The Kerygma, as given to St. Catherine of Siena by the LORD

From the dialogue On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor

The eternal Father, indescribably kind and tender, turned his eye to this soul and spoke to her thus:

‘O dearest daughter, I have determined to show my mercy and loving kindness to the world, and I choose to provide for mankind all that is good. But man, ignorant, turns into a death-giving thing what I gave in order to give him life. Not only ignorant, but cruel: cruel to himself. But still I go on providing. For this reason I want you to know: whatever I give to man, I do it out of my great providence.

‘So it was that when, by my providence, I created man, I looked into myself and fell in love with the beauty of the creature I had made – for it had pleased me, in my providence, to create man in my own image and likeness.

‘Moreover, I gave man memory, to be able to remember the good things I had done for him and to be able to share in my own power, the power of the eternal Father.

‘Moreover, I gave man intellect, so that, seeing the wisdom of my Son, he could recognise and understand my own will; for I am the giver of all graces and I give them with a burning fatherly love.

‘Moreover, I gave man the desire to love, sharing in the tenderness of the Holy Spirit, so that he might love the things that his intellect had understood and seen.

‘But my kind providence did all this solely that man might be able to understand me and enjoy me, rejoicing in my vision for all eternity. And as I have told you elsewhere, the disobedience of your first parent Adam closed heaven to you – and from that disobedience came all evil through the whole world.

‘To relieve man of the death that his own disobedience had brought, I tenderly and providently gave you my only-begotten Son to heal you and bring satisfaction for your needs. I gave him the task of being supremely obedient, to free the human race of the poison that your first parent’s disobedience had spread throughout the world. Falling in love, as it were, with his task, and truly obedient, he hurried to a shameful death on the most holy Cross. By his most holy death he gave you life: not human life this time, but with the strength of his divinity.’

Lift High the Cross

He saves us by our pain, because He has shared it.

God is so amazing that:

That by which we fall He saves us. Remember this. It is one of those eternal truths.

Believing the lie from the serpent in the garden led to death. What was the first sin? Pride. Distrust of God.

The serpents in the desert led to death. What was the sin? Grumbling, complaining…again…distrust of God.

What brought them healing and new life? Looking upon the serpent on a pole, held up by Moses. Trusting in the Word of God, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live” (Num 21:8).

There are Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (Jn 3:14-15).

And later He also says in John, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day” (Jn 6:40, my emphasis).

Jesus was lifted up on the Cross. By His death, He conquered Satan, the serpent in the garden, with something he is incapable of understanding—enfleshed merciful love that gives selflessly to others.

When we look upon Him and believe, we have new life, just as those in the desert.

When we believe His Word and look upon Him, and say “Amen, (I believe), ” and receive Him in the Eucharist…we not only spiritually, but materially have God’s eternal life-giving flesh within us.

Where we are weak He is strong. He is there in our weakness, in our pain. Placing our weaknesses and our pain at the foot of the Cross joins us to Jesus. He suffers with us and heals us, bringing peace into our hearts.

That by which we fall He saves us. Turn to Him and tell Him all about it. “Do not forget the works of the Lord” (Ps 78:7b). Jesus, I trust in You.

At the Cross His Divine Mercy Flows

Today we remember the cost of our sins and the Love Who paid the price.

What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26).

The photo to the right is from a scene in The Passion of the Christ.  It is unforgettable.  Jesus not only accepts the cross — He caresses it.  He welcomes it.  He knows that it alone is the way to Eternal Life.  He knows that His love poured out pro multis, for the many, on the Cross, will give eternal life to those who accept it.

What does it mean to accept it?

It means to surrender to the truth that we are sinners and we need a savior.  It is to recognize our own crosses and carry them, yoked with Jesus.  (More on this glorious yoke below). It is to recognize that our heaviest cross is the hatred and unforgiveness in our hearts, the center of all our sins — pride.  Yes, this is the center, the Original Sin that plagues all of us.  This is what Jesus meant when He said:

What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person” (Mark 7:20-23).

Who me?

Yes, me.  

G.K. Chesterton, a prolific and wise British author of the early 20th century once said, “What is wrong with the world? ME.”

My daughter asked me last night, as we were watching Jesus of Nazareth, “Why does it seem like all the men rejected Jesus?”

The rejection is not limited to men.  It is not even limited to Pharisees and Saducees.  We are all susceptible.  There is one common illness.  We all have the spiritual virus of pride.  This is how it manifests and spreads:

“I can do it myself.”

“I will never forgive what he/she did to me.”

“He/She should know better.”

History and tradition in movie depictions of the Cross. | Peter T ...
Be yoked to Jesus

There are many more ways.  This spiritual virus is prolific.  There is only one inoculation: Carrying the Cross with Jesus, and being yoked to Him in our sorrows and pain.  It is the only way.

Sometimes I will hear people say, “I send Jesus away from me when I sin.”  No.  Absolutely not!  Jesus is always there!  Look at the picture!  He embraces us when we sin!

It is we who fight Him.  It is we who fight the solution.  The only answer is to surrender to His love.

Surrender our unforgiveness.  Surrender our hatred.  Surrender our hateful thoughts.  Surrender our disordered desires for things that do not give us life, both material and spiritual! Surrender our anger.  

Jesus is always there waiting for us.  He has conquered all of this through His death on the Cross.  He looked at the ones hurting Him and said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Through Him, with Him, and in Him…we can do this too.  At the Cross his Divine Mercy flows pro multis.