Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church
(Acts 4:23-31; John 3:1-8)
The Internet has enabled hundreds of millions of people to stay in touch. People see the faces of loved ones through Skype and follow their thoughts on Facebook. Fifty years ago no one dreamed of such immediacy. However, those who have developed a deep spirituality may have always been more closer to the Lord.
In today’s first reading Peter and John have returned from their confrontation with Jewish leadership. They pray to God who is intimately present to them because of the Holy Spirit. They do not ask for protection but for boldness to proclaim Jesus. The Spirit confirms that God hears their prayers by causing the ground to shake.
The same Spirit enabled Catherine of Siena to feel intimately Christ’s love for her. She described her relationship with him as a marriage. She and Christ were bride and bridegroom. As a wife considers her husband’s body her own, Catherine worked tirelessly for Christ’s body, the Church. In times of political intrigue and ravishing plague, Catherine strove to keep that body from falling apart. Her success has resulted in her being named the patron saint of both Italy and all Europe.