Monday, April 29, 2013

Not Ourselves By Ourselves

Today is the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church and patron saint of Italy and Europe. From one of her letters, to Caterina of the Hospital and Giovanna di Capo:

Ah, me, misfortunate! My daughters, I believe that I am the wretched woman who is the cause of so many evils, on account of the great ingratitude and other faults which I have committed toward my Creator. Ah, me! ah, me! Who is God, who is wronged by His creatures? He is Highest and eternal Goodness, who in His love created man in His image and likeness, and recreated him by grace, after his sin, in the Blood of the immaculate and enamoured Lamb, His Only-Begotten Son. And who is mercenary and ignorant man, who wrongs his Creator? We are those who are not ourselves by ourselves, save in so far as we are made by God, but by ourselves we are full of every wretchedness. It seems as if people sought nothing except in what way they could wrong God and their fellow-creatures, in contempt of the Creator.

The idea that we cannot be ourselves simply by ourselves is an important one in her theology.

1 comment:

  1. It is also seen in Augustine and Aquinas. The learned doctors all agree.


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