Thursday, April 29, 2010

Catherine of Siena and Jesus the Bridegroom.

Catherine of Siena is perhaps one of the greatest examples of infused divine knowledge. She is one of only 33 "Doctors of the Church" A lay person with no formal education, she has given us some of the most profound and theological writings of any saint. There are many great biographies on the internet. Here is one from EWTN. I would like to focus here on one aspect of her faith: that of being a bride to Christ. In the Gospel of Mark Chapter 2 we read:

" The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?" Here Jesus refers himself as the bridegroom.

John the Baptist also writes when people are asking if he (John the Baptist) is the Christ:" You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Jesus is that bridegroom. This is important to grasp: what is a bride and a bridegroom? In our over sexually stimulated modern culture, we focus strictly on the sexual nature of a man and a woman. This is a narrow and limited view of what a nuptial union is. A true bridegroom is one who chooses to give everything to his wife. He is surrendering his very self to be united with his bride. She the bride, is doing likewise. In this self giving a new creation is made a marriage of two becomes one. Christ is here to marry each and everyone of us. He wants to be united with us. His total self giving came at the cross and he wants us to be wed to Him, so that we may be one. "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me."

Catherine of Siena recognized Christ as her bride at an early age. This enabled her to do great things, not without suffering of course. Our spiritual training and growth are preparing us to be wedded with the Eternal Love, so that we may be united with the Holy Trinity and celebrate the joy as one does on their wedding day.

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