It was an especially troublesome time into which Catherine Benincasa was born in 1347. The popes had fled scandal-laden Rome and were leading from Avignon in the south of France. Our blessed Lord placed upon Catherine’s heart and unmistakable mission to champion urgently needed restoration of Church life.
Taking to heart Jesus’ words and actions, she immersed herself in prayer and penance and relentlessly exhorted Church leaders to be the shepherds Christ called them to be. Catherine lived Christian integrityand demanded leaders do the same, knowing that the spiritual health of the flock depended to a great extent on their own deepening conversion to Christ Jesus, the High Priest. She resolutely rejected mediocrity in the service of the Gospel, passionately railing against accommodations to sloth, selfishness and cowardice.
How dire our own situation is today with deep rot corruption festering from inside the Church at high levels. Catherine’s example is as timely as it is inspirational for us to speak forthrightly and truthfully, always understanding that whenever speaking about the Church souls are at stake. Following Catherine, let us place our complete trust in God and ourselves first live in the light of the truth, making Christ known everywhere both within the Church and beyond.
Saint Catherine of Siena, pray for us!