Novena to St Catherine - Day 3

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Novena to St Catherine - Day 3

Dominican Nuns Ireland
Published by Dominican Nuns Ireland in Reflections (Dominican) · 22 April 2020
Tags: StCatherineMercy
Although Catherine lived over six hundred years ago, her times were not unlike our own. She lived during a tumultuous period in the Church’s history, when the Black Death decimated Europe. The feudal system was in ruins. Nation states were emerging, with tensions between England and France, Genoa and Venice. The Pope was residing in Avignon and the calibre of members of Religious Communities and that of the diocesan clergy left a lot to be desired.

Catherine gave herself totally to trying to renew the Church and to regenerate Europe as a continent of peace. She personally nursed the sick and dying during the Black Death, putting herself in harms way to do so. She spent much time trying to correct the immoral ways of bishops and Cardinals. And yet, at the end of her life, it was considered that her mission had failed, especially as regards the Church. Many people thought that her action in persuading the Pope to return to Rome had possibly provoked a schism! It was only later in history that her renewing action and words were vindicated. Alice Curtayne writes, “the judgment of later centuries must not obscure the truth that in her own day, in the general view and in her own, she failed disastrously. Her real story is one of overwhelming disgrace and disappointment.” Catherine died of a broken heart, seeing her beloved Church in ruins. It is precisely because she suffered such difficulties that her writings on God’s mercy are so powerful. Catherine didn’t just speak of God’s mercy, she trusted in it utterly when her life and life in the world around her were falling apart.

Catherine explains that mercy is behind every step of our lives. In the Dialogue (Ch. 30) she proclaims that by God’s mercy we were created and then recreated in Jesus Christ’s blood shed on the Cross. Mercy covers our faults. Mercy rules the world. Mercy is life-giving: “the light in which both the upright and sinners discover God’s goodness.” Mercy tempers justice and gives us time to repent and grow in humility, love and patience.

We can cry out with Catherine, “O mercy, my heart is engulfed with the thought of you. For wherever I turn my thoughts I find nothing but mercy. In mercy you have seen fit today to show me, poor as I am, how we can in no way pass judgment on other people’s intentions. Indeed, by sending people along an endless variety of paths to come to you, you give me an example for myself and for this I thank you.”

Jesus’ death was the moment of mercy’s conquest: “O mad lover, it was not enough for you to take our humanity, you had to die as well.”

Catherine reminds us that it is the scarred Jesus Christ who now intercedes for us before God. Mercy pushed the Son of God to take on our humanity, scars and all, to bring about our atonement with God. She says to the Father, “In mercy you preserved the scars of you Son’s body so that he might with these scars beg for mercy for us before your majesty.” No one is outside that mercy. The Father reminds her and us, “I let you experience my mercy when I said to you, ‘I beg you to pray to me on behalf of these people.’ But know that my mercy toward you is incomparably more than you can see, because your sight is imperfect and limited and my mercy is perfect and without limit.” Let us entrust ourselves, our Church and our world to that mercy, who is a person, Jesus Christ our Saviour.

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M O'Shea
02 Jul 2020
St Charles of Mount Argus helped heartbreak. I had it, and if Catherine had it. 'It's getting better all the time' might be a topic/salve for secular heartbreak
'tears of joy may stain my face' "gentle on my mind"-...[I] agree that everyone has there 'importance', in that, there are other important (seemingly- all... might derive from 'It'-) emissions (secular) (ie campaigning for not-Ireland-to be in the e.e.c) and my father and mother who were a thousand-time, better than those (seemingly) today, .
I feel/fear 'that God, if i/you commit certain sin..then He will 'let you go off on your own...and have what you want'...

secular (heartbreak) "it'll take dying, to get it done" vince gill "trying to "
sorry if my words were too secular but in 5G Ireland, there isn't a practical 'haystacks & scythe' life for many.
Work passes the time so water-fetching, washing clothes-by-hand, wood-burning, oil-lamps, wooden-wheel: everything that takes gone...The Modern World brings sorrow of helplessness; or Ireland's avant garde role in it.
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