Monday, April 9, 2012

Encouragement from St. Catherine of Siena

I have been given the opportunity of reading one of the letters of St. Catherine of Siena once a week this semester. I only relatively recently began to have a strong devotion to her, and I believe that she has a great deal to teach me particularly in regards to loving Mother Church in spite of her faults and failings.    Catherine's motherly spirit comes across through her letters. She wrote to people of every station and class, from bishops to poets to friars.  One of her closest friends and confessors was Friar Raimondo of Capua, a wise but timid soul. Below are some words of encouragement from Catherine to Raimondo due to his fear of martyrdom.
"Be strong to slay yourself with the knife of hate and love, that you may not hear the derision, the insults, the reproaches of the world, which the persecutors of Holy Church would offer you. 
Let not your eyes see things as impossible to do, nor the torment that may follow; but let them see with the light of faith that through Christ crucified you can do all things, and that God will not impose a greater burden than can be borne."
-- St. Catherine of Siena in her letter to Friar Raimondo de Capua when he was in Genoa.
Statue of St. Catherine of Siena in Rome, Italy

Fresco of St. Catherine at her home in Siena

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