Today is the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena – Doctor of the Church, along with St. Francis of Assisi, patron of Italy, mystic, activist, and author – and the list goes on. There is lots of online articles about her life, her writings and more, but through the auspices of Bishop Barron and his Word-on-Fire ministry, today only (April 29, 2020) you can watch his video on St. Catherine of Siena: The Mystic. It is free to view until midnight Pacific Coast time.
The reading for the Memorial of St. Catherine gave me pause this morning as I celebrated Mass:
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust. (Ps 103:13-14)
The Psalm is paired with 1 John 1:5-2:2 that speaks of not deceiving one’s self about sin: there is indeed sin and we participate with it at times in our life. Especially in those times: “But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world”
The thought came to me that not only do we have an advocate in Jesus, we a heavenly Father, who even though for sake of his own righteousness (Romans) should demand justice of us, He knows his own Son paid the price. And knows that we are fragile creatures, formed of dust, and so easily dispersed on the winds. His love formed us. His compassion sustains us – even in sin. We were created: “handle with care.”