Happy Feast of St Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church! Today MAGNIFICAT gives two sets of readings, as hers is a Feast in Europe with propers assigned, but in Australia those of the day (Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter) may still be used, as is generally the case for Memorials of the Saints. Space does not always allow us to give all the available options for every country we administer to, but we do always give the obligatory readings required by each national calendar.
In this month’s contribution for the Year of Consecrated Life Sister Margaret Atkins, a Canoness of St Augustine, describes the charism of her order (see page 337). Both Mary and Martha, she writes, can be held in fruitful balance: in an active order, the silence of contemplation acts as a springboard for action in world.
In St Catherine’s case the action could be quite dramatic. How many of us would presume to tell the Pope what to do? But the ordinary work of the day can be transfigured by prayer also, so that it becomes much more than a list of ‘tasks’ to be accomplished. This is surely what the Feast of St Joseph the Worker on Friday epitomises: quiet work carried out in the companionship of the Son of God.
On Sunday we have that beautiful Gospel reading about the fruitful vine as an image of our union with Christ. This is something which not only saints and religious are called to, but each and every one of us. For unless prayer courses through us like rising sap, we will not be able to bear fruit: “Cut off from me you can do nothing.” While the meditation for the day from Fr John Tauler OP makes for some stern reading, it is undoubtedly true that our loyalty to God has to become “a personal trait, deep-rooted in heart and mind.”
Leonie Caldecott is the editor of MAGNIFICAT UK and Ireland
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