I had found a quote so perfect from St Catherine and had wanted to share, but I have misplaced it. Came to my computer again this morning to search for it and stumbled upon this passage which provided it to me in multiple search results. Let me preface here, I have read many books on St Catherine and know her as a warrior of the Church. I know her accolades but for whatever reason, my mind over the priest scandals our Church is facing lately, I had forgotten about these specific talks from God to her. For two weeks now, I, and I know many, have been in a bit of a slump. Reading and hearing about the U.S. Church today and the scandals that are now being uncovered. It’s devastating what has been brought to light on Cardinal McCarrick.
Yesterday, I began writing a blog on what I felt, but had to step away because I was overwhelmed. Most of the time, when I blog, it helps relieve tension. Almost like I’m surrendering it to God and helping me receive peace afterward. But I knew this time, I was wrestling with it differently.
Like I mentioned when I began searching writings on St Catherine, I came upon her dialogue and now instead of sharing my blog on my emotions, I replace it with this. This says it all. No need for more. It’s what I should now focus on and help others to recognize the truth in it as well.
For two thousand years plus, Our Church has given us Saints for every occasion, for every time. St Catherine was one who during much conflict in the Church evangelized in her capacity and selfless will so that the faithful would not lose sight of purpose and love for Jesus Christ or His Church. With that, I pass on what has already been clearly identified and no more need for me to become fixated, but to continue in the way Jesus calls on me.
God the Father spoke to St. Catherine of Siena about his “ministers,” the priests. She recorded it in her Dialogue:
…[It] is my intention that they be held in due reverence, not for what they are in themselves, but for my sake, because of the authority I have given them. Therefore the virtuous must not lessen their reverence, even should these ministers fall short in virtue. And, as far as the virtues of my ministers are concerned, I have described them for you by setting them before you as stewards of… my Son’s body and blood and of the other sacraments. This dignity belongs to all who are appointed as such stewards, to the bad as well as to the good.
…[Because] of their virtue and because of their sacramental dignity you ought to love them. And you ought to hate the sins of those who live evil lives. But you may not for all that set ourselves up as their judges; this is not my will because they are my Christs, and you ought to love and reverence the authority I have given them.
You know well enough that if someone filthy or poorly dressed were to offer you a great treasure that would give you life, you would not disdain the bearer for love of the treasure, and the lord who had sent it, even though the bearer was ragged and filthy… You ought to despise and hate the ministers’ sins and try to dress them in the clothes of charity and holy prayer and wash away their filth with your tears.
Indeed, I have appointed them and given them to you to be angels on earth and suns, as I have told you. When they are less than that you ought to pray for them. But you are not to judge them. Leave the judging to me, and I, because of your prayers and my own desire, will be merciful to them.
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us! +++
2 thoughts on “Take notes from St Catherine on Priests”
That was wonderful! I agree that sometimes the saints say it better than I ever can. St. Teresa of Avila also voices similar thoughts in the Book of Her Life. So many times I have read something the saints wrote that I was struggling to put into words, and find myself thinking that it was just what I needed to hear (or tell others about) at that moment! I think it is the meaning behind the great communion of saints. They are always watching over us and ready to offer intercession. What they said hundreds of years ago still applies to today because we are human, we are flimsy in our faith, and we’re vulnerable to sin. All of us. Let God be the judge.
BTW here is the link to the podcasts from Father Terry that I have been listening to about St. Catherine on Discerning Hearts https://www.discerninghearts.com/catholic-podcasts/fr-thomas-mcdermott-3/
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Thank you!!! I will look this up! Julie, you’re so right. At times I get stingy about what I want to read when it pertains to living the Christian life. Friends want to lend me a book from popular Christians and I’m like why… I have the Saints!! We have all we need! ❤️❤️❤️