Written by Elena Merli
A genius of religious wisdom, the illiterate Catherine of Siena demonstrated that love, and therefore light, are given to everyone, no matter their skill level or education. Catherine’s example opens a window of understanding onto the mystery of Mary of Nazareth. If one wants to know God in order to love him, they already know him , precisely because of their love for him. Through love, through life, a child knows who their father is even if they aren’t conscious of the work he does in the world, the position he holds, or his personality traits. “Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 Jn 4, 7 – 8).
Catherine of Siena concentrates Jesus’s works and words into two principal realities: Fire and blood. As is written in Revelations (1,5), Jesus is “him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood”. And, it is the fire of love that brings about redemption: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Lc. 12, 49).
If a christian community or a single soul remains frozen within their own structures and ways of doing things, even if beautiful and holy, but no longer spreading the fire of charity, then they become like cold embers. “For our God is a consuming fire...” (Heb. 12, 29). From the time of Golgotha to today, a burning revolution of love has consumed errors, judgements, and crimes: it destroyed putrid waste, souls that were ruined, and suffocating establishments; it incinerated the corpses of the Dead.
For every person born by a woman, it is right and just that holiness be brought into homes and onto the streets. This truth, Catherine repeated again and again to her followers, gives wings to the masses. The Church, growing in its universal consciousness especially now, after the (Vatican) Council, wants to see frustration replaced by joy-filled coexistence.
Catherine concentrates the vitality of the redemption into two realities: fire and blood. As fire, it destroys; as blood, it gives life. This is precisely what the mystics reveal to us: In giving all of themselves to the point of losing everything, even their own strength, they are consumed by fire. Blood circulates in living beings and gives life: Christ’s blood (and that of Christians) nourishes the mystical body.
Igino Giordani, The One Love
Hearts that truly love, are rooted in joy.
“Charity”, says Saint Catherine, “does not search for things of its own nor does it try to find itself or God as an end in itself, but rather one’s self and one’s neighbor for God, and God for Himself.
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