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Oh, St. Catherine! August 25, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic.
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Oh my.  My my my my my.  I wrote yesterday a bit about St. Catherine of Siena, also known as the Seraphic Virgin.  St. Catherine truly had some amazing penances.  She also suffered a torrent of abuse during her life, from charges of being a secret mistress to various priests to running a cult.  But St. Catherine continued to live and suffer for Christ, largely ignoring the charges directed at her. 

But I read something abourt her that just about made my stomach come flying out.  There was an older widow near St. Catherine.  She suffered from breast cancer.  Now, this is 13th 14th century Italy, so there isn’t much care for a disease of this type.  The woman’s flesh was rotted and oozing all kinds of nastiness, and apparently stank so horribly people would retch just being in the same room as her.  This woman was also extremely sour and would mistreat anyone trying to help her.  Well, St. Catherine began to care for her.  The stench really bothered St. Catherine, but she fought through it.  Finally, it, and the woman’s abuse, became too much, and she had to stop.  St. Catherine felt terrible about this, and vowed to return.  Now, if you are at all sensitive to grossness, you may want to skip the rest of this paragraph.  In order to get over her very human repulsion to this woman’s extremely nasty wound, St. Catherine put her face down very close to it to force herself to get used to the smell.  And that’s not all – the bandages that had been used to absorb the material and the puss and all that barfy stuff—– careful now, you may want to turn back ——— St. Catherine ate it.  As in swallowed.  St. Catherine said it was somehow mystically transformed into the sweetest tasting stuff ever, but…….wow.  As in really, truly wow.  I don’t know how one could even……….blech

But such was the love this woman, St. Catherine had, and such was Christ’s action on her soul, that she was able to do things virtually no other human being could do.  Christ healed St. Catherine miraculously on several occasions, and she sustained herself, for the last 5 years of her life, on nothing but the Blessed Sacrament.  In fact, the last “food” St. Catherine ate prior to this last, 5 year period was the contents of that woman’s…..well, read the above paragraph if you want.   I don’t know what to say to this.  This is so far beyond my comprehension I can’t even grasp it.  I’ve had some brief moments where I’ve felt like I’ve been touched by the Peace of Christ, where I feel He has revealed Himself to me, very slightly, but I cannot imagine being so close to Christ, so comforted by Him, that one would do literally ANYTHING to help another soul.  But that is what St. Catherine did, every day for well over a decade. 

Amazing.  I cannot wait to finish reading about her tonight, but I may also have to gird myself for who knows what.  Oh, St. Catherine.  Lordy lordy lordy girl…….I do not know what to say.  God loves you.  Pray for me.

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