Sunday 26 April 2015 — Latest update Sunday 26 February 2017

Saint Catherine of Senna, 29th April Sainte Catherine de Sienne

“Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her.”

1 Jn. 1,5-2 Ps. 102 Lk. 10, 38-42

Saint Catherine of Siena 29th April
“Come to me, all you who labour and are heavily burdened and I shall give you rest.”
1 Jn.1,5-2 Ps.102 Mt.11,25-30
“At that time Jesus spoke out loud and said : ’Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, I bless you : what you have hidden from the knowledgeable, you have revealed to the tiny little ones.”
Jesus exalts with joy, in he cries out in hope His Praise to his Father.
What provokes his admiration and joyful astonishment is the pedagogy put into place by his Father for the Salvation of the world. 
Jesus has encountered the scribes’ refusal, that of all those who imagine they know the Truth. On the contrary, the poor and little ones accept with a gracious heart to open up to the hope which He brings them. Jesus lets his joy burst forth as he sees the humble ones let God work in them and come around to his Loving Plan.
This simplicity of heart is a richness of spirit and a clarity of gaze, it is the ’science of love’ which is at the base of fidelity and of greatness of soul.
Today we celebrate the feast of Catherine of Siena who came to the help of the poor and sick of Siena.
The Gospel reading chosen for the feast of Saint Catherine has her cry out in joy in union with Jesus.
This is where she finds her strength and light to face up to life’s harsh realities.
The contemplation of God in faith is here to allow us to penetrate into the mystery of the Word. This is how we can learn true charity.
Service towardsa nother needs the affection of our heart and the Light of God. Jesus found his joy and happiness in submission to the Father, in their unity of Love.
The main concern of Catherine was the unity of Love, the unity of the Church. Without any complex she wrote to the Pope who was at that time in Avignon, a burning letter in which she urges him to return to Rome.
The Saint of Siena, Catherine, had a spirituality which was manifested by the gift of tears, a sign of a great tenderness and of her sensitivity.
She invited the priests and the Pope, whom she called the gentle Christ on earth, to be faithful to their responsibilities, in a constant love for the Church.
“Yes, Father, in your goodness you desired this. Everything has been given to me by the Father; no-one knows the Son apart from the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son, and to whom the Son wishes to reveal it.”
If there is just one Salvation and thisSsalvation comes through faith in the Living Christ, Christians have different levels of culture.
This is the reality of what is inscribed, day after day, in the book of our life which only God Alone can open or close.
Whatever the degree of our culture, the brilliance or darkness of our situation, daily life is made up of small things where the weight of our love is weighed: our charity.
The good pleasure of our Father means that the smallest ones have kept all their chances faced with the Kingdom of God Coming on earth.
In the eyes of Jesus, all know-how must be at the service of a response of faith, it must become the service of a believer who loves.
Today we must pronounce our faith and account for the hope that is within us. Moments of prayer, listening to God in our daily activity exerts our charity.
The Church announces the word and releases this Word which is charity and truth. We need to be stripped of ourselves in order to follow poorly Christ who is Poor.
The Kingdom of God is this Love of God received in poverty, one which strips us of ourselves.
We are getting ready for the Coming of Jesus, he comes ’to our table’, he invites Himself, the ’Bread of Life’. We prepare our heart for Him, through prayer and the desire to encounter Him.
 
“Come to me, all you who labour under the weight of burdens, and I shall bring you rest.
Take my burden upon you, become my disciples, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. Yes, my burden is easy to carry and my burden light.”
 Jesus gets us to know Him humbly, for no one knows the Son but the Father and it is the Father who reveals His Son in us.
He reveals Him as the suffering servant, as the Crucified One who is glorified.
No-one knows the Father but the Son and the One to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him.
We are unable to look at the Father except with Jesus’ eyes ; we are unable to speak to the Father only with the Words revealed by the Father.
It is this gaze which touches God, they are the Words which join Him.
The humble and men of good will are those who accept to place themselves at the school of Jesus. He places a burden on our shoulders, but in submitting us to his Law of Love.
He gives us the Joy of his Kingdom the happiness of those who know that they are loved and forgiven.
Jesus’ burden does not hurt, his burden seems light because it gradually frees us from the weight of our selfishness and our aggression. 
We spend our life seeking rest, we can find it in serving and loving by entering into Jesus’ Rest, in the humility and gentleness of the Cross.
Catherine of Siena is a model of harmony for us, her priority is always to be faithful to the Holy Spirit.
We ask for the grace to be United to the Heart of Jesus so as to love God and our neighbor as Christ.

Saint Catherine of Siena 29th April 2016

“Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her.”

1 Jn. 1,5-2 Ps. 102 Lk. 10, 38-42

“In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking.”

With her state of happiness in Heaven, Mary has a fore-vision of our situation. Whilst on earth, we can never always fully live as in heaven, but as we go about all our activities, a little bit of anticipation for Heaven should always be in us. Contemplation of God must always be present in us so as to allow the Word of God to penetrate us and in this way teach us how to be truly charitable. True service to others needs things that are necessary, but it especially needs the affection of our hearts, of the Light of God.

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, of Catherine would come to the help of the poor and sick of Sienna. The Gospel that is chosen for her feast day presents us with two well-known people : Martha and Mary.

An ascetic life of prayer gives Catherine a life in strict union with Jesus, whilst taking care of the materiel aspects of life.

Jesus found his joy and happiness in being submitted to the Father, in the unity of Love they enjoyed together.

The main concern for Catherine was unity of Love, unity of the Church.

The spiritualty of the Saint from Siena is also manifested by the gift of tears, a sign of her great sensitivity and tenderness.

She would invite priests and the Pope (whom she called the ’gentle Christ on earth’) to be faithful to their responsibilities in a relentless Love for the Church.

“Now Martha, who was distracted with all the serving, came to him and said, ’Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’”

The Church has not only to announce the Word, but most of all bring about the Word, which is charity and Truth.

Martha was completely taken up in the service of hospitality that she offered to Jesus and to his disciples.

As for Mary, she would listen to he Word of the Lord Jesus.

There is no opposition between times of prayer, listening to God and daily activities, charitable actions. Never ever are actions condemned when we do them for our neighbour, for other people, rather, what is emphasized is how what we do for others should be deeply penetrated with a sprit of contemplation flowing forth form our inner being.

Jesus receives first of all Mary’s heart that is quite poor. She is so lovely as she awaits. She loves Jesus, has emptied herself and is in a state of great poverty before the loved one.

If we wish to follow the Poor Christ in a poor way, we really need to be stripped of ourselves. The Kingdom of God is this Love of God received in poverty, and thanks to which we disown ourselves. Mary waits for Jesus. He is her Beloved. Her small attentions towards Him are quite hidden. She won’t forget how hungry and thirsty he could be, that she can prepare things for Him!

God does his ’work of God’ with the poor who work poorly.

What a lovely thing it is to receive Jesus into one’s own home; we always need to prepare his coming. He comes ’to our table’, inviting himself. He is the ’Bread of Life ’and we prepare our hearts for Him trough prayer and our desire to come to his encounter.

“But the Lord answered, ’Martha, Martha, ’he said, ’you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part, and it is not to be taken from her.’”

This Word is a precious reminder for us when we have the tendency to evaluate all we do, evaluating all the steps we take in our lives.

If Martha and Mary are complementary, Jesus underlines Martha’s agitation : ’You worry and fret for so many reasons.’

’Mary has chosen the best part’, that of listening to the Word of God, in a heart to heart with Him.

Jesus takes the liberty of repraching Mary’s agitation. Forgetting why she is serving, Martha is more agitated than accomplishing her tasks.

Prayer itself is work and one where we learn how to love, to go out of ourselves.

Prayer participates in the movement of life the Trinitarian life, of gift and welcome, like a school of poverty and of humility. It certainly is the best school for an evangelical and fraternal life.

Saints have therefore had the experience of a deep unity of life between prayer and action, between the total Love of God and the love for our sisters and brothers.

Saint Catherine of Siena is a model of harmony between contemplation and activity. Her judgement is always about inner recollection and of prayer, so that the tasks she takes on may be accomplished in fidelity to the Holy Spirit.

Let us ask for the grace to be united to the Heart of God so that we may love our neighbour as Christ.

Saint Catherine of Sienna

“In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking.”

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Catherine of Sienna.Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church and John Paul II co-patroness of Europe. Catherine came to the help of the poor and sick of Sienna. She also wrote to the great people of her time. The Gospel that is chosen for her feast day presents us with two well-known people : Martha and Mary. On several occasions, Jesus invites us to perform an active charity. An ascetic life of prayer have Catherine live in strict union with Christ, whilst taking care of the materiel aspects of life. In our daily life, our actions can be transformed into agitation! In fact, to obey means to depend on someone else. Jesus found his joy in being submitted to His Father, dwelling in their Loving Union. The main concern Catherine had was unity in Love, unity of the Church. Without any complex, she wrote to the Pope, who was at the time residing in Avignon in France. Her letter was full of ardour, wanting him to return quickly to Rome. She will even go to fetch him. When the western Christians will be divided between several Popes, she will support Pope Urban VI and will use all sorts of diplomacies and activities, precious indeed, to get the Church to be gathered around him.

Our desire is to build up the Christian community around the poor, those who are weeping. The Saint from Sienna manifests her spirituality through the gift of tears, the sign of a great sensitivity and tenderness. Conscious of priests’ lacks, Catherine nevertheless always had a great respect for those who dispensed the Sacraments and who preached Salvation and Strength from God. She invited the priests and the Pope(whom she called the Gentle Christ on earth) to be faithful to their responsibilities, in an unfailing love for the Church.

“Now Martha, who was distracted with all the serving, came to him and said, ’Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’”

Mary is loving.Emptied of herself, she is in a great state of poverty before the one she loves. The Kingdom of God is this Love of God received in poverty, which empties us of ourselves. We really do need to be rid of ourselves in order to follow Christ, the Poor One. Jesus is truly in the dependence and in the obedience to his Father. His poverty is his Joy. Mary is waiting for Jesus, He is her Beloved. The small attentions she has for him will be quite hidden. She doesn’t go without thinking that he could be hungry or thirsty, that he would need something to be prepared! But Jesus receives our heart first of all. Mary is there, present, in a state of poverty. In her waiting, she is beautiful. In fact what prevents God from acting is our lack of poverty. God does his “work of God” with the poor person who works in a poor manner. “Mary has chosen the best part”, that of listening to God’s Word, in a heart to heart with him. It is a beautiful thing to welcome Jesus into one’s home, we need always to prepare his coming. He comes ’to our table“, inviting himself, he”the Bread of Life. We prepare our heart for him in prayer and in our desire to meet him. It is no easy thing to prepare our heart for the Him if our heart is full of itself. Following Saint Catherine of Sienna ,we wish to consecrate ourselves to prayer and charity, particularly in the service of the sick.

“But the Lord answered, ’Martha, Martha, ’he said, ’you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part, and it is not to be taken from her.’”

If Mary and Martha are complementary, Jesus underlines Martha’s agitation : ’You worry and fret about so many things!’ We, too, can encounter this difficulty in our apostleship, giving the illusion of acting but in reality we are “agitated people”. Jesus takes the liberty of reproaching Martha, for she is in a state of agitation. To act and to be agitated is not the same thing, just as not doing anything is not necessarily praying! In any life, one thing alone is necessary, as Jesus underlines, and it is because Mary, unlike Martha, knows how to put into place this one necessary thing, which merits praise from the Lord. Forgetting about the Love of Jesus, the one aim of her service ,Martha is more in a state of agitation than one of action.Prayer itself is a work where one learns to love, to come out of one’ self. Our wish is to renew our loving attention towards God, if it seems to get lost in silence. Jesus recognises it. Prayer participates in the movement of the Blessed Trinity, in the gift of welcome, as a school of poverty and of humility. This is, by all means, the best school for an evangelical and fraternal life.

Let us ask for the grace to be united to the Heart of God so that we may love our neighbour as Christ.