In fact, Catherine’s life was explicitly offered for the good of the Church, which she loved wholeheartedly for the sake of Jesus her Bridegroom. Her letters are filled with appeals to join her in this unmitigated service:
At times it can be tempting to be discouraged by the circumstances we see around us: divisions and conflicts within the Church, polarization in our nation, and wars and violence throughout the world. It can be tempting even to despair that anything can be done in the face of such (so the temptation goes) unprecedented troubles.
But we are not alone in this – our sister Catherine knows the things we face! Her lifetime saw an actual schism in the Church; polarization and feuds to the point of bloodshed in her city-state; wars near at hand and throughout Europe. She was slandered both by strangers and her own family; nearly assassinated in the midst of one of her times’ many riotous outbreaks…
Indeed, we can say that like her Spouse before her, she is not one “who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way” (Heb 4:15).
And Catherine was not crushed by this! Her heart was on the Cross with Jesus Crucified; her eyes were confidently fixed on Christ the Victorious One. She lived to the hilt the message of the empty tomb: that it is through suffering and death that death itself is conquered, and that we fight on the side of One who has already won the battle.
Brothers and sisters – in the midst of the legitimate difficulties facing us in the world and in our own circumstances, Jesus Christ is ALIVE!
May the confidence of St. Catherine be ours today, and may her prayers help us to be assured of the victory that He has won.