That we might live

Monday, May 09, 2016

That we might live
St. Catharine of Bologna

Today’s saint is the patron of Art and Artists.  She is St. Catharine of Bologna (1413-1463) who was born into nobility in Ferrara, Spain.  She received an education in the court and developed her interest and talent in playing the violin and painting. (On the intranet you will find;  she is patron of the Art Association)

 At age 17 she joined a group of religious in Ferrara.  Within 4 years the whole group joined the Poor Clare’s in that city.  While she did some manuscript illumination and painting of  miniatures, she was the convent baker and portress and, Later, novice mistress. During this time, she had visions of Christ and of the devil and she had many demonic temptation, all of which she resisted.     In 1456, she was appointed the abbess  and lead 15 other sisters to a new community that was to be established in Florence where the holiness of Catharine drew many young women to the Poor Clare life. She ended her life as Superioress of a poor Clare Convent in Bologna.  After her burial, there were many cures attributed to her and there was a sweet scent coming from her grave.  Eighteen days later, her body was exhumed intact and her uncorrupt body is now  in the Church in Bologna where her  convent was located.  Her life of prayer, penance and charity may seem unexciting to immolate ; but, her reflection on them shows how exciting the risen life was to her.  She wrote a book on the seven spiritual weapons to be used against temptation.

In her visions of Christ, Catharine would be shown the damage that sin can do to a person’s soul if they die unrepentant.  Catharine, in her efforts to warn us so that we may avoid this experience recommends these “weapons” for us to use:

"Jesus Christ gave up his life that we might live;
therefore, whoever wishes to carry the cross for his sake must take up the proper weapons for the contest,
especially those mentioned here.
First, diligence;
second, distrust of self;
third, confidence in God;
fourth, remembrance of the Passion;
fifth, mindfulness of one’s own death;
sixth, remembrance of God’s glory;
seventh, the injunctions of Sacred Scripture following the example of Jesus Christ in the desert"

On the Seven Spiritual Weapons
St. Catharine of Bologna

St. Catharine lived centuries before us, but we are living the same human life that she lived;  and we have the same resources that she did; For example, the gospel today:

I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the word.”

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