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Letters of Catherine Benincasa

Saint Catherine of Siena as Seen in Her Letters

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Language: English
Wordcount: 111,806 / 306 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 56.8
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 418 1013
Genre: Biography

(tr Vida D. Scudder)

Show Excerpt

esire" which is the earnest of true holiness to be. We find her impatient of mint and cummin, of over-anxious self-scrutiny. "Strive that your holy desires increase," she writes to a correspondent; "and let all these other things alone." "I, Catherine--write to you--with desire": so open all her letters. Holy Desire! It is not only the watchword of her teaching: it is also the true key to her personality.


We have dwelt on Catherine, the friend and guide of souls; but it is Catherine the mystic, Catherine the friend of God, before whom the ages bend in reverence. The final value of her letters lies in their revelation, not of her dealings with other souls, but of God's dealings with her own.

But in presence of the record of these deep experiences, silence is better than words: is, indeed, for most of us the only possible attitude. The letters that follow must speak for themselves. The clarity of mind which Catherine always preserved, even in moments of highest exaltation, and her loving eagerness



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