Catherine_of_SienaMy dearest children in Christ, the sweet Jesus!

I, Catherine…, desire to see you as sons who are obedient unto death, learning from the immaculate Lamb who was obedient to the Father even to an ignominious death on the cross.

Pay close attention for he is the way and the rule that you and all creatures ought to follow. I wish you to place him before your mind’s eye.

Look at how obedient that Word is! He himself does not refuse to carry the burden which he received from the Father, but on the contrary runs to it with the greatest desire.

He made this clear at the Last Supper when he said: I have greatly desired to eat this Passover with you before I die.

To eat the Passover means to fulfill at the same time the will of the Father and the desire of the Son.

Seeing that he had hardly any time left and that at his life’s end he was to be offered as a sacrifice to the Father on our behalf, he rejoices and exults and says with joy: I have greatly desired.

And this was the Passover of which he spoke, namely, to give himself as food and to immolate the sacrifice of his body in obedience to the Father.

[…] He was commanded to give us his blood that the will of God might be fulfilled in us and that we might be sanctified by that very blood.

Therefore I beseech you, my sweet children in Christ, the sweet Jesus, because of your confidence in the blood of the crucified Christ, never fear anything whatsoever.

Do not separate yourselves from him by temptations and errors. You cannot persevere out of fear, nor can you endure obedience…out of dread. I desire, then, that you never fear.

May all servile fear be removed from you. Along with the sweet and loving Paul say:

“Be strong today, my soul. Through the crucified Christ I can do everything, for he who comforts me dwells in me by desire and love.” Love, love, love!

[…] Have confidence! You shall find the source of charity in the side of the crucified Christ. I wish you to establish yourselves there and make a dwelling there for yourselves.

Rise up then with great and burning desire. Approach, enter and remain in this sweet dwelling.

No demon or any other creature can take this grace from you or hinder you from reaching your end, namely, that you should come to see and taste God.

I say no more. Abide in the holy and sweet love of God. Love, love one another.

Catherine of Siena (1347-1380): Letter to the novices of the Order at Santa Maria de Monte Oliveto, from the Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours for the Order of Preachers, feast of St Catherine of Siena, April 29th.