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St Catherine

Novena to St Catherine – Day 6

St Catherine – Contemplation & Apostolic Zeal锘縒hen reflecting on the life of St.Catherine of Siena, one is forcibly struck by the depth of her contemplative prayer coupled with a life of unbelievable apostolic zeal.Having lived a solitary life of contemplation for some years, she came to realise that the love of God cannot be separated from the service of humanity.In the 鈥楧ialogue鈥 God says to Catherine – 鈥榳hen you see yourself so ineffably loved by me, you should understand that you are to love as you are loved 鈥 that you are bound to love everyone of my creatures with the same love with which you see yourself loved by me鈥橪eaving the solitary life, she laboured in the streets and around the sick beds and prisons of the city. In addition, she laboured tirelessly and relentlessly, until her dying breath, for the dire needs of the Church and the […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 5

St Catherine on Obedience锘緼s we, as a community, have been and continue to reflect on the theme of obedience, I would like to read extracts from one of Catherine鈥檚 Prayers, number eleven, which teaches us many things about obedience, but especially the profound and inseparable link between obedience and love. In this prayer Catherine makes reference to a statement made by the Father in the Dialogue with particular reference to love and obedience. I quote: 鈥淪o you see that in whatever bond of love they finish their lives, that bond is theirs forever and lasts eternally. They are so conformed to my will that they can will only what I will. When time came to an end for them, and they died in grace, their freedom was so bound with the chains of charity that they are no longer capable of sin.鈥 (No 41)Catherine prays:Eternal Godhead!Your Truth shows usthat […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 4

Reflection on the Gift of Counsel in St Catherine of SienaFrom 鈥楾he Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Saint Catherine of Siena鈥, taken from 鈥楺ue Dijo Dios al Volver鈥 of Dominican Nuns of Olmedo, Spain; transl by Dominican Nuns of Buffalo, New York.St Catherine of Siena may well figure within Christian hagiography as a magnificent director of souls, thanks to the Gift of Counsel.There were many that drew near to her. Some with rectitude of intention, to seek her light and her advice. Others, on the contrary, went with perverse intentions, with the purpose of confounding her, or at least discrediting her before everyone. Among these last we have the greatest figure of Francisco Malavolti. It is perhaps the most impressive conversion. After supreme efforts, he has finally been caught in the net. Many times he had escaped her hands, but she always brought him back until he finally […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena – Day 3

Thoughts on the Eucharist (from the Dialogue of St Catherine of Siena, No. 112; the Father speaking)Dearest daughter, contemplate the marvelous state of the soul who receives this bread of life, this food of angels, as she ought. When she receives this sacrament she lives in me and I in her. Just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish, so am I in the soul and the soul in me, the sea of peace. Grace lives in such a soul because, having received this bread of life in grace, she lives in grace. When this appearance of bread has been consumed, I leave behind the imprint of my grace, just as a seal that is pressed into warm wax leaves its imprint when it is lifted off. Thus does the power of this sacrament remain there in the soul; that is, the warmth […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena – Day 2

“If anyone loves me he will keep my Word,and my Father will love him and we shall come to him and make our home with him.And the Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name will teach you everything.” (Jh. 14) For St. Catherine these few lines from John must have set her heart on fire as she sought to find human words to express her love and wonder for this God who was so madly in love with her. Let us listen to her outpouring longing for a moment. O Trinity! Eternal Trinity! O Fire Abyss of love! Would it not have sufficed to create us after your own image and likeness, making us reborn through grace, by the Blood of your Son? Was it still necessary that you should give the Holy Trinity itself […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena – Day 1

A Reflection on Prayer, given by one of our sisters yesterday, for first day of the Novena to St Catherine of Siena Taken from a letter to Catella, Checcia and Caterina Dentice of Naples, c May 1379Dearest sisters and daughters in Christ gentle Jesus, I Caterina, slave of the servants of Jesus Christ, am writing to you in his precious blood. I long to see you enjoying the food of angels, since you were made for nothing less. To make it possible for you to enjoy it, God brought you back with the blood of his Son.But reflect, .. that this food is eaten not on earth 鈥 that is, in earthly affection, but on high. This is why God鈥檚 Son was lifted up on the wood of the most holy cross, so that up there, at this table, we might eat this food. But […]

Mercy Sunday

We apologise to our readers for our silence during the past few weeks and belatedly we wish you a blessed Eastertide.During the last weeks of Lent we spend a lot of time preparing our liturgy. We were very happy to have Fr Gerard Dunne OP, to preside at our celebrations on Palm Sunday, Holy Week ceremonies and Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday morning Eucharist – all of which were very prayerful and inspiring – thanks to the hard work of preparation. We were not able to celebrate our patronal feast of St Catherine of Siena on the 29th of April as it fell during the Easter Octave – so we celebrate it tomorrow the 2nd of May.We offer the following reflection which one of our sisters shared at Vespers this evening:鈥淚n the evening of that same day, the doors were closed 鈥esus came and stood among them. […]

Welcoming our new Postulant

Our celebration of the feast of St Catherine is always a very joyful occasion for our community but this year our joy was even greater than usual – on the eve of the feast we welcomed Cathy into our community as a postulant. The postulants participate in the common life of the community and the novitiate and are gradually introduced to our monastic contemplative way of life.Cathy received much of her spiritual formation from the Legion of Mary – a lay apostolic organisation founded in Dublin by Frank Duff – while as a member of the Legion she generously dovoted much of her free time to aposolic work. Her many friends in the Legion supported and encouraged her in her decision to embrace the way of life of a Dominican Nun. It is interesting that many of our sisters were members […]

St Catherine of Siena

The following is a reflection shared by one of our sisters as part of our Novena in honour of St Catherine:Looking for inspiration and guidance in the face of the recent upheavals in the Church that have left us all a bit bewildered and shocked I turned to Catherine of Siena. The Church in her time too was in crisis and Catherine could in fact take her stand among the ranks of present day journalists exposing the sins of the Church, so strong and forthright is her condemnation of any one from Pope to pauper who was causing scandal and discrediting the Church of Christ. Indeed very few of the Church鈥檚 present critics could equal her when it comes to plain speaking. An extract from one of her letters says it all In whatever direction you turn among secular and religious priests, clerics and prelates, small and great, you […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena

As promised we share here some of Catherine’s writings on which we are reflecting during these days of preparation for her feast on the 29th.The following is an extract from a letter addressed to Fr Bartolomeo Dominici, in Florence in 1375: (taken from Suzanne Noffke’s translation of Catherine’s letters, Vol I)I Catherine, servant and slave of the servants of Jesus Christ am writing to encourage you in the precious blood of God’s Son. I long to see you set afire, swallowed up and consumed in His blazing charity, for we know that those who are set afire and consumed in that true charity lose all self-consciousness. That is what I want you to do.I am inviting you, in this blazing charity, to plunge into a peaceful sea, a deep sea. I have just rediscovered the sea – not that the sea is new, but it […]