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St Catherine

St Catherine of Siena

Tomorrow the 20th of April we begin the novena of prayer in preparation for the feast of St Catherine of Siena. This is a very special feast for our community as our monastery is under the patronage of St Catherine. Perhaps our readers would like to join us in this novena in praying for Pope Benedict XVI and the whole the Church, so dear to the heart of Catherine. We would also be grateful if you would pray for our community that we may be faithful to our vocation in the Church and for vocations to our community. Each day, as a community we pray the following:O glorious St Catherine, champion of the Church of Christ and of his vicar on earth, doctor rich in wisdom, peace-maker among peoples, friend and guide of souls, obtain for us the wisdom that will make us saints and for the wrold a lasting peace. Amen.During the novena each evening before Vespers, a sister reads a short passage from Catherine writings – we will share these reflections with you on this blog for your own prayerful reflection Let us pray:Almighty God,You made St Catherine of Sienaa contemplative lover of the Lord’s sufferingsand an ardent servant of your Church.grant through her prayerthat your people may be united to Christ in his mysteryand rejoice for ever in the revelation of his glory. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.Catherine was born in Siena, Italy in 1347 and died in Rome in 1380. She lived at a time not too unlike our own when the Church and society were in turmoil- at one point there were even 3 Popes – each claiming to be the true […]

Divine Mercy Sunday

It is very fitting that the Church celebrates today – on the octave day of Easter – the wonderful mercy of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. At the Easter Vigil the Church burst in a prayer of praise and exultation calling on all creation to join in rejoicing: Rejoice O earth, in shining splendourChrist has conquered! Glory fills youDarkness vanishes for ever! – Alleluia.Rejoice O Mother Church! Exult in glory!The Risen Saviour shines upon you!The cause for this great joy is the fact that Christ has conquered sin and death. As we look around our world or, indeed, just look within our own hearts we can often be discouraged and feel overwhelmed by the darkness of sin and selfishness. But the great truth which we celebrate at Easter, and especially today on Divine Mercy Sunday, is that no matter how many sins weigh on our conscience we have only to turn to Jesus and mercy and forgiveness are ours – what a wonderful cause of joy and peace and thanksgiving!!When the Risen Jesus appears to the apostles on Easter Sunday evening He breathes on them and says:”Receive the Holy Spiritfor those whose sins you forgivethey are forgivenfor those whose sins you retainthey are retained” (Jn 20:19 – 31)It is interesting that St John has Jesus appear to the disciples where they are locked away behind closed doors – terrified! Again this detail can be encouraging for us who sometimes feel too frightened to open the door of our heart to the Lord – He can come inside the locked doors of our insecurity and fear and obstinacy with His healing love and mercy.At the renewal of our Baptismal vows at the Easter […]

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. 鈥︹ So the memory, all imperfection past, is filled 鈥 because it has remembered and held within itself my blessings.鈥 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. 鈥 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 鈥楧ialogue鈥. 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 鈥 they are quite powerful when you sit with them. St.Catherine鈥檚 鈥楧ialogue鈥 is demanding that way, you can鈥檛 read too much at a time, because it contains so much.St.Catherine was passionate about the Lord, and she was passionate […]