Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena. Those who know me know that she is a favorite of mine, for many reasons. She was a woman of great faith, whose love for the Lord was intense, mystical, persevering, and shown in practical and fruitful ways in her love for the Church, the Holy Father “Christ on earth”, and for the People of God.
She worked tirelessly for the unity of the Church. I think this is one of the more inspiring aspects of her personal charism for my own life and ministry. In her honor and memory today, I share with you a brief selection from one of her prayers. In this prayer, St. Catherine prays for a “vicar”, most certainly the Holy Father. Not a bad example for us today to remember to pray for our Holy Father, and all those who serve in union with him, especially his closest advisers.
in yourself you show us the world’s need,
and even more the Church’s need
because she is founded in your Son’s blood
and in her that blood is preserved.
You show us, too, the love you have for your vicar,
because you have made him the minister of this blood.
So I shall contemplate myself in you so that I may become pure,
and thus purified I shall cry out in the presence of your mercy
so that you may turn the eye of your compassion
toward the need of your bride, and enlighten and strengthen your vicar.
Enlighten also, most perfectly, your servants,
so that they may counsel him rightly and sincerely.
And make him willing to follow the light you pour into them.
Prayer 12: The Prayers of Catherine of Siena, edited by Suzanne Noffke, O.P.
St. Catherine, Pray for us.