Friday, April 29, 2016

Our Friend Kate

Tomb of Saint Catherine in Rome
She was one of the most amazing women who ever lived, the youngest of 25 children, chosen to experience and communicate to the world the astonishing, relentless, mad love of God for every human being.

She spoke fearlessly to those in power, to the wealthy, the clergy, to anyone who would listen. She moved the hearts of popes, brought reconciliation to warring factions, served the poor and the sick, and left testimony to her experiences of the mysterious embrace of Christ the Bridegroom of her soul. His love burned through her and made her 33 years of life an unforgettable fire whose embers still glow, warming us and giving us hope even today.

She was a vital presence for me when I lived in Rome, from her repose under the main altar at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva and out into the church piazza, into the streets, into the air. Catherine, from Siena, from the Tuscan hills she came to be the friend of the bishop and the people of Rome for nearly 700 years.

She held the fires of divine love in her heart and in her hands, and helped us to draw near to Him, this humble woman, this familiar friend, our friend Kate.

"You are a mystery as deep as the sea;
the more I search, the more I find,
and the more I find the more I search for you.
But I can never be satisfied;
what I receive will ever leave me desiring more.
When you fill my soul I have an even greater hunger,
and I grow more famished for your light.
I desire above all to see you,
the true light,
as you really are."

~Saint Catherine of Siena