I offer my life to you Eternal Father, for your Sweet Spouse, unworthy though I am. I ask only to see the Renewal of that Sweet Spouse, your Church. Eternal God, this I ask of you.

I find real joy in singing to myself frequently during the day, this Magnificat Antiphon for Evening Prayer 2 of St Catherine’s Feast. Catherine’s whole life’s dream and prayer was for the renewal of Mother Church. What were these deep down prayers she uttered to her Heavenly Father? Her ‘Dialogue’ contains many beautiful one, but surely she would have made her own many of Jesus’ sentiments as told to us in St John’s Gospel.

One of these became full of meaning for me recently, as the Coronavirus restrictions entered more and more into our daily lives. John 20:19 tells us, “In the evening of the same day, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, “Peace be with you” and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again – “Peace be with you” and saying this he breathed on them.”

Just as Jesus was not afraid to “stand” in the room filled with the disciples and even “breathing” on them, neither was Catherine afraid to move among the plague stricken victims in her own day. Again Catherine would encourage her disciples – and ourselves too – to abide in the Lord. This ‘Abide in my love’ comes from the depths of Jesus’ heart to us, because he knows that this ‘abiding’ is the source of everything for us. It is a call to enter into the innermost life of the Blessed Trinity. It is this same call that resonated in Catherine all during her life as she became more and more aware that in him she/we are begotten by our Eternal Father.

“I am in my Father and you in me and I in you. As the Father has loved me so I have loved you – abide (remain) in my love.”

Catherine, because of your confidence in Jesus Crucified you had no fear. In your own words, “I desire that you have not fear.” You asked great healings for your people in your own day, make this same prayer for us today in the face of the Coronavirus, that somehow through it all great blessings will be granted to our Mother Church, as she flounders through the seas of bitterness and scorn assailing her on all sides.

Clothe her, clothe her O Eternal Trinity.

Abide in the holy and sweet love of God, Sweet Jesus, Jesus who is love.