29th April. St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine was an extraordinary woman. She was born when the Black Death was raging through Europe, and lived only 30 years. Although young she challenged her family’s values at an early age and dedicated herself to prayer. She had a vision of Jesus at the door to her room and she invited him in. But he told her that she was needed outside. From then on she began to tend the sick. Even though young she was shocked by the schism in the Papacy; the Pope, Gregory XI, was living in Avignon. She outspokenly challenged him to have some courage and lead the Church, and he listened and returned to Rome. She wrote: “Eternal Trinity, you are like a deep sea in which the more I seek the more I find; and the more I find you the more I seek…Looking at myself in you, I have seen that I am made in your image…You are a fire, ever burning and never consumed, consuming in your fire all my self-love, taking away all coldness.

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