Today the Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena, a mystic and the first woman to be named a doctor of the Church.
Most of what we know about the fruits of Catherine’s prayer life comes from a work titled The Dialogue, which Catherine started writing two years before her death, and which is now hailed as a classic of Western spirituality. The work records a series of questions she put to God and God’s responses to her.
Here is one excerpt in which God speaks to Catherine of his love. Perhaps you might sit with the passage, hearing God speak to you personally the words God spoke to Catherine.
It was with providence that I created you, and when I contemplated my creature in myself I fell in love with the beauty of my creation. It pleased me to create you in my image and likeness with great providence. I provided you with the gift of memory so that you might hold fast my benefit and be made a sharer in my own, the eternal Father’s power. I gave you understanding so that in the wisdom of my only-begotten Son you might comprehend and know what I the eternal Father want, I who gave you graces with such burning love. I gave you a will to love, making you a sharer in the Holy Spirit’s mercy, so that you might love what your understanding sees and knows. All this my gentle providence did, only that you might be capable of understanding and enjoying me and rejoicing in my goodness by seeing me eternally.
What does it mean to you to know that God looks at you and falls in love with your beauty?
What does it mean to you to be created in God’s image?
What are the unique gifts God gifted you with out of his love for you?