Catherine of Siena is an amazing woman. She had visions from an early age, refused to marry, and refused to become a nun. She had a profound influence on the politics of her day, and on the story of the Church. I have been reading Catherine’s Dialogue of Divine Providence and have found her sense of God’s presence and love quite captivating. Her cell, of course, was not in a monastery, but rather within herself. She speaks of it as her “cell of self-knowledge,” both knowledge of herself and knowledge of God, for, says Catherine, “knowledge must precede love.” That love comes from humble prayer that unites the soul to God, and Catherine describes it with these striking images and words,
And, since the soul seems, in such communion, sweetly to bind herself fast within herself and with God, and knows better His truth, inasmuch as the soul is then in God, and God in the soul, as the fish is in the sea, and the sea in the fish …
As I pray, I think of being in my cell of self-knowledge with its intimacy of knowing myself and God, and I imagine sinking into the ocean of God’s loving presence which surrounds me and sweetly binds me fast to God. As you journey with God this week, may you also have a sense of your inner cell of self-knowledge, and of the ocean of God’s love which surrounds you and sweetly binds you fast to God.
2 May 2023
Photo by Sebastian Arie Voortman on Pexels
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