Thought for the Day – 4 September – Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Catherine of Racconigi OP (1486-1547)
Just as the Carmelites have their many famous Teresas so too do the Dominicans have their Catherines – St Catherine of Alexandria (c287-c305) (by adoption as patroness of the Order), St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church, St Catherine de Ricci (1522-2590), Bl Catherine Jarrige (1754-1836) and Bl Catherine of Racconigi, today’s saint. Most of these Catherine’s were espoused to the Lord. Many of them received crowns of thorns. They all showed the greatness of God’s grace to draw hearts close to Him.
Aside from being espoused to the Lord at the age of five and aside from receiving the stigmata and a crown of thorns, Bl Catherine of Racconigi is a prime example of Christ drawing hearts close to Him. Several times the Lord appeared to her and took her heart so that He might cleanse and beautify it. Moreover, as the tradition holds, the words Jesu, spes mea –“Jesus, my hope!”–were inscribed on her heart in letters of gold. Christ loves His virgin brides. The tokens that He has given them, especially to the saintly Dominicans cloistered nuns and active sisters, shows that He desires nothing but union with souls. Sometimes, this means sharing in the hardships of His Passion. For Bl Catherine, this meant a life of destitute poverty, abandonment by many friends at death and even the challenge of being deprived of her confessor before she died. Yet, through it all, her Hope–Christ the Lord, drew her to Himself, where she is now in perfect happiness in heaven.
O Lord, our Hope, who did enrich with an abundance of celestial gifts, the heart of Blessed Catherine, already filled with You, grant, through the intercession of that glorious Virgin, that You may be wholly fastened to our hearts, who for our sake, was wholly fastened to the cross, Christ our Lord. Amen.