Learn from the Saints

St. Catherine of Sienna, whose feast day we commemorate today, is one
of the greatest mystics in the Christian tradition. She wrote her
great spiritual classic The Dialogue, an account of her conversations
with God. For our reflection we take her “Treatise of Prayer, #13. How
there are five kinds of tears” —

“Oh, beloved and dearest daughter, you beg knowledge of the reasons
and fruits of tears, and I have not despised your desire; open well
the eye of your intellect and I will show you, among the aforesaid
states of the soul, of which I have told you, concerning the imperfect
tears caused by fear; but first rather of the tears of wicked men of
the world These are the tears of damnation. The former are those of
fear, and belong to men who abandon sin from fear of punishment, and
weep for fear. The third are the tears of those who, having abandoned
sin, are beginning to serve and taste Me, and weep for very sweetness;
but since their love is imperfect, so also is their weeping, as I have
told you. The fourth are the tears of those who have arrived at the
perfect love of their neighbor, loving Me without any regard
whatsoever for themselves. These weep and their weeping is perfect.
The fifth are joined to the fourth and are tears of sweetness let fall
with great peace…”

  • Llkazlas

    St. Catherine’s feast day is April 29th, not today.