Fifth Saturday of Easter
“So that in every thing, whether actually present or through teaching, He is the way and the truth and the life, which way is the bridge which leads you to the height of heaven. This is what He wished to say when he said, "I came from the Father and I return to the Father' and "I will come back to you.' That is to say, My Father sent Me to you and I am made your bridge that you escape from the river and be able to come to life. Then He says, 'I will come back to you. I will not leave you orphans but I will send you the Paraclete.' As if My Truth said, 'I will go to the Father and I will come back. That is, that the Holy Spirit coming, who is called Paraclete, He will show you more clearly and He will confirm in you Me, the way of truth, which is the teaching which I have given you. He said that He would return and He did return because the Holy Spirit did not come alone but He came with the power of Me, the Father, with the wisdom of the Son, and His own mercy of the Holy Spirit. You see then, that He returns not physically but with power, as I told you, strengthening the road of the teaching.” (Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, 29).
For the Father Himself loves you because you have loved me and have come to believe that I am from God (Jn 16:27): “The fact that we love God is a sign that He loves us, for our being able to love God is a gift from God: ‘God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us’ (Rom 5:5); ‘He who loves Me will be loved by My Father’ (Jn 14:21)… Our faith is due to God’s love for us, for ‘it is a gift of God’ (Eph 2:8). Now a gift is not given except through the love of the giver. To believe in and to love Christ insofar as He comes forth from God is a clear sign of one’s love for God, since that in which something is such is itself even more so. Therefore, when one loves Christ, who came forth from God, this love is particularly traced back to God the Father…” (2159). St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part II, trans. James A. Weisheipl, O.P. and Fabian Larcher, O.P. (Petersham, MA: St. Bede Publications), 465-466.
Fifth Friday of Easter
“Abide in My love. This is like saying: Because you have received such a great benefit from My love, abide in it so that you may love Me. Or it could mean, abide in My love because I love you, that is, abide in My grace so that you will not be excluded from the good things I have prepared for you…” (2000).
“Since there are many other commandments of the Lord in the sacred writings, why does He say that His commandment is only the practice of charity? The answer, according to Gregory, is that charity is the root and end of all the virtues. It is the root, because it is from charity, firmly rooted in the human heart, that we are led to accomplish all the other commandments: ‘He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law” (Rom 13:8). Therefore, all the commandments are, in a way, directed to this: that we do good to our neighbor, and not harm him; and this is best done through charity. Charity is the end because all commandments are directed to it and by it alone are given strength… So He says, This is My commandment, that you love one another, since everything comes from charity, as its source, and all things are directed to charity as their end” (2006). St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part II, trans. James A. Weisheipl, O.P. and Fabian Larcher, O.P. (Petersham, MA: St. Bede Publications), 397, 399.
“But realize that to Him we are not able to make any service because He is our God who has no need of us. In what then will we demonstrate the love we have for Him? In that means which He has put for us to prove virtue in us, that is, our neighbor, whom we ought to love as ourselves, supporting him as we see that it is necessary, according to the graces which God has given us, or might give to minister and to offer humble tears and continual prayers before God for the salvation of all the whole world, and especially for the mystic body of holy Church…” St. Catherine, Letter 78, II, To Nicolò Povero Di Romagna.
Fifth Wednesday of Easter
“First He says: I say that it is not only necessary for a person to abide in Me in order to bear fruit, it is also efficacious, because he who abides in me, by believing, obeying and persevering, and I in him, by giving enlightenment, help and perseverance, he it is and not another, that bears much fruit…
The reason for this efficacy is because apart from Me you can do nothing… Look at what our Lord says here! He says that without Him we cannot do anything great, nor anything small, indeed, we cannot do anything at all. This is not surprising because neither does God do anything without Him: ‘Without Him was not anything made that was made’ (Jn 1:3). For our works are either from the power of nature or from divine grace. If they are from the power of nature, then, since every action of nature is from the Word of God, no nature can do anything without Him. If our works are from the power of grace, then, since He is the author of grace – ‘grace and truth came through Jesus Christ’ (Jn 1:17) – it is obvious that no meritorious work can be done without Him: ‘Not that we are capable of thinking anything of ourselves as originating from ourselves; our capacity is from God’ (2 Cor 3:5). Therefore if we cannot even think without it coming from God, much less can we do anything else.” St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part II, 1992-1993, trans. James A. Weisheipl, O.P. and Fabian Larcher, O.P. (Petersham, MA: St. Bede Publications), 392 - 393.
“Because no one in this life is as perfect as he wishes, that he is not able to grow to greater perfection. And so I keep this way among the others just as My Truth said, when He said, 'I am the true vine and My Father is the vine keeper and you are the branches' He is the true vine because He proceeds from Me. Who remains in Him, following his teaching, bears fruit. And that your fruit grow and may be perfect, I prune you with many troubles, shame, insults, mockery, derision and reproach, with hunger and thirst, in words and in actions, according as pleases My goodness to give to each one, as he is capable of bearing. For troubles are a demonstrative sign that shows the perfect charity of the soul and the imperfection, there where she is. In the insult and weariness that I permit to My servants, patience is proved. And the fire of charity grows in that soul through the compassion that he has for the soul of that one who insults him…”St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, 145).
Fifth Thursday of Easter
“Do what you need to do with joy and stay with a burning heart.” St. Catherine of Siena, Letter 105, to Friar Bartolomeo Dominici
“He says that the fact that we abide in Christ is due to His grace; and this grace is the effect of His love: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Jer 31:3). It is clear from this that all our good works are ours due to the benefit of divine love. For they would not be ours unless faith acted through love, and we would not love unless we were first loved. And so He reminds them of this benefit by saying, As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you… (1998). Now since to love someone is to will good to that person, the Father loves the Son, with respect to the Son’s divine nature, because the Father wills Him His own infinite good, which He has by communicating to the Son the very same numerical nature the Father Himself has: ‘For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all that He Himself is doing’ (Jn 5:20). The Father also loves the Son with respect to His human nature: ‘When Israel was a child, I loved Him, and out of Egypt I called My Son’ (Hos 11:1). And He loves Him so that He would be at once both God and man (1999). But the Son… did love them to a similar point: He loved them to the extent that they would be gods by their participation in grace … ‘He has granted us precious and very great promises, that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature’ (2 Pet 1:4) – and He loved them to the extent that they would be united to God in affection: ‘He who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him’ (1 Cor 6:17); ‘For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son’ (Rom 8:29) (1999). St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part II, trans. James A. Weisheipl, O.P. and Fabian Larcher, O.P. (Petersham, MA: St. Bede Publications), 396 - 397.
May 8, 2012
"He says, 'Peace I leave with you.' Peace is nothing else than the tranquility arising from order, for things are said to have peace when their order remains undisturbed. In a human being there is a threefold order: that of a person to himself; of a person to God and of a person to his neighbour. Thus the human person can enjoy a threefold peace. One peace is interior, when one is at peace with himself, and his faculties are not unsettled: 'Great peace have those who love Your law' (Ps 119:165). Another peace is peace with God, when one is entirely conformed to His direction: 'Since we are justified by faith, let us have peace with God' (Rom 5:1). The third peace is with our neighbour: 'Strive for peace with all' (Heb 12:14)."
"The peace of this world is pretended peace since it is only on the outside... But the peace of Christ is true, because it is both on the outside and the inside. So the meaning is, not as the world gives do I give to you, that is, I do not give a pretended peace, as the world does... The peace of the world is imperfect since it is not concerned with the interior tranquility of a person but only with externals... But the peace of Christ brings tranquility both within and without..." St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part II, 1962, 1964, trans. James A. Weisheipl, O.P. and Fabian Larcher, O.P. (Petersham, MA: St. Bede Publications), 376, 378.
"Mty Truth manifested this to you when He said to His disciples, I will go and I will return to you. Everything He said was said in particular to the disciples and was said in general and in common to all those present and future ... When the Holy Spirit returned to the disciples, He returned... The Holy Spirit did not return alone, but came with My power and the wisdom of the Son, who is one with Me, and with His own mercy of the Holy Spirit Himself, who proceeds from Me and from the Son. Now, I tell you, to lift the soul from imperfection, I withdraw Myself through the feelings, depriving her of her previous conslation... Although she feels that I have withdrawn into Myself, she does not turn back, but she perseveres with humility... and stays enclosed in the house of knowledge of herself. And there, with living faith, she waits for the coming of the Holy Spirit, for I am the very fire of charity... This is what the soul does that has left imperfection and has come to perfection. That she might arrive there, I departed Myself from her, not through grace but through feelings..." St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, 63.