Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red
Eymard stained glass window

Daily Eucharistic Reflections

April 29, 2024

Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena

Today, we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena. Catherine was selected as a patron of Europe along with Saint Benedict and, recently, with Edith Stein and Saint Bridget of Sweden. With Saint Francis of Assisi, Catherine also shares the title of patron of Italy. Saint Catherine was later appointed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970. The opening prayer (Collect) for her celebration captures Catherine’s spirituality in a straightforward but accurate manner: “O God, who set Saint Catherine of Siena on fire with divine love in her contemplation of the Lord’s Passion and her service of your Church…”

The liturgy assists us in focusing our attention on the significance of Saint Catherine of Siena for our spiritual growth and development. This prayer perfectly summarizes Saint Catherine’s life of prayer and service. Our struggle with profound moments of contemplation and our energy for service will vary considerably from what Saint Catherine experienced; however, with her assistance and companionship, we can achieve what God has in store for us rather than the false expectations we place on ourselves.

In today’s gospel, Jesus promises that he and the Father will come and dwell in us. This promise encourages us to journey with Saint Catherine and the saints who have constantly reminded us of the closeness of God’s presence within us.

In A Thought for Every Day (page 55), Sister Susanne Aylwin SSS recalls Saint Peter Julian’s reflection on Catherine of Siena’s memorial feast day: Saint Catherine of Siena, in the midst of her troubles and in her prayers, had a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament that is rare to find even in the saints. When you read her life and her Dialogues you will see that all her inspirations came from there.

Let us pray:

Indeed, God dwells in the Eucharist and within us! We pray that Saint Catherine and Saint Peter Julian accompany us on our spiritual journey, which starts with God and ends with God.

 

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