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 Siena

Born: March 17, 1347, Siena, Italy
Nationality: Italian

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”.

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

For more from Dr. Matthew Bunson check out his Discerning Hearts page

Dr. Matthew E. Bunson is a Register senior editor and a senior contributor to EWTN News. For the past 20 years, he has been active in the area of Catholic social communications and education, including writing, editing, and teaching on a variety of topics related to Church history, the papacy, the saints, and Catholic culture. He is faculty chair at Catholic Distance University, a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and the author or co-author of over 50 books including The Encyclopedia of Catholic History, The Pope Encyclopedia, We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, The Saints Encyclopedia and best-selling biographies of St. Damien of Molokai and St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

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 Siena

  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

For more from Dr. Matthew Bunson check out his Discerning Hearts page

Dr. Matthew E. Bunson is a Register senior editor and a senior contributor to EWTN News. For the past 20 years, he has been active in the area of Catholic social communications and education, including writing, editing, and teaching on a variety of topics related to Church history, the papacy, the saints, and Catholic culture. He is faculty chair at Catholic Distance University, a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and the author or co-author of over 50 books including The Encyclopedia of Catholic History, The Pope Encyclopedia, We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, The Saints Encyclopedia and best-selling biographies of St. Damien of Molokai and St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 9 – Discerning Hearts Podcasts

Day 9

Think for a moment of the piety of the Madonna when the angel told her that the Spirit would overshadow her. What sentiments of humility, confidence and courage! At the very moment when she understood that God had given her His heart, that is, His Son, she gave herself to God. Her soul was flooded with charity, so she could say with the sacred spouse, “…My heart trembled within me, and I grew faint when he spoke.” [Sg:5:4] As far as we are concerned, we receive a similar grace in Communion, because not an angel but Jesus Christ Himself assures us that in it the Holy Spirit descends on us. Heavenly power covers us with its shadow and the Son of God really comes to us. He can say that He is conceived and born in us. Truly then, the soul can respond with the Madonna, “I am the servant of the Lord; let is be done to me as you say.” [Lk 1:38] (Spiritual Directory, Art. 12)

O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbor,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people,
especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience
the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ
and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern
that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
you desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many long the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

<a href=”https://www.discerninghearts.com/catholic-podcasts/prayersdevotionals/st-francis-de-sales-novena-mp3-audio-download-and-text/”>For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here</a>

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St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 8 – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Day 8

One of the greatest proofs of love that Jesus displayed on the cross was putting up with the imperfections of His neighbor. There He showed us that He has a heart that loves us tenderly and watches over us kindly. He even showed His love for those who put Him to death. In those dire moments the Savior expressed thoughts of love even for his executioners, pardoning them in the very act of sinning! How petty-minded we are when we cannot bring ourselves to forget some injury received, even after a long time! Whoever sincerely pardons another calls down abundant blessings and perfectly imitates Christ. (Spiritual Treatises IV; O. VI, pp. 65-66)

O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbor,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people,
especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience
the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ
and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern
that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
you desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many long the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here

 

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 7 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 7

Day 7

Our intellect is ordinarily full of ideas, opinions and considerations suggested by self-love. This is the root of many conflicts within the soul, putting before us all sorts of reasons dictated by human prudence to justify our pretensions. People who make use of this false prudence, instead of enlightening their intellect, obscure it. They reject advice given to them and let those reasons prevail in their minds which support their own opinions, even wrong ones. Make use of the virtue of prudence because it is good, but make good use of it. Employ it only rarely, with simplicity, and solely for the glory of God. (Sermons 30; O. IX, pp. 297-298)

O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbor,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people,
especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience
the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ
and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern
that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
you desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many long the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here

 

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 6 – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Day 6

Do not pay any attention to the kind of work you do, but rather to the honor that it brings to God, even though it may seem quite trivial. Desire only to do the Divine Will, following Divine Providence, which is the disposition of Divine Wisdom. In a word, if your works are pleasing to God and recognized as such, that is all that matters. Work hard every day at increasing your purity of heart, which consists in appraising things and weighing them in the balance of God’s will. (Letters 280; O. XIII, p. 53)

O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbor,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people,
especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience
the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ
and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern
that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
you desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many long the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here

 

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 5 – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Day 5

This poor life is only a journey to the happy life to come. We must not be angry with one another on the way, but rather we must march on as a band of brothers and sisters united in meekness, peace and love. I state absolutely and make no exception: do not be angry at all if that is possible. Do no accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart’s door to anger. Saint James tells us positively and without reservation,” … a man’s anger does not fulfill God’s justice.” [Jas 1:20] (INT. Part III, Ch. 8; O. III, p. 162)

O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbor,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people,
especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience
the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ
and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern
that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
you desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many long the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here

 

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 4 – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Day 4

Self-love dies only when our body dies, so we must, while we live in this land of exile, continue to counterattack its assaults on our senses and its underhanded tactics. It is enough if we firmly withstand, giving no willful or deliberate consent … When we feel within ourselves the first movements of self-love or of other passions, let us prostrate ourselves immediately before the heart of God and tell Him, in a spirit of confidence and humility, “Lord, have mercy on me because I am a very weak creature.” Then let us tranquilly rest in peace and put ourselves at God’s disposal. (Letters 1675; O. XIX, pp. 272-273)

O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbor,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people,
especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience
the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ
and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern
that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
you desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many long the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here

 

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 3 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 3

Day 3

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 3

 

I desire very little, and what I do desire I desire very little; I have hardly any desires, but if I were to begin my life all over again I would want to have none at all … Ask for nothing, refuse nothing; we must simply abandon ourselves into the hands of Providence, without nourishing any other desire but to do whatever God wills. St. Paul practiced this act of absolute abandonment at the very moment of his conversion. When he was deprived of his sight, he immediately said, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” [cf. Act 22:10] From that moment on he put himself completely at God’s disposal. All our perfection consists precisely in the practical application of this principle. (Spiritual Treatises XXI, O. VI, pp. 383-384)

O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbor,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people,
especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience
the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ
and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern
that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
you desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many long the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 2 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 2

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 2 audio text podcast

Day 2

State openly that you desire to be devout. I do not say that you should assert that you are devout but that you desire to be devout. Do not be ashamed to practice the ordinary, necessary actions that bring us to the love of God. Acknowledge frankly that you are trying to meditate, that you would rather die than commit a mortal sin, that you are resolved to frequent the sacraments and to follow your director’s advice. This candid confession of our desire to serve God and to consecrate ourselves entirely to His love is most acceptable to His Divine Majesty. (INT. V, Ch. 18; O. III, p. 365)

O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbor,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people,
especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience
the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ
and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern
that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
you desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many long the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here