The soul, who is lifted by a very great and yearning desire for the honour of God and the salvation of souls, begins by exercising herself for a certain space of time, in the ordinary virtues, remaining in the cell of self-knowledge, in order to know better the goodness of God towards her. This she does because knowledge must precede love, and only when she has attained love, can she strive to follow and to clothe herself with the truth.
Thus begins the Dialogue of St Catherine of Siena with God the Father. St Catherine is undoubtedly one of the most eminently holy children of the Church, as well as one of my favourite saints. Gueranger writes: From the very commencement, there was something heavenly about this admirable servant of God, which we fancy existing in an angel who had been sent from heaven to live in a human body.
For such a lovely saint, it is entirely appropriate that the 'secret' prayer of the Roman rite should be so marvellous:
In the virginal fragrance of the virutes of blessed Catherine, whose feast-day we are are keeping, together with the saving victim to be laid upon Thine altar, may our prayers, O Lord, mount on high to thee. Through Christ our Lord.
Happy Feast Day!