Grace to you, and Happy Easter!
One day, unwittingly, I created an uproar in the church when I said, "I have two girlfriends." I could see eyes flashing right, left, and center. Heads were moving, and whispers of "What did he say?"...
It seemed like a prolonged silence for their thoughts to wonder before I intervened. “My girlfriends are Saint Catherine of Sienna and Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus.”
I could hear sighs of relief and then as if planned, resounding applause.
When I started to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, I began to understand more the profound mysteries we are as Church. I began to feel the richness of our worship and sacred rites more strongly. I started as well to build unique relationships with the saints.
So you know, my personal committed journey with the Lord Jesus started with Mother Mary through the praying of the Rosary. I call the Blessed Virgin Mary mother because she is the mother of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus called her mother too. I embrace her because she is my mom in the journey of faith. Mother Mary introduced me to the Holy Spirit. It was an experience that was way beyond what I thought was humanly possible. After that, the Holy Spirit introduced me to a more profound, passionate love for Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, the Eucharist. Each of these stages of my journey means a lot, which I can’t share now for shortness of time.
While these were going on, I started to develop more relationships with the saints. Two of the first people I fell in love with were Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus and Saint Catherine of Siena. I adopted them as my heavenly girlfriends.
Other saints that inspired me then and have continued to do so now are Saint Padre Pio, Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, and St. Gerard Majella. Another day I will share some of my experiences with these saints.
In the meantime, let’s talk about Saint Catherine of Sienna, whose life is celebrated in the Church today.
When I was 15, I read her The Dialogue of Saint Catherine of Siena. It blew me away. How the content gripped me at that tender age was grace at work. I started to wonder, Wow! God still speaks to people. I would ask you to read that book. It's a record of the private revelations God gave to Catherine when she was in a trance for about three days non-stop. Her secretaries wrote as God dialogued with her.
She hardly ate food from the age of 17 to 33, when she died. She lived on Holy Communion. She was a mystic of a unique kind.
God used her to bring reconciliation to the Church during the infamous Avignon Controversy (1309 – 1377) when the Church had three people all claiming to be popes. Her purity and spiritual insight were instrumental in resolving the problem and rallying support for the authentic Pope.
The life of this Dominican mystic, who died in 1380, was remarkable. She is one of the four women Doctors of the Church. She is my girlfriend.
Prayer: God, continue to raise men and women whose life of holiness, bring peace and reconciliation to the troubled world. Amen.
God love you. God Bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday, April 29: St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.