St. Catherine of Siena
CATHERINE, the daughter of a humble tradesman, was raised up to be the guide and guardian of the Church in one of the darkest periods of its history, the fourteenth century. As a child, prayer was her delight. She would say the "Hail Mary" on each step as she mounted the stairs, and was granted in reward a vision of Christ in glory. When but seven years old, she made a vow of virginity, and afterwards endured bitter persecution for refusing to marry. Our Lord gave her His Heart in exchange for her own, communicated her with His own hands, and stamped on her body the print of His wounds. At the age of fifteen she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic, but continued to reside in her father's shop, where she united a life of active charity with the prayer of a contemplative Saint. From this obscure home the seraphic virgin was summoned to defend the Church's cause. Armed with Papal authority, and accompanied by three confessors, she travelled through Italy, reducing rebellious cities to the obedience of the Holy See, and winning hardened souls to God. In the face well-nigh of the whole world she sought out Gregory XI. at Avignon, brought him back to Rome, and by her letters to the kings and queens of Europe made good the Papal cause. She was the counsellor of Urban VI., and sternly rebuked the disloyal cardinals who had part in electing an antipope. Long had the holy virgin foretold the terrible schism which began ere she died. Day and night she wept and prayed for unity and peace. But the devil excited the Roman people against the Pope, so that some sought the life cf Christ's Vicar. With intense earnestness did St. Catherine beg Our Lord to prevent this enormous crime. In spirit, she saw the whole city full of demons tempting the people to resist and even slay the Pope. The seditious temper was subdued by Catherine's prayers; but the devils vented their malice by scourging the Saint herself, who gladly endured all for God and His Church. She died at Rome, in 1380, at the age of thirty-three.
Reflection. —The seraphic St. Catherine willingly sacrificed the delights of contemplation to labor for the Church and the Apostolic See. How deeply do the troubles of the Church and the consequent loss of souls afflict us? How often do we pray for the Church and the Pope?
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Second Sunday after Easter
Introit • Ps. 32, 5, 6
The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord, alleluia: by the word of the Lord the heavens were established, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 32, 1. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just; praise becometh the upright. Glory be …
O God, Who by the humility of Thy Son hast lifted up a fallen world, grant that to those whom Thou hast delivered from the misfortunes of eternal death, Thou mayest insure everlasting happiness. Through the same.
Epistle • 1 Peter 2, 21-25
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle.
[We are to lay aside all guile and go to Christ the living stone, and, as being now his people, walk worthily of him, with submission to superiors and patience under sufferings.]
Dearly beloved, Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who, when he was reviled, did not revile: when he suffered, he threatened not: but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly. Who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray; but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.
Alleluia, alleluia. Luke 24, 35. The disciples knew the Lord Jesus in the breaking of bread. Alleluia. John 10, 14. I am the good shepherd: and I now My sheep, and Mine know Me. Alleluia.
Gospel • John 10, 11-16
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[Christ is the door and the good shepherd. He and his Father are one.]
At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth: and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep: And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.
Offertory • Ps. 62, 2, 5
O God, my God, to Thee do I watch at break of day: and in Thy name I will lift up my hands, alleluia.
Let the sacred offering, O Lord, ever confer salutary benediction upon us, perfecting in power what it doeth in symbol. Through our Lord.
Communion • John 10, 14
I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep, and Mine know Me.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, quickened by Thy grace, we may ever glory in Thy gifts. Through our Lord.