A recent Facebook post shared this urgent prayer intention by one outspoken priest:
“The police are afraid to be police
The priests are afraid to be priests
The Christians are afraid to be Christians
The Americans are afraid to be Americans
God, grant us the gift of fortitude to stand up against our oppressors.”
St. Catherine of Siena would probably agree with his sentiment. She once declared, “We’ve had enough of exhortation to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence.”
As we celebrate her feast day today (Friday in the Traditional Latin Rite), perhaps her life will inspire US to be the ones who reclaim the world for Christ in our time.
St. Catherine was the 24th of 25 children. Her mother had plans for her to marry well but Catherine declared her promise to give herself to the Lord. At sixteen she became a Third Order Dominican.
By way of miraculous intervention, she learned to read, eventually becoming one of four women doctors of the Church. Divine intervention also provided her with a very holy spiritual director, Blessed Raymond of Capua. Their friendship was mutually self-giving and the Lord used them to build each other up against the unprecedented challenges of their time.
As a young Dominican, Catherine began to receive very intimate conversations and ecstasies with Our Lord, eventually experiencing the grace of mystical marriage. These conversations were documented and became the now-infamous, “Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena,” one of the most remarkable mystical works of Christianity.
The Lord called Catherine out of the hermitage of her parent’s home, into the world, to confront the spiritual decay within the Church and her leaders, including Bishops, Cardinals, and even the Pope. Her humility and charity brought about amazing results. The Holy Father, who had abdicated the seat of Rome to go to Avignon France was persuaded to move back to Rome. She also championed the pope and defended the Church against the rise of an anti-Pope, building unity against under the threat of schism.
When we look around and see the chaos that surrounds us today, let us learn from the example of St. Catherine of Siena. May we find the humility, charity, and a holy zeal to face the relentless challenges that we must face each and every day in this post-Christian era. St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us!
To learn more about St. Catherine of Siena and other Dominican saints, please check out our recent Women of Grace television series, “The Dominicans: Hounds for Heaven” with Dr. Kevin Vost.
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