So, I just finished reading Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset. The book was incredible–but I still can hardly believe how insane the life of Catherine of Siena was. I went into reading this book knowing embarrassingly little about St. Catherine of Siena. She seemed pretty meek, and lived way back in the 1300’s so I was worried that I would find her boring.
But I was so wrong.
She had daily mystical experiences, she never slept and the only food she consumed was the Eucharist. She had invisible stigmata that became visible after her death, she was part of countless healings and conversions…and so much more. It is crazy. She also played a real role in history. It was on her advisement that the Pope returned to Rome, after being in France for a long time. She also worked for peace in an age riddled by war and disease.
St. Catherine of Siena is, quite literally, a giant in the faith.
And, compared to her, it can be easy to feel small…and a little hopeless.
But, that is not how we are meant to feel! Instead of feeling pathetic after reading about one of the giants in our Catholic Faith, I encourage you to find inspiration in one of these ways:
- God is so powerful.
- God often chooses to change the world through his littlest servants, like the daughter of a dyer.
- The spiritual life is more important than our physical life. We spend so much time fretting about what we eat and how much sleep we get–when God was able to sustain St. Catherine without EITHER of these things. Insane! What will He do for us if we place ourselves in His hands?
- When we think about our own sins we should only be comparing ourselves to God, not others. For this reason St. Catherine (and many others) saw themselves as the greatest sinners.
I hope this was helpful and that you are inspired to do bigger and bolder things for our Lord!