Grace to you and Happy Easter!
Recently, I, unwittingly, almost created an uproar in the Church when I said, “I have two girlfriends.” I saw eyes flashing right, left and center. Heads moving and whispers of “What did he say?” “What does he mean?”
It seemed like a prolonged silence for their thoughts to wander 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, an applause.
When I started to develop a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and began to understand more the profound mysteries we are as a Church, and what we celebrate in the Church, I started as well to build unique relationships.
So you know, my personal committed journey with the Lord Jesus started with Mother Mary through the praying of the Rosary. I call her Mother because she is the Mother of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whom Jesus called Mother. I take her too as my mother in the journey of faith.
Mother Mary introduced me to the Holy Spirit—an experience that was way beyond what I thought was humanly possible. Thereafter, the Holy Spirit introduced me to a deeper, passionate love for Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, the Eucharist. Each of these stages of my faith-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 because of their life stories and spirituality were Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus and Saint Catherine of Siena. Hence, I adopted them as my girlfriends.
Other saints who inspired me then, and have continued to do so now, are Saint Padre Pio, Venerable Fulton J. Sheen and Saint 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 read her The Dialogue of Saint Catherine of Siena, it blew me away. I started to wonder, Wow! God still speaks to people. I would ask you read that book. It’s a record of the private revelations God gave to Catherine when she was in a trance for about 3 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.
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 to 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
[April 29: St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.