Want to set the world on fire? Catherine of Siena would tell you to be who God meant you to be at all cost.
A daughter of a wealthy cloth dyer’s family in Siena, Italy, Catherine was expected to marry young per her parent’s wishes and the norms of the day. However, her sense of self and vocation – even at age 6 – clashed with the expectations of family, church, and cultural norms. She was drawn to an austere lifestyle and intense prayer; she eventually joined a Dominican order that cared for the poor.
Catherine invites religious “seekers” to transform their daily life by exploring the ways to experience the presence of the Holy in both ordinary and extraordinary ways. To Catherine, religious experience was about authenticity, compassion, and love – being touched by God and, as a result, experiencing a deeper connection with fellow humans. It was about giving all of oneself to God for the service of humanity.
This message is excerpted from “Catherine of Siena, a gusty saint” by Kirsi Stjerna in the April 2015 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Catherine of Siena, theologian, 1380.
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