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St. Catherine of Siena: Why the Desire to Suffer for God is Pleasing to Him

Apr 28, 2017 By Gretchen Filz | 8 Comments

The following is a powerful passage in the Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena. In this great spiritual classic, which made St. Catherine of Siena a Doctor of the Church, she records her mystical conversations with Jesus.

St. Catherine of Siena died at the age of 33 after suffering a demonic spiritual assault, willingly giving her life for the sanctification of the Church.

In this day and age, Christians, even the devout, have a strong aversion to, and fear of, suffering. But, if heroically endured, our patient suffering is a means of demonstrating our love for God and an efficacious means for the salvation of souls. St. Catherine of Siena explains how and why below.

How very pleasing to God is the willing desire to suffer for Him

"Very pleasing to Me, dearest daughter, is the willing desire to bear every pain and fatigue, even unto death, for the salvation of souls, for the more the soul endures, the more she shows that she loves Me; loving Me she comes to know more of My truth, and the more she knows, the more pain and intolerable grief she feels at the offenses committed against Me.

You asked Me to sustain you, and to punish the faults of others in you, and you did not remark that you were really asking for love, light, and knowledge of the truth, since I have already told you that, by the increase of love, grows grief and pain, wherefore he that grows in love grows in grief.

Therefore, I say to you all, that you should ask, and it will be given you, for I deny nothing to him who asks of Me in truth.

Consider that the love of divine charity is so closely joined in the soul with perfect patience, that neither can leave the soul without the other. For this reason (if the soul elect to love Me) she should elect to endure pains for Me in whatever mode or circumstance I may send them to her. Patience cannot be proved in any other way than by suffering, and patience is united with love as has been said.

Therefore bear yourselves with manly courage, for, unless you do so, you will not prove yourselves to be spouses of My Truth, and faithful children, nor of the company of those who relish the taste of My honor, and the salvation of souls." - Jesus to St. Catherine of Siena

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Commentary by

Gretchen Filz Gretchen Filz

Gretchen is a Lay Dominican with a passion for fostering an increase in Catholic faith and devotion. After receiving her M.A. in Christian Apologetics, she converted to the Catholic Faith in 2011. She lives and works in the Diocese of Charlotte.

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