Posted by: Peadar Ban | April 29, 2012

Today, April 29, 2012

Today, in addition to it being the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is also underneath all of that, the Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena.  That is something which we think Saint Catherine would not at all mind.  But, hold it a moment, because things do not end there.  The day is also set aside by the Catholic Church as a World Day of Prayer for Vocations; for priests, for consecrated religious for all whom God is calling to come and be, as St. Teresa of Avila says, His body, His eyes and hands and feet in the world.  And, that, too, is something Saint Catherine would not mind in the least, whose life was dedicated among other things to reforming the dissipate clergy of her time.

It is funny, now that one thinks about it, that the names of these two women should be mentioned in the space of one paragraph; two women from long ago, much the better part of a thousand years in Saint Catherine’s case  when, the received wisdom tells us, the world was a place where women were …well, little more than cattle.  And here we are talking about, thinking about two of the most brilliant women in Western Civilization, neither of whom ever saw the inside of an “academy”, or took a degree; one the granddaughter of a Jew, the other the daughter of a cloth dyer, whose mother had 21 children.  Both of them made Doctors of the Church, a church which is supposed by many and excoriated be more as being a force in the world for the suppression of women.

The case can be made, and it is no small case at all, that Saints Catherine and Teresa of Avila played important roles in the course of Western Civilization.  That they played, and continue to play, important roles in the life of the Catholic Church there is no doubt.  We are reading Sigrid Undset’s excellent biography of Saint Catherine, and recommend it to anyone who wants to read about the life and times, the influence and wisdom of one young woman of  14th century Europe, a woman more than any other person ended the “Babylonian Captivity” of the  Popes in Avignon.  Would that we had someone like her, or Saint Teresa, with us today who would speak truth to power as she did .

The quotation from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians perfectly captures the spirit under which Saint Catherine


Saint of the Day

St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
At sixteen, Catherine received a vision in which she was mystically married to Christ. She was a counselor to popes and heads of state. She is a Doctor of the Church.

Reflections from the Saints

Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.

– St. Catherine of Siena

Scripture Verse of the Day

2 Corinthians 3:4-6

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Life in Christ: Catechism #2231

Some forgo marriage in order to care for their parents or brothers and sisters, to give themselves more completely to a profession, or to serve other honorable ends. They can contribute greatly to the good of the human family.

One Minute Meditations

In this case, as in so many others, people are doing various things and all think they are right. But God is guiding them, that is to say, over and above their own particular ideas, God’s inscrutable and most lovable Providence will win through in the end.

Allow yourself, therefore, to be guided by the Lord, without opposing his plans, even though they might go against your “basic assumptions”.

– St. Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, #596
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Since it IS Sunday, let us give God the glory:


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