"The books are beautifully, almost lavishly presented and scholars of the highest caliber have taken part in the work of editing.... This is a comprehensive attempt to make the spiritual tradition of large areas of mankind more generally accessible to the ordinary interested reader." A. M. Allchin in Church Times Catherine of Siena-The Dialogue translation and introduction by Suzanne Noffke, O.P., preface by Giuliana Cavallini "If you have received my love sincerely without self-interest, you will drink your neighbor's love sincerely. It is just like a vessel that you fill at the fountain. If you take it out of the fountain to drink, the vessel is soon empty. But if you hold your vessel in the fountain while you drink, it will not get empty: indeed, it will always be full." Catherine of Siena, 1347-1380 This is the crowning spiritual work of the only woman other than Teresa of Avila to be granted the title of Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church. This volume was simply called "my book" by the fourteenth-century Italian saint. The aim of her book (one of the first books to see print in Spain, Germany, Italy, and England), says Dr. Noffke in her Foreword, was "the instruction and encouragement of all those whose spiritual welfare was her concern." Catherine was "a mystic whose plunge into God plunged her deep into the affairs of society, Church and the souls who came under her influence." Professor Noffke goes on to call The Dialogue "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." In this, the sixth centenary of the great Dominican's death, we live in a time so badly in need of her sense of institutional reform as flowing from Divine truth, love and charity. Dr. Noffke says: "In the opening pages of The Dialogue 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
affection become beginning better blind blood body bridge bring Catherine cause charity Christ comes command concerned consider consolation creatures cross darkness daughter dead deadly dearest death desire devil discernment divine eternal everything evil fact faith Father fear feel fire follow fruit gave gentle gift give given grace hand heart hold holy Church honor hope human humble humility imperfect infinite judgment keep knowledge leave light living longing look means mercy ministers nature neighbors never obedience once only-begotten pain pass peace perfect person pleasure possess prayer pride providence punishment reach reason receive sacrament salvation seems selfish sensuality servants serve sins sometimes soul soul's spiritual stages suffering taste teaching tears tell things told true trust truth turn understanding union virtue whole 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.