DC36 St. Catherine of Siena pt 1– The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson


Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of St. Catherine of SienaMatthew-Bunson

  1. Born: March 17, 1347, Siena, Italy
  2. Died: April 29, 1380, Rome
  3. Nationality: Italian

For more on St. Catherine of Siena and her teachings visit her Discerning Hearts page

From Vatican.va, an excerpt from the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI

From the General Audience on St. Catherine of Siena

Today I would like to talk to you about a woman who played an eminent role in the history of the Church: St Catherine of Siena. The century in which she lived — the 14th — was a troubled period in the life of the Church and throughout the social context of Italy and Europe. Yet, even in the most difficult times, the Lord does not cease to bless his People, bringing forth Saints who give a jolt to minds and hearts, provoking conversion and renewal.Fr. Thomas McDermott - Prayer and the Dominican Tradition 2

Catherine is one of these and still today speaks to us and impels us to walk courageously toward holiness to be ever more fully disciples of the Lord.

Born in Siena in 1347, into a very large family, she died in Rome in 1380. When Catherine was 16 years old, motivated by a vision of St Dominic, she entered the Third Order of the Dominicans, the female branch known as the Mantellate. While living at home, she confirmed her vow of virginity made privately when she was still an adolescent and dedicated herself to prayer, penance and works of charity, especially for the benefit of the sick.

When the fame of her holiness spread, she became the protagonist of an intense activity of spiritual guidance for people from every walk of life: nobles and politicians, artists and ordinary people, consecrated men and women and religious, including Pope Gregory xi who was living at Avignon in that period and whom she energetically and effectively urged to return to Rome.

She travelled widely to press for the internal reform of the Church and to foster peace among the States. It was also for this reason that Venerable Pope John Paul ii chose to declare her Co-Patroness of Europe: may the Old Continent never forget the Christian roots that are at the origin of its progress and continue to draw from the Gospel the fundamental values that assure justice and harmony.

Like many of the Saints, Catherine knew great suffering. Some even thought that they should not trust her, to the point that in 1374, six years before her death, the General Chapter of the Dominicans summoned her to Florence to interrogate her. They appointed Raymund of Capua, a learned and humble Friar and a future Master General of the Order, as her spiritual guide. Having become her confessor and also her “spiritual son”, he wrote a first complete biography of the Saint. She was canonized in 1461.

For more visit Vatican.va

Dr. Matthew Bunson, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is one of the United States’ leading authorities on the papacy and the Church.

His books include: The Encyclopedia of Catholic History; The Encyclopedia of Saints; Papal Wisdom; All Shall Be Well; Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire; and The Angelic Doctor: The Life and World of St. Thomas Aquinas; The Pope Encyclopedia; We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, the first Catholic biography of the Holy Father in the English language; the Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History; Pope Francis. His also the editor of OSV’s “The Catholic Answer” magazine.

DC37 St. Catherine of Siena pt 2 – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson


Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of St. Catherine of SienaMatthew-Bunson

  1. Born: March 17, 1347, Siena, Italy
  2. Died: April 29, 1380, Rome
  3. Nationality: Italian

For more on St. Catherine of Siena and her teachings visit her Discerning Hearts page

From Vatican.va, an excerpt from the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI

From the General Audience on St. Catherine of Siena

A true and authentic spiritual family was built up around such a strong and genuine personality; people fascinated by the moral authority of this young woman with a most exalted lifestyle were at times also impressed by the mystical phenomena they witnessed, such as her frequent ecstasies. Many put themselves at Catherine’s service and above all considered it a privilege to receive spiritual guidance from her. They called her “mother” because, as her spiritual children, they drew spiritual nourishment from her. Today too the Church receives great benefit from the exercise of spiritual motherhood by so many women, lay and consecrated, who nourish souls with thoughts of God, who strengthen the people’s faith and direct Christian life towards ever loftier peaks. “Son, I say to you and call you”, Catherine wrote to one of her spiritual sons, Giovanni Sabbatini, a Carthusian, “inasmuch as I give birth to you in continuous prayers and desire in the presence of God, just as a mother gives birth to a son” (Epistolario, Lettera n. 141: To Fr Giovanni de’ Sabbatini). She would usually address the Dominican Fr Bartolomeo de Dominici with these words: “Most beloved and very dear brother and son in Christ sweet Jesus”.St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 1

Another trait of Catherine’s spirituality is linked to the gift of tears. They express an exquisite, profound sensitivity, a capacity for being moved and for tenderness. Many Saints have had the gift of tears, renewing the emotion of Jesus himself who did not hold back or hide his tears at the tomb of his friend Lazarus and at the grief of Mary and Martha or at the sight of Jerusalem during his last days on this earth. According to Catherine, the tears of Saints are mingled with the blood of Christ, of which she spoke in vibrant tones and with symbolic images that were very effective: “Remember Christ crucified, God and man….. Make your aim the Crucified Christ, hide in the wounds of the Crucified Christ and drown in the blood of the Crucified Christ” (Epistolario, Lettera n. 21: Ad uno il cui nome si tace [to one who remains anonymous]). Here we can understand why, despite her awareness of the human shortcomings of priests, Catherine always felt very great reverence for them: through the sacraments and the word they dispense the saving power of Christ’s Blood. The Sienese Saint always invited the sacred ministers, including the Pope whom she called “sweet Christ on earth”, to be faithful to their responsibilities, motivated always and only by her profound and constant love of the Church. She said before she died: “in leaving my body, truly I have consumed and given my life in the Church and for the Holy Church, which is for me a most unique grace” (Raimondo da Capua, S. Caterina da Siena, Legenda maior, n. 363). Hence we learn from St Catherine the most sublime science: to know and love Jesus Christ and his Church. In the Dialogue of Divine Providence, she describes Christ, with an unusual image, as a bridge flung between Heaven and earth. This bridge consists of three great stairways constituted by the feet, the side and the mouth of Jesus. Rising by these stairways the soul passes through the three stages of every path to sanctification: detachment from sin, the practice of the virtues and of love, sweet and loving union with God.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us learn from St Catherine to love Christ and the Church with courage, intensely and sincerely. Therefore let us make our own St Catherine’s words that we read in the Dialogue of Divine Providence at the end of the chapter that speaks of Christ as a bridge: “out of mercy you have washed us in his Blood, out of mercy you have wished to converse with creatures. O crazed with love! It did not suffice for you to take flesh, but you also wished to die!… O mercy! My heart drowns in thinking of you: for no matter where I turn to think, I find only mercy” (chapter 30, pp. 79-80).

For more visit Vatican.va

Dr. Matthew Bunson, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is one of the United States’ leading authorities on the papacy and the Church.

His books include: The Encyclopedia of Catholic History; The Encyclopedia of Saints; Papal Wisdom; All Shall Be Well; Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire; and The Angelic Doctor: The Life and World of St. Thomas Aquinas; The Pope Encyclopedia; We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, the first Catholic biography of the Holy Father in the English language; the Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History; Pope Francis. His also the editor of OSV’s “The Catholic Answer” magazine.

SCS3 – The Mystical Experiences – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Episode 3 St. Catherine of Siena:  Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott-
Fr. Thomas McDermott - Prayer and the Dominican Tradition 1

Fr. Thomas McDermott - Prayer and the Dominican Tradition 2

In this episode, Fr. McDermott discusses the experience of St. Catherine’s “Mystical Espousal” and it’s spiritual relevance.

 The virtues are discussed as central to St. Catherine’s teachings and the importance of properly understanding their value in our lives.  The response to the needs of one’s neighbor is emphasized.  In particular, the special interaction with Andrea, the woman with cancer, is presented as an extraordinary moment of grace which aided in St. Catherine’s spiritual maturity and growth in holiness.  Fr. McDermott addresses the contemporary “controversy” over the actions taken in this particular experience. 

The other experiences of the summer 1380, the exchange of hearts the mystical death are discussed, as well as, the saint’s invisible stigmata.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”. He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He currently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena” St.-Catherine-of-Siena-book-200x300
by Fr. McDermot
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SCS1 – Introduction & Childhood – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr.-Thomas-McDermottEpisode 1 St. Catherine of Siena:  Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott-

St. Catherine of SienaIn this introductory episode, Fr. McDermott discusses the person of Blessed Raymond of Capua, O.P., (ca. 1330 – 5 October 1399), who was a leading member of the Dominican Order, served as its Master General from 1380 until his death, and was confessor and biographer of St. Catherine.  Fr. McDermott talks about the importance of having the Dominican perspective when looking at the accounts of St. Catherine’s life.  Her family and early childhood, including her first mystical experience, are then discussed.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and  “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”.  He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis.  He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St.-Catherine-of-Siena-book

Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
by Fr. McDermot
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SCS2 – The Fundamental Maxim and The Dark Night of Self-Knowldege – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr.-Thomas-McDermottEpisode 2 St. Catherine of Siena:  Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott-

St. Catherine of SienaIn this episode, Fr. McDermott discusses the difference between solitude and isolation by means of moments in St. Catherine’s life.

 What is a “Third Order” and why did St. Catherine choose this means to live out her life?  A dream affected St. Catherine deeply.  Fr. McDermott teaches how we can discern dreams that might occur in our lives.  

Why would St. Catherine have a special devotion to St. Mary Magdalene?   Fr. McDermott discusses the significance of the “fundamental maxim” and the imagery of  “the well”, and the times of temptation that began to occur in her life and the experience of “The Dark Night of Self-Knowledge”.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and  “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”.  He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis.  He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St.-Catherine-of-Siena-book

Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
by Fr. McDermot
t

 

SCS4 – The Avignon and Rome Years – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr.-Thomas-McDermottEpisode 4 St. Catherine of Siena: Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott-

St. Catherine of SienaIn this episode, Fr. McDermott discusses the experience of St. Catherine’s intervention in the events in Avignon, France and her influence with the Pope.

Fr. McDermott speaks of her time in Rome and the events surrounding her deathAnd we lay the groundwork for our future episodes which we discuss specific aspects of St. Catherine’s teachings.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”. He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St.-Catherine-of-Siena-book
Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
by Fr. McDermott

SCS5 – “The Supreme Truth” and other topics – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr.-Thomas-McDermottEpisode 5 St. Catherine of Siena: Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott

St. Catherine of SienaIn this episode, Fr. McDermott  begins a more generalized discussion on the teachings of St. Catherine of Siena.

Fr. McDermott speaks of “The Dialogue” and how it came to be.  Some of the basic teachings of St. Catherine are presented such as “The Truth of God the Father”.  He relates the motto of the  Dominican order, “Veritas” (Truth), was foundational for St. Catherine.  The Supreme Truth about God and the truth of the human person.  Fr. McDermott also touches on St. Catherine’s teachings on sin, selfish self-love in particular.  How do we arrive at “truth”?  Prayer is key, along with the Scriptures and the Sacraments.  Also St. Catherine’s teachings on discernment, humility, love, patience and obedience, as well as, the doctrine of deification, is addressed.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”. He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St.-Catherine-of-Siena-book
Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
by Fr. McDermott

 

SCS7 – “Stages” in the Spiritual LIfe – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr.-Thomas-McDermottEpisode 7 St. Catherine of Siena: Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott

St. Catherine of SienaIn this episode, Fr. McDermott aids in our understanding of St. Catherine’s teachings on the “stages” of our spiritual life.

What is the proper understanding of grace and sharing in the Divine Life.  Good feelings, consolations, joy are experiences during the second step on the “Christ-Bridge”.  The concern of “falling  in love more with the gifts rather than with the Giver” is discussed.  The danger of spiritual gluttony and pride, as well as the need to care for one’s neighbor are essential elements in St. Catherine’s teachings.  Fr. McDermott also reflects on her teachings about the Divine Fire and gift of Tears.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”. He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St.-Catherine-of-Siena-book
Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
by Fr. McDermott

 

SCS8 – “Stages” in the Spiritual LIfe – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr.-Thomas-McDermottEpisode 8 St. Catherine of Siena: Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott

St. Catherine of SienaIn this final episode, Fr. McDermott discuss the final step of the spiritual life which is actually comprised of two stages: “perfect love” and  “perfect union”. On the “Christ-Bridge” we find ourselves with St. Catherine at the “mouth” of Christ which corresponds to the first chapter of the “Song of Songs”.  Fr. McDermott expands on St. Catherine’s teachings on the role we have as sons and daughters of the Father.

Fr. McDermott then offers a summation of St. Catherine’s teachings as a conclusion for our discussions.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”. He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St.-Catherine-of-Siena-book
Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
by Fr. McDermott