How God Makes His Dwelling with Us

“Abandon yourself for Him, learning from this Jesus who in order to give you the life of grace gave up his bodily life,” Saint Catherine of Siena says.

“And as a sign of his generosity he opened up his whole self by creating a bath within his open side after he died, to show us his love,” she continued.

Here’s a question: “Do you want to live in security?” Does anyone answer anything but an emphatic yes! to that?

“Then hide yourself within this side and see that you are never found outside this opened heart-though one you enter, you will discover such joy and sweetness that you will never want to leave,” Catherine says.

How’s this for inviting?

For it is an open storehouse filled with spices, overflowing with mercy. And that mercy gives grace and leads to everlasting life, where there is life without death, satiety without boredom, hunger without pain, perfect and complete joy with no bitterness at all. There our appetite and taste are satisfied. Oh indescribable, immeasurable charity!

Is this for real? As real as we live and breathe and long for something more than anything this earth can give us. “What drove you to give us this true good? Only the boundless love with which you made us, your creatures, not because you had any obligation — for it is we who are obligated to you, not you to us.”

Catherine cautions: “But remember,… we cannot attain such a great good as seeing God without first making an effort in this life to experience him through burning, blazing love, a love that attracts and embraces all the virtues.”

It sure it worth the effort. As Catherine explains: “Anyone who has been wounded by the arrow of divine charity will not be lacking in virtue, and that charity is gotten at the table of the most holy cross, where the spotless Lamb is table, food, and waiter.”

An excellent question from Catherine:

Now how can we keep from loving our gentle Savior, when we see how much we have been loved by Him? It is the character and way of love always to return love for love, and lover is transformed into beloved. So it is with the soul, Christ’s bride, who sees herself loved by him: let her allow that she wants to make a return to him by returning His love. I mean let her because of her love be willing to endure pain and dishonor for him, and she will thus be transformed and become one with Him through love and desire.
That’s life, right there, in all its drama and pain and redemption! What a gift of a woman this doctor of the Church was. What a gift of a sister in Heaven she is.

This meditation — which is a good daily one — comes, as is so often the case for some of the most nourishing meditations, from today’s Magnificat.

  • Tom Sofio

    For a page-truner of a book on St. Catherine, I highly recommend Sigrid Undset’s “Catherine of Siena.” Sigrid was a Nobel-prize winning writer. She dug deep into Catherine’s life and tells some amazing stories of Catherine’s mystical experiences, ability to read souls, exchanging hearts with Jesus (gotta read the book to understand that one!), receiving the stigmata, etc… in other words, there’s much more to tell beyond the story we usually hear about a woman who helped the pope remain faithful to his calling.


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