Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Good Fruit of the Good Tree- St. Catherine of Siena

Take courage... for when God engrafted himself into us barren trees by joining his divine nature with our humanity, he so strengthened our reason and our love for him that we are drawn to love by the power of love. Sensuality has been so weakened that it can do nothing to us if we are willing to make use of reason. It is clear that our flesh in Christ's humanity, taken from Adam's stock, has been so whipped and tortured with anguish and derision and insult even to the shameful death of the cross, that it ought to make our own flesh so submissive that it would never resist or defy reason and God.
Oh boundless love, gentlest Jesus! How could anyone not he softened and
melted by you Oh welcome engrafting, incarnate Word, Son of God, you
drove out the worm of Adam's ancient sin. You got rid of its wild fruit— for
sin had made our garden so wild that it could produce no life-giving fruit of
virtue. Oh sweet fire of love, you so engrafted and hound God into humanity
and humanity into God that the sterile fruit that had dealt us death became
sound and productive. And so it will always give us life so long as we are
willing to make use of the power of reason.

Look! Look at the ineffable love God is offering you! Look at the
sweetness of the tender fruit, the spotless Lamb, the seed sown in Mary as
in a lovely field! Let this worker of ours be sleepy and indifferent no
longer; for this worker [our rational will] has the time; it is naturally
strong, and has been made even stronger by God's union with humanity.

I beg you in Christ gentle Jesus to lift your love, your affection, your
desire up high. Take hold of the tree of the most holy cross and let it be
planted in the garden of your soul, because this is a tree laden with fruits,
the true solid virtues. For you see very well that beyond God's union with
his creature he has joined himself to the most holy cross. And he wills,he
insists, that we too join ourselves to this sweet tree in love and desire.
Then our garden cannot help producing sweet and tender fruit.
THE LETTERS OF ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA - translated by Suzanne Noffke, O.P.

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