Friday, January 24, 2014

St Catherine of Bologna

Pope Benedict gave a catechesis on this saint; she wasn't familiar to me. She lived in the 1400's and was a Poor Clare. Catherine wrote a treatise called The Seven Spiritual Weapons. It was something she had written to help in the formation of the novices of her community. So far I haven't found information about her own experience of being drawn to religious life, but the work starts out like this:
In the name of the eternal Father and of his only begotten Son Christ Jesus,
of the splendor of the Father’s glory, for love of whom,
with jubilation of heart, I cry, saying to his most refined servants and spouses:
    Let every lover who loves the Lord 
    Come to the dance singing of love, 
    Let her come dancing all afire 
    Desiring only him who created her 
    And separated her from the dangerous worldly state. 
This is intriguing; I must admit that when I come across hymns about dancing, etc.,
I usually roll my eyes and sigh. They remind me of those occasions I had to endure
being at some conference or meeting that had plenty of bad liturgical music. 
I  can't imagine St. Thomas writing hymns about dancing.
His Eucharistic hymns are more my style. 
But this poetic beginning of St. Catherine's work is so evocative and beautiful--dancing all afire. 
This Catherine is another saint worth getting to know.

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