November 21, 2011

Set the world on fire!

"All for the greater honor of God and for the salvation of our souls!"  This prayer is the kickoff for the beginning of our day.  It is an offering to God that everything may be done for Him.  I offer all of myself, that I am 20 years old, from Lake St. Louis, MO and I am now Sister M. Caterina, a Sister of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.  And Christ is calling me and all of my Sisters to make His merciful love visible today.

We can only do this by being totally open to His love.  When we received the habit and veil we were told, "Over these clothes, to keep them together and to complete them, put on love." (see Colossians 3:12-14)  It was by that love, that union of burning love for Christ that drew me to the example and life of St. Catherine of Siena.  Sancta Caterina said, "If you are who you should be you will set the world on fire!"  Christ's love for her upon the Cross totally consumed her.  She was emptied of everything earthly, filled with His merciful love, and imprinted with His five holy wounds.  Love moved her inmost being, touched by grace, to pray unceasingly, perform works of mercy, live a life of penance, and ardently seek Christ Crucified and the Holy Eucharist with painful longing.  She became a model of sacrificial love in her generosity towards the poor and her materinal care for the sick and remains that model of union with Christ today.  The life of St. Catherine compels me to seek that same union with Christ by responding to the desire He has placed within my heart to love Him totally.

Our canonical year is that response.  It is an immersion into the beauty of a union of love with Christ.  He has called me since the beginning of time to be His alone and to send me as a visible witness to His merciful love.  This year we are embracing the simple daily tasks which teach us that if all is done with love, all is done with Christ.  This must be the foundation of our Religious Life, which can then spread like a fire to touch every person with love for the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

- Sister M. Caterina, FSGM - 1st Year Novice

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