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St Catherine

Novena to St Catherine – Day 9

  The theme of 鈥榥ewness鈥 is woven into the Mass Readings for this 5th Sunday of Easter 鈥 鈥榓 new heaven and new earth; the new Jerusalem, a new creation鈥 and in the Gospel Jesus speaks of a 鈥榥ew commandment鈥.  At the Episcopal Ordination of our new coadjutor Archbishop on Sunday last, both he and Cardinal Brady commented on Archbishop Eamon鈥檚 motto: 鈥楽ing a new song to the Lord.鈥  To quote Archbishop Eamon 鈥渢he new song is a song of love, that God unconditionally loves each one of us, despite our sinfulness and imperfections, and that the Lamb of God, who suffered and died to take away the sins of the world, has mercy on us.鈥 But we must ensure that 鈥渋t is the Lord鈥檚 song that we are singing, and not simply our own composition鈥 and 鈥渨e must sing in harmony with one another鈥  and our 鈥渘ew song […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 7

On this 7th day of our Novena, I would like to share an extract from 鈥淭he Life of St. Catherine of Siena by Raymond of Capua鈥.  Blessed Raymond was St. Catherine鈥檚 Confessor and Spiritual Director. It illustrates St. Catherine鈥檚 love of the Blessed Eucharist and her frequent reception of it at a time when that was not common practice in the Church.鈥淎ll who knew Catherine were well aware of her profound and characteristic reverence and devotion towards the Blessed Sacrament of the Body of our Lord.  She received the Sacrament so frequently that it was popularly reported that the 鈥渕aiden Catherine receives Holy Communion every day,鈥 and that she lived and kept up her strength on it without taking any other food.  Although in saying this they were not quite correct, still I believe they spoke in good faith, and to the honour of God, who always shows himself […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 6

 In this Year of Faith, St. Catherine鈥檚 teaching on faith in the following letter can be helpful to all of us as we ponder her words: Letter T 31 to Madonna MitarellaMarch 1373 In the name of Jesus Christ crucified and of gentle Mary.Dearest and very loved mother and sister in Christ gentle Jesus, I Caterina, useless servant of Jesus Christ, send you greetings and encouragement in his precious blood. I long to see you a faithful servant in God鈥檚 sight, firm in the faith that gives joy and happiness to our soul. We must have the sort of faith our Saviour spoke of: 鈥淚f you had faith as small as a grain of mustard seed and you commanded this mountain, it would move.鈥 I beg you, dearest sister, to keep living in this faith.You wrote me that because of what has happened, you are placing your faith and […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena – Day 5

The Prayer of St. Catherine on which I am reflecting  today, is a typically Trinitarian one, calling on the Father as Power the Son as Wisdom and the Holy Spirit as Mercy.  Its concerns reflect St. Catherine鈥檚 pre-occupation:  Peace and unity for the Church, mercy for the world and the people to whom she was ministering, and strength for herself in the tension under which she found herself working.  PRAYERPower of the eternal Father, help me!Wisdom of the Son, enlighten the eye of my understanding!Tender Mercy of the Holy Spirit, enflame my heart and unite it to yourself!I proclaim, eternal God, `that your power is powerful and strong enough to free your Church and your people, to snatch us from the devil鈥檚 hand,to stop the persecution of Holy Church, and to give me strength and victory over my own enemies.I proclaim that the wisdom of your Son, […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena – Day 4

Reflection on Charity 鈥 from the Dialogue of St Catherine of Siena, Chap. 148 Enlarge your heart, daughter, and open your mind鈥檚 eye to the light of faith. See with what great love and providence I have created and ordained humankind to rejoice in my supreme eternal reward. I have provided everything in soul and body, for the imperfect and the perfect, for the good and the bad, spiritually and temporally, in heaven and on earth, in this mortal life and in the immortal.In this mortal life, so long as you are pilgrims, I have bound you with the chain of charity. Whether you want it or not, you are so bound. If you should break loose by not wanting to live in charity for your neighbors, you will still be bound by it by force. Thus, that you may practice charity in action and in will, I in my […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena – Day 2

Today is the 2nd day of the novena to St Catherine. It is also Vocation Sunday. So during the week as I was reflecting on St Catherine I had the theme of Vocations in mind also and today鈥檚 Gospel-鈥業 know my own and mine know me鈥. Somehow these converged for me in a single Gospel text-鈥楾his is Eternal Life to know you the one true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent鈥.This is the reason for our existence. This is why God created us, why He sent His Son to redeem us- so that we might know God, might participate in the very life of God, might experience being utterly and completely taken up into God鈥檚 love and be endlessly happy. The vocation of every human being is to fulfil this purpose for which we were brought into being. Our personal vocation is to discover and to follow […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena, 2013 – Day 1

During the Novena to St Catherine, each evening before Vespers a sister shares a reflection or some extracts from her writings. We are happy to share these with our readers during the coming days.Day 1Recently we experienced the great joy of the Election of Pope Francis following the Retirement of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and as today we begin our Novena in preparation for St. Catherine鈥檚 Feast day, I was reflecting on her deep concern and zeal for the Papacy in her particular time of the Church鈥檚 history.For many eras, the Church has been truly blessed with wonderful Popes, each with his own personality and God given gifts has been one hundred per cent dedicated in responding to his high calling from God.   Pope Francis, no less than his predecessors faces  so many difficulties in our own particular historical situation both in the Church and in our world.  Surely we can […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day Nine

We have come to the final reflection of our novena in preparation for the feast of St Catherine. By happy co-incidence today is also what has come to be known as Good Shepherd Sunday when we pray for the Church and in particular for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.The readings at Mass this morning reminded us of the immensity of God鈥檚 love for each of us鈥 St John in his first letter reminds us that we are the beloved children of God and in the Gospel Jesus tells us no less then five times that he freely lays down his life for us. In a letter to Daniella da Orvieta Catherine reminded her of the love in which we were created and the even greater love by which we were redeemed in the precious Blood of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Love of this immensity calls for our […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 8

From 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.The fidelity of St. Catherine led her to the practice of the loftiest and most heroic virtues.    Nevertheless, we know that the virtues in a heroic degree cannot be practiced by the soul of itself. The action of the Holy Spirit is needed.    But God does not let Himself be out-done in generosity, and if the soul does what it can, God does all that He wishes and He perfects the soul, leading it to the heights.    The GIFTS — herein is the secret.    We cannot move them of ourselves; we know this.    This seven-fold instrument needs a most delicate touch, so to speak.    The Holy Spirit alone is their Artist.    But the Holy Spirit was not […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 7

St Catherine’s prayer to the Father (From: The Dialogue of St Catherine of Siena, No. 134)You said, eternal Father, that because of your love for your creatures, and through the prayers and innocent suffering of your servants, you would be merciful to the world and reform holy Church, and thus give us refreshment. Do not wait any longer, then, to turn the eye of your mercy. Because it is your will to answer us before we call, answer now with the voice of your mercy.Open the door of your immeasurable charity, which you have given us in the door of the Word. Yes, I know that you open before we knock, because your servants knock and call out to you with the very love and affection you gave them, seeking honour and the salvation of souls. Give them the bread of life, the fruit of the blood of your […]