Monday, April 30, 2007

St. Catherine of Siena, a day late

You are rewarded not according to your work or your time
but according to the measure of your love.


Strange that so much suffering is caused because of the misunderstandings of God's true nature. God's heart is more gentle than the Virgin's first kiss upon the Christ. And God's forgiveness to all, to any thought or act, is more certain than our own being.


I see that You have endowed Your vicar
by nature
with a fearless heart;
so I humbly, imploringly beg You
to pour the light beyond nature
into the eye of his understanding.
For unless this light,
acquired through pure affection for virtue,
is joined with it,
a heart such as his tends to be proud.

Today again let every selfish love be cut away
from those enemies of Yours
and from the vicar
and from us all,
so that we may be able to forgive those enemies
when you bend their hardness.

For them, that they may humble themselves
and obey this lord of ours,
I offer You my life
from this moment
and for whenever You wish me to lay it down
for Your glory.


Paintings by Beccafumi (c. 1486-1551). The Stigmatization of St. Catherine (1515) and The Miraculous Communion of St. Catherine (1513-1515); note the angel offering her the Host. And check out a website all about her.

1 comment:

Pseudo-Iamblichus said...

"Strange that so much suffering is caused because of the misunderstandings of God's true nature. God's heart is more gentle than the Virgin's first kiss upon the Christ. And God's forgiveness to all, to any thought or act, is more certain than our own being."

My greatest sins, and I am not afraid to admit this in public, are when I have feared the judgments of God. It is a complete and utter forgetfulness of who God is. Any other sin is minor by comparison.