My true servants — even if their love
remains imperfect — seek Me
for love’s sake alone, rather than
the consolations and delights
they find in Me. Though I reward
every smallest kindness, the measure
of that prize remains the recipient’s love.
For that reason, I send the sweet
consolation of prayer now one way,
and now another. It is not My will
that the soul receive her consolation
foolishly, nor greedily, paying more
attention to the gift that to its source.
Most of all, I desire that she attend
to the charitable love in which the gift
is given, to suspect how little
she deserves it — thereby glimpsing love’s
immensity and thereby avoiding
the error of taking pleasure
without attending to its loving Cause.
Catherine of Siena, from The Dialogue
Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) was born in Black Death-ravaged Siena, Italy. She is said to have had her first vision of Christ when she was five or six years old. At 21 years of age, she experienced what she called a “mystical marriage” to Christ. She went on to become a noted philosopher and theologian, as well as a forceful figure in church reform. Along with Teresa of Avila, she is one of only two women to be granted the title of Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church. The above is taken from her spiritual classic, The Dialogue, which is a series of questions offered to God, along with his responses and amplifications.