I am working on my studies this summer semester. In one class, the instructor has us using the Prima Pars as the text from St. Thomas Aquinas. The other class has me working on moral theology outlined in Pope St. John Paul II’s Vertias Splendor. It is a lot of reading, summarizing, and digesting. In fact, I have been accustomed to waking up at 5 am to work on my class stuff before work to get all of my reading done on time.
In my spare time, I have been reading Sigrid Undset’s “Catherine of Siena.” I am amazed by the life of this particular saint. The extreme to how she lived her life. During my Exodus discipline, I have been working on several different aspects to foster my spiritual life: Giving up control, trust in God, and being joyful. In some way, to be joyful is the end of the flowing stream of giving up control and trusting in the Lord. St. Catherine does this in such a manner by her help of others. People are so scandalized by her very presence that they while she aids others in their illnesses when other people have left them to die, these people who she cares for mock her and spread lies about her. St. Catherine makes a point to understand that she cannot escape the condition of her Master, Christ Jesus. So, she praises and thanks God for all the ways people mistreat her. In my own life, I have found once I begin to accept the role of servant and to pray to Christ thanking him when others mistreat me, joy does flow outward, but I have to give up my desires, I have to trust that God fully even in difficulty.
St. Catherine’s example moves me very deeply. She lives the gospel. She goes out among the pestilence of leprosy to serve the marginalized, She incurs the wrath of her family for choosing Christ instead of the family’s needs. She envisions herself in the service of Christ and the Apostles when so many people make her life so difficult.
I pray to God that He gives me the grace to love and be joyful like His Saints.