Thursday, April 29, 2010

Move Over St. Catherine

Today used to be the feast of my namesake, St. Peter of Verona, now it is observed as the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena.  Call me a chauvinist, but the blood of martyrs trumps female mystics - doctors or not.  Just kidding - I love them both.  St. Peter's feast is now observed on April 28.  St. Catherine actually died on April 29, hence the memorial  - although St. Peter died on April 6 - go figure?
Art:  The Death of Saint Peter Martyr, Attributed to Bernardino da Asola


  1. Good for you, Terry. St. Peter was yet another priest who was murdered by the "non-violent" Cathars.

  2. Austringer11:26 AM

    OK -- I'm not trying to be provocative, but am sincerely looking for insight: how could Catherine of Sienna been such an effective reformer if she had concluded (I'm thinking of yesterday's post quoting Fr. Mark) that none of the problems she saw were hers to fix; that ultimately it was God's business; and that she could just go elsewhere to avoid the distractions? Obviously we don't want liturgical or other abuses destroy our faith, but why wouldn't -- shouldn't -- we be upset? In some of the psalms, the psalmist weeps for the transgressions he witnesses...
    This reminds me of the situation told to me by a friend concerning her childhood parish in South Dakota. Sometime in the crazy, heady days of the 7os, the priest hired an "artist" to redo the church. The artist-expert painted the entire sanctuary, including the statues, pea-green. No one liked it -- tears were shed -- but no one said anything until finally my friend's father put his foot down when they were going to rip out the pews for the "theater-in-the-round" effect: he told the priest that if they did that, he would never give another cent. Since he was a wealthy and influential man, the plans were scrapped.Why didn't someone do anything sooner?
    The larger question is, when is inaction a laudable thing, and when is it cowardice disguised as pious detachment? Catherine of Sienna, and Teresa of Avila, certainly were effective -- they didn't leave it up for God to fix.

    Any thoughts?
    Any thoughts?

  3. Catherine was Italian so these rules don't apply.

    Actually, I think the simple answer is that charity motivated Catherine - Divine Charity - people think she was some firebrand reformatrix - when you read her writings and letters especially, they are imbued with gentleness and lovely charity.

    That said, she was guided by the Divine Wisdom and her interventions were willed by God.

    Other's may have more rational explanations - but that is my opinion.

    As for you, I'd keep needling you know who and the mother. LOL!

  4. Seriously - The post on this topic was really for me - I'm backing out of getting involved with church stuff and church people at the parish level - that's my deal - as for others who are involved in parishes and religious communities, follow you convictions and conscience.

    "Some" self-righteous religious people need to be roughed up - it's good for the soul.

  5. Austringer11:53 AM

    I agree -- charity has to be foremost, or else it is just self-important and self-destructive (spiritually, that is) meddling. But -- isn't at least some of our anger and/or anguish at liturgical abuses, especially those in regards to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, born out of love for Christ and His Church? Out of sorrow for souls led astray? How are we best to discern what our motives are? I can tell myself that my annoyance at jokester priests and liturgical dancing is because I love Christ and His Church, but since I am capable of great self-deception, how do I know if any action I might take is truly out of charity? If I do nothing, I am just as capable of convincing myself that my inaction is due to my desire for detachment, and not because I am afraid of conflict.

    My situation with You Know Who is a great example of this dilemma!

  6. Austringer - I'm no theologian or spiritual advisor, but I think that if the action (or inaction) leads to peace of soul and joy, then God's will is being done.

    If remaining silent leads to interior disquiet and angst, then perhaps God is prompting you to speak out.

    If speaking out causes interior disquiet, then it was an act of one's own will and not God's.

    Perhaps that's over-simplification, and I'm willing to be instructed otherwise if I'm incorrect.

  7. Larry - Spot on! Thanks.

  8. Your namesake? Is your middle name Peter?

    Happy Feast Day (belatedly)!



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