And the day passing by, full of marvel, the evening came.

And I, feeling that the heart was so drawn by the force of love that I could offer no resistance to going to the place of prayer, and feeling that disposition come upon me which was at the time of my death, prostrated myself with great compunction.

And rising, with the impression of what I have said before the eye of my mind, God placed me before Himself.

I am always before Him, because He contains everything in Himself, but now He placed me before Himself in a new way, as if memory, intellect, and will had nothing whatever to do with my body.

And this Truth was reflected in me with such light that in that abyss were then renewed the mysteries of Holy Church, and all the graces received in my life, past and present, and the day in which my soul was wedded to Him.

All this then vanished from me through the increase of the inward fire.

And I paid heed only to what should be done, that I should make a sacrifice of myself to God for Holy Church and for the sake of removing ignorance and negligence from those whom God had put into my hands.

Then the devils called out havoc upon me, seeking to hinder and slacken with their terrors my free and burning desire.

So these beat upon the shell of the body; but desire became the more kindled, crying “O Eternal God, receive the sacrifice of my life in this mystical body of Holy Church!

“I have naught to give save what Thou hast given to me. Take then my heart, and may Thy Bride lean her face upon it!”

Then Eternal God, turning the eyes of His mercy, removed my heart, and offered it to Holy Church.

And He had drawn it to Himself with such force that had He not at once bound it about with His strength – not wishing that the vessel of my body should be broken – my life would have gone.

[…] Now I say: Thanks, thanks be to the Highest God Eternal, who has placed us in the battlefield as knights, to fight for His Bride with the shield of holiest faith.

The field is left free to us by that virtue and power which routed the devil who possessed the human race; who was routed, not in the strength of humanity, but of Deity.

Thus the devil neither is nor shall be routed by the suffering of our bodies, but by strength of the fire of divine, most ardent, and immeasurable love.

Catherine of Siena (1347-1380): Letter to Raymond of Capua, OP.

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