On this beautiful feast of the glorious virgin, doctor, and stigmatist, St. Catherine of Siena, I offer a re-post of an article which I wrote during my first months of blogging in 2011. It was inspired by St. Catherine’s exquisite prayer to the Trinity, which is printed below this post.
An excellent biography on St. Catherine is Catherine of Siena, by Sigrid Undset, Ignatius Press.
But Catherine’s own exquisite spiritual classic, dictated while she was in ecstasy, is called The Dialogue, and contains her extraordinary conversations with God the Father.
Pray for us O St. Catherine, beloved daughter of God!
I read yesterday that God is truly, completely, absolutely, Our Father. Our existence comes forth from Him. He gives His Own Life to us. He is really Our Father — much more than our earthly fathers could ever be.
How beautiful to call God “FATHER” — not just as a title, but as a true relationship.
This is a truth of our faith which we can never completely comprehend or exhaust. We must return to it again and again to allow God to reveal its wonders, its heights and depths, and privilege beyond all imagining.
I recall with joy how I knew and cherished every inch of my son’s tiny body when he was an infant. I loved the sweet smell of his hair, the softness of his tiny feet, and the roundness of his baby tummy. There was never a scratch or a rash or a mark of any kind which escaped my notice. Caressed, kissed, rocked, this tiny child drew never before known streams of delight and tenderness from my heart.
Are we not consumed with love for our own children — intoxicated by our babies? So also God is intoxicated with us. More than intoxicated – “madly in love” so say the Saints.
We are His precious little ones.
Therese reserved for herself in Heaven the very “lap” of God. She dreamed of the day when she would be able to climb up, and play on the knees of the Almighty One.
If we seek to become a little child like Therese, we will be humble and reverent, but also delighted that we are so loved by Our Father. If we approach Him as a child, He will permit us intimacies which even the angels do not enjoy.
Once, when I was feeling sad and lonely, I said to God: “Oh how I wish You could give me a hug!” Immediately I heard in my heart, so clearly and tenderly, “I am always hugging you.”
If the very hairs of our head are counted, as Jesus tells us, then can we doubt that we too are being kissed and caressed and rocked in the arms of God – “always.”
(See below for related idea expressed much more eloquently by the great Saint and Doctor of the Church)
St. Catherine of Siena prayer to the Trinity:
“How, then, did you create, O Eternal Father, this your creature? […] Fire constrained you. O ineffable love, even though in your light you saw all the iniquities, which your creature would commit against your infinite goodness, you looked as if you did not see, but rested your sight on the beauty of your creature, whom you, as mad and drunk with love, fell in love with and out of love you drew her to yourself giving her being in your image and likeness. You, eternal truth, have declared to me your truth, that is, that loved constrained you to create her.”
Beautiful. I am inspired.
Thanks, Nancy…and you are inspiring! 🙂
Patricia, I don’t know much about St. Catherine of Siena but I think of St. Therese as our family’s special saint. We prayed before her relics, a few years ago, and I’ve felt her guidance and protection, ever since – sometimes, I feel as though she wrote my own thoughts!
It was beautiful to read about God talking to your heart. I felt a real connection with that as, some time ago, I was lamenting over being such a weak person and I clearly heard the words, “I want you in your weakness.’ Your story had a familiarity about it and brought back my own sweet memory.
Hi Vicky! Isn’t St. Therese amazing? She’s my favorite too. I read The Story of a Soul when I was 25, and just fell in love with her. She’s such an inspiration! That’s lovely how she is your family’s special Saint. It’s my impression that when Therese comes into anyone’s life, she never leaves. She is such a faithful friend.
I’m so glad you could identify with what I meant about “hearing” God. I believe that He is always speaking to us, and that sometimes, when we really need it, He may even permit us to “hear”His Words. I love what He said to you….and it is so scriptural. “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Love getting to know you, Vicky! 🙂 And you are one talented lady! xo
Patricia, I love this thought ‘that He is always hugging you!’ Having lost my father at a young age I think this has been a need of my heart for many years: to know He is always there and that we are precious to Him.
I found St Catherine’s Dialogue for free on the internet through my library! But I think I’d rather have it “for real” to mark up on paper.. : )
A post that beautifully illumines His love for us… which you are so gifted at expressing.
Love and hugs +
Caroline, I was so surprised at those words. But, isn’t it so like Him….Who loves us without limit? The other night, I heard Mother Angelica teaching about God’s Love, and she quoted the scripture verse where Jesus says, As the Father has loved Me, so I also love you…. And she went on to exclaim that Jesus loves us as much as the Father loves Him. God only knows how to love infinitely. It’s so hard for us to grasp such an immensity and intensity of Love. But, the mystics, they tell us the same. If we only knew….
O, by all means, get the one you can highlight! We highlight people cannot read something like The Dialogue without making it uniquely our own! 🙂 Even though my kindle has a highlight feature, it’s just not the same as that big chunky pen in my hand.
Prayed for you at adoration today. Lotsa love xoxo