A short reflection in honour of St. Catherine.
We confess in the apostle’s creed, that we believe in the communion of the saints. I always was fascinated, encouraged and gladdened by this truth. Sometimes we imagine the saints to be somewhere far, far away but they encompass/surround us (Heb 12:1). A couple of days before Sr. Dominic died, she told me that she would never ever forget us and our families when she sees God face to face.
The saints by their example, their words and their prayers bring us nearer to God. Their strong desire is to bring us closer to God. In the CCC we read “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness…. They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus…. So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped” (CCC 956)
St. Catherine too, was full of encouragement for others, in her letter to Luigi Gallerane she says:
“To you , my dear brother in Christ Jesus, I, Catherine, write to encourage you in the precious blood of Son of God, desiring to see you advancing like a brave knight; not retreating to avoid being hit, but keeping steadily on, for as you know, only perseverance (and not the mere fact of having begun) wins the prize. And if you grow weary of standing fast on the field of battle, then seize hold of the holy standard of the cross, a strong pillar on which rests the Lamb who was slain for us. It is so strong that it takes away all our weakness and so strengthens a man’s heart that no devil or creature can force him to move unless he himself chooses. And no wonder! It was the strength of love that kept the Lamb bound and nailed to the wood of the cross. … So I beg you with all my heart to be up and doing for the little time that is left to you, since to live well and virtuously is in itself a great consolation. That is why I said I wanted you to be a real knight, not backing out of the solemn resolution you have made, but rather armed with truly solid virtues and leaning on the pillar of the cross which will protect you from being bitten or tormented by the devil or any other creature who tries to keep you from virtue. …. Pay no heed and put no faith in the counsels of anyone who tries to deflect you from your purpose, rather, go often to confession and associate with the kind of people who will help you to live in the grace of God. No more now. Bathe your memory in his Blood.”
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