Sunday, April 26, 2009

St Catherine of Siena - Novena Day 7

From a Letter of St Catherine to Giovanna dei Pazzi

…You will come to know eternal Truth by loving Him. And the only sign we can give of our love is to love everyone else in charity and to suffer with true and royal patience even to the point of death. We must not want to have times and places to our own liking but in God’s way – and God neither seeks nor wants anything but that we be made holy.

…So I want you to understand, my daughter, that whatever God grants or permits in this life, he does it either because we need it or for our salvation or for our progress in perfection. We should therefore bear it humbly and patiently. We should accept it with reverence, opening our mind’s eye to consider the great charity and blazing love with which God gives it to us. Once we realise that He gives it not out of hatred but out of love, we will accept it in love.

This virtue of patience is so essential for us that we must procure it if we don’t want to lose the fruit of our labours. … Where is it to be found? In Christ crucified. For His patience was such that no cry of complaint was heard from Him. The Jews cried, “Crucify!” And He cried, “Father, forgive those who are crucifying me, because they do not know what they are doing.”

…His blood has been made a drink for those who want it, and His Body food. For there is no way our appetite can be satisfied, no way our hunger and thirst can be relieved, except with His Blood. Even if we possessed the whole world, we could not be satisfied, because the things of the world are less than we are, and we cannot be satisfied by anything less than we are. Only the Blood can satisfy our hunger, because the Blood has been mixed and kneaded with the eternal Godhead, a nature infinitely greater than we. So there we can satisfy our desire – with the fire of charity, since it is for love that the Blood was shed!

Letter 87 from Vol. II of letters edited by S. Noffke O.P.

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