Catherine was a mystic whose plunge into God plunged her deep into the affairs of society, Church and the souls of all who came under her influence. Her Dialogue has been called a great tapestry to which Catherine adds stitch upon stitch until she is satisfied that she has communicated all she can of what she has learned of the way of God. Six centuries after her death, we live in a time so badly in need of her sense of institutional reform as flowing from Divine truth, love and charity. In the opening pages Catherine presents a series of questions or petitions to God the Father, each of which receives a response and amplification. There is the magnificent symbolic portrayal of Christ as the bridge. There are specific discussions of discernment, tears (true and false spiritual emotion), truth, the sacramental heart ('mystic body') of the Church, divine providence, obedience. It is not so much a treatise to be read as it is a conversation to be entered into with earnest leisure and leisurely earnest.
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Good translation, good notes -if you are new to Catherine, start here, if you are not new to her but prefer the Dialogues in English, stay here. Read full review
baptism blind blood body of holy bridge burning love Catherine Catherine of Siena Catherine's Christ crucified conscience consolation contempt creatures darkness darksome deadly deadly sin dearest daughter death devil Dialogue discernment disobedience divine charity Divine Office eternal Father evil fire fruit gift give given glorious glory and praise Godhead grace hatred heart holy baptism holy Church holy desire holy faith Holy Spirit honor human humble hunger imperfect infinite Jacopo da Varagine key of obedience light of faith living longing loving charity mercy mind's eye ministers mystic body neighbors ness never only-begotten only-begotten Son pain patience penance perfect pleasure prayer pride providence punishment Raymond of Capua receive sacrament salvation of souls self-knowledge selfish love selfish sensuality servants Siena sins slavish fear soul's spiritual suffering taste teaching tears tell things told true humility truth union weeping wet nurse wretched
Page 37 - There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them.
Page 27 - God to provide against such great evils. 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...
Page 29 - Here is the way, if you would come to perfect knowledge and enjoyment of me, eternal Life: Never leave the knowledge of yourself. Then, put down as you are in the valley of humility you will know me in yourself, and from this knowledge you will draw all that you need.