God’s Love

St Catherine of Siena – Novena Day 6

The Eternal Father speaks to Catherine about charity:It is like a vessel that you fill at the fountain. If you take it out of the fountain to drink, the vessel is soon empty. But if you hold your vessel in the fountain while you drink, it will not get empty. Indeed it will always be full. So the love of your neighbour is meant to be drunk in Me without any self-interest.I ask you to love Me with the same love with which I love you. But for Me you cannot do this, for I loved you without being loved. Whatever love you have for Me you owe Me, so you love Me, not gratuitously but out of duty, while I love you not out of duty, but gratuitously. So you cannot give me the kind of love I ask of you. This is why I have put you among your neighbours: so that you can do for them what you cannot do for Me – that is, love them wihtout any concern for thanks and without looking for any profit for yourself. And whatever you do for them I will consider done for me.So your love should be sincere: You should love your neighbours with the same love with which you love Me. Do you know how you can tell when your spiritual love is not perfect? If you are distressed when it seems that those you love are not returning your love and not loving you as much as you think you love them. Or if you are distressed when it seems to you that you are being deprived […]

St Catherine of Siena – Novena Day 5

The Eternal Father speaks to Catherine:Keep in mind that each of you has your own vineyard. But every one is joined to your neighbours’ vineyards without any dividing lines. They are so joined together, in fact, that you cannot do good or evil for yourself without doing the same for your neighbours.All of you together make up one common vineyeard, the whole Christian Assembly, and you are all united in the vineyard of the mystic body of holy Church from which you draw your life. In this vineyard is planted the vine, which is my Only-Begotten Son, into whom you must be engrafted. It is charity that binds you to true humility – the humility that is found in knowing yourself and Me. See then that as workers I have sent you all. And now I am calling you again, because the world is failing fast. The thorns have so multiplied and have choked the seed so badly that it will produce no fruit of grace at all.I want you, therefore, to be true workers. With deep concern help to till the souls in the mystic body of holy Church. I am calling you to this because I want to be merciful to the world as you have so earnestly begged Me.From the Dialogue of St Catherine of Siena – Chapter 24

St Catherine of Siena – Novena Day 1

From a letter to Frate Giusto di Giovanni da Volterra:I long to see you eating and savouring souls. Take your lesson from gentle First Truth who in His restlessly yearning hunger and thirst for our salvation cried out from the wood of the most holy cross, “I thirst”. It is as if He were saying: “I am more longingly thirsty for your salvatin than I can show you through this finite suffering.” Yes, He is tortured with physical thirst, but that suffering is finite. It is the pain of holy desire, shown us in His thirst for the human race, that is infinite. Oh good and gentle Jesus, You let us know You are thirsty and at the same time You ask for a drink. He gave His blood out of love and it is with this love that He asks us for a drink. I mean that Jesus, who loves, is asking to be loved and served. It is only right that the one who loves ought to be loved. This is how we give our Creator a drink: when we give Him love for love. But we cannot give it to Him through any service we can render Him; no we must give it to Him in the person of our neighbour.(Taken from Letter 8 in Letters of St Catherine of Siena, Volume II translated by Suzanne Noffke OP,- published by Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies,2001)

Dare to Believe

Then she knows the truth about me the eternal Father: that in love I have created her to give her eternal life. This is the truth, and I have revealed it to her in the blood of Christ crucified. Once the soul has come to know this, she loves it, and she shows her love by genuinely loving what I love and hating what I hate. …… So the memory, all imperfection past, is filled … because it has remembered and held within itself my blessings.… Understanding receives the light. Gazing into the memory it comes to know the truth, and shedding the blindness of selfish love it remains in the sunlight of Christ crucified in whom it knows both God and humanity. … Then the will, which follows understanding, united itself in a most perfect and burning love. And if anyone should ask me what this soul is, I would say: She is another me, made so by the union of love. These are words spoken by God, our eternal Father, to St Catherine of Siena, whose feastday occurs at the end of this month. She had an astounding love for the Lord, uncontainable, and it pours out in the words of the ‘Dialogue’. The words quoted above caught my attention, and then on re-reading them, caught my attention still more, and in these last few days, even hours, of Lent – they are quite powerful when you sit with them. St.Catherine’s ‘Dialogue’ is demanding that way, you can’t read too much at a time, because it contains so much.St.Catherine was passionate about the Lord, and she was passionate […]