Feast of St. Catherine of Siena | iPray with the Gospel
At that time Jesus declared, ” Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Some people think about religion as a kind of exhausting and painful way to Heaven, and the commandments and acts of piety as a burden we need to carry on our shoulders. The path to Heaven is narrow. We know that. But the burden that we carry is not heavy. Saints have had difficult lives. But they walked along with Jesus and He carried the yoke with them. They allowed Jesus to share the burden.
A man had a dream: He was walking along the beach with Jesus. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to him and the other to Jesus. At the end he looked back at the footprints in the sand and saw that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He recognised that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life. This really bothered him so he asked Jesus: ‘Lord, You said that if I followed You, You’d walk with me all the way and we’d share the burden. But during the most troublesome times in my life, there’s only one set of footprints: When I needed You the most You left me alone!’ Jesus replied. “My precious child, I love you and I’d never leave you. During those times of suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
St Catherine of Siena had a hard life. Her times were difficult ones. She was the 25th child in the family! There were two alleged popes. Some criticised her for being unmarried but not a nun, alone and free to serve the sick and the poor as she pleased. Against the prevailing customs, she spoke out calling for reform of the Church. She dictated over 400 letters, her Dialogue (her definitive work) and various prayers. She is a Doctor of the Church. She had a hard life, but shared the yoke with Christ. My Mother, may I learn to lean on your Son. May I be aware that, as a child of God, I can sing every day ‘I’ll never walk alone’, because Jesus would never allow it.
This article originally appeared on www.ipraywiththegospel.org. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © Fr. George Boronat.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).