“St. Catherine of Siena fulfills St. Paul’s directive to fully live for Christ”

Jim Miller

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20) Such a powerful profession of faith from St. Paul which directly resonates with St. Catherine of Siena’s ideal of what Christocentrism is. For St. Catherine Christocentrism: is a deep spousal relationship of intimacy, communion, and faithfulness. The summit of which is eternal union in Heaven with the Beloved Jesus Christ. 

It is a goal to which we should all strive; I have been for years through humility and purpose building a strong personal relationship with Christ. Through long hours of deep contemplation before the blessed Sacrament, total devotion to the Sacred Heart reading and contemplating Sacred Scripture and striving to remain in a state of grace. Thriving to balance work and family with a spiritual life is tough but through a series of events this year. I learned to finally let go and completely trust in God. COVID allowed me to separate from work and depend on him completely for the welfare of my family. I even choose to step away from a lucrative career (if we’re just counting income) in an industry and go to work for the Church trusting that the bills would be covered, but now I live for Him. I am able to attend daily Mass,  pray openly and spend all the time I desire in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I am home more with the family. By putting Christ first we have changed our priorities we have changed our lives. My hope is that I can be an example for my children that money shouldn’t be your first priority. Jesus has to be! 

Now I cannot say that I am anywhere near the level of St. Catherine who became espoused to Christ but I do feel that like her I was presented to Christ through his Mother Mary. Unlike St. Catherine I was not given a ring but a mark upon my heart and though I didn’t hear, “I, your Creator and Savoir, espouse you in the faith, which you will keep ever pure until you celebrate your eternal nuptials with me in Heaven.” I did feel a loving embrace as a son and brother hugged by a Father after long absence and a tender embrace and nudging from Our Lady to grow closer to her Son our Lord Jesus Christ. We are all therefore called as a Church to do the same to put Christ back at the middle and heart of everything we are doing and saying. Like Catherine if we live lives of holiness we can and will build up the Kingdom of God here on Earth and people will long to find that peace and fulfillment that only Christ can fill completely. If we and the Church focused complete on achieving Christocentrism and full communion with Our Savior what a different world it would be. “O mercy! My heart drowns in thinking of you: for no matter where I turn to think, I find only mercy” (Dialogue of Divine Providence -St. Catherine of Siena) If we exchange hearts with Christ as St. Catherine did we will long to love every human being regardless of how we ourselves are treated and thus achieve what I begin with St. Paul’s quote, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20) This is what I strive for and hence why I am here learning to be a spiritual director.

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