Catherine of Siena, 1347-1380
“Love transforms one into what one loves.” Dialogue 60
In a day where people complain that they cannot be a super man or a super woman, we have Catherine of Siena: The original renaissance woman. Catherine was mystic, prayer warrior, nurse who tended to the patients other nurses refused to see, social activist, ambassador to and from popes, doctor of the church, and pastor extraordinaire. Catherine’s advice was sought far and wide by bishops, kings, merchants, scholars and peasants. More than 400 of her letters to these souls remain. Catherine perfected the art of kissing the Pope’s feet while simultaneously twisting his arm. The secret to her great spiritual power and energy? A deep and intimate connection to God she described as a “mystical marriage” with Jesus.
“The soul is in God and God in the soul, just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish.” Dialogue 2
If you would like to sit at the feet of one of the few to be both mystic and doctor, you can buy her Dialogue for the “instruction and encouragement of all those whose spiritual welfare was her concern,” on Kindle for a dollar. Or better yet, go for “Top Seven Catholic Classics” and get her along with Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God), St. John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul), St. Teresa of Avila (Interior Castle), Thomas A’Kempis (The Imitation of Christ), Bernard of Clairvaux (On Loving God) and the Cloud of Unknowing for $5.
“To the servant of God, every place is the right place, and every time is the right time.” Letter T328
A prayer of St. Catherine’s:
Holy Spirit, come into my heart; draw it to Thee by Thy power, O my God, and grant me charity with filial fear. Preserve me, O ineffable Love, from every evil thought; warm me, inflame me with Thy dear love, and every pain will seem light to me. My Father, my sweet Lord, help me in all my actions. Jesus, love, Jesus, love. Amen.