen
by Fra Bartolomeo; 1509; Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi, Lucca, Italia;
The Ecstasy of St Catherine of Siena
by Pompeo Batoni; 1734; Museo di Villa Guinigi, Lucca; Italia
Saint Catherine of Siena (25 March 1347, Siena - 29 April 1380, Rome):
A tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopher and
theologian who worked to bring the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon.
She was canonized by Pope Pius II in 1461 and later made a Doctor of
the Church, October 3 1970 by Pope Paul VI.
April 29/30 - Saint Catherine of Siena - In Loving Dialogue with God - Doctor of the Church - Above quotes by Saint Catherine of Siena
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