The Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine of Siena to our Lord Jesus
As Jesus was speaking, His mother entered the room. With her were Saint John the Apostle, St. Paul, Saint Dominic, and King David.
We can see David dancing as he joyously accompanied them with his harp. Catherine’s walk, as with the other Saints we have studied, male and female, was to Jesus through His mother. Mother Mary took Catherine by the arm and gently placed the young virgin’s hand into the Hand of her Son, our Lord Jesus, asking Him humbly, and ceremoniously, to take Saint Catherine of Siena to Himself, in the Holiest of Matrimony. Jesus, the Most Handsome Bridegroom, smiling with only His Blinding Smile, took Catherine’s hand and placed on her finger, a gold ring with the purest pearls surrounding a brilliant diamond, which danced and glittered like the Star in the East must have the night He was born.
“There. I marry you to Me in faith, to Me, your Creator and Savior. Keep this faith unspotted until you come to Me in Heaven and celebrate the marriage that has no end. From this time forward, daughter, act firmly and decisively in everything that in My Providence I shall ask you to do. Armed as you are with the strength of faith, you will overcome all your enemies and be happy.”
Having spoken, Jesus, with His Mother and the heavenly witnesses, left Catherine. With her ring as proof she had really been married to Her One True Love (although she was the only one who could see it), Catherine was strengthened to withstand all the persecution that lay ahead. She shamefully admitted that even she was not able to see the ring, when she had offended her Lord and needed to go to confession. I wonder how many gifts we cannot see, because believing the evil one and his lie that there is no sin, we are in a state of sin and no longer have that gift of peace and joy, that comes from Reconciliation with the Lord.
Saint Catherine of Siena did as most newlyweds do, except the faraway place, she chose for their honeymoon, was not one of a romantic spot on some deserted island, but it was an island, quiet, with no one or nothing to distract her from learning from her Spouse. She listened and asked questions, her whole mind and heart intent on what wisdom the Master was imparting to her, His Bride. She achieved her greatest moment of unity with Jesus after she received Him in the Eucharist. At that moment, when Jesus was physically Present to Catherine, she felt her soul soaring up to Heaven, experiencing all the exquisite wonders there, with the Lord as her Guide and Host.
But as we mortals know, honeymoons come to an end. In Marriage Encounter, we learn first there is the courtship, then the honeymoon, then the disillusionment, then the living out of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Catherine’s honeymoon, not unlike ours, had to come to an end, so their new life could begin.
One afternoon, Jesus spoke to Catherine of the future, how He wanted her to live out the two most special commandments He had given us, to love God and to love neighbor. The second was the hard one. She had been so happy loving Him. There was one fear she had, which had always held her back from any human relationships; that was loving humans at the expense of being wholly faithful to her Lord. As we know, we can trust in God, but humans are only too willing to show us we cannot trust in them. This was probably another major stumbling block she envisioned, as He gently laid out His Plan, His Work for her. She thought of the possible rejection. She protested that she did not know how to love her neighbo
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