Of this fourteenth century mystic, Pope Benedict XVI said: ‘In a vision that was ever present in Catherine’s heart and mind Our Lady presented her to Jesus who gave her a splendid ring, saying to her: “I, your Creator and Saviour, espouse you in the faith, that you will keep ever pure until you celebrate your eternal nuptials with me in Heaven. This ring was visible to her alone. In this extraordinary episode we see the vital centre of Catherine’s religious sense, and of all authentic spirituality: Christocentrism. For her Christ was like the spouse with whom a relationship of intimacy, communion and faithfulness exists; he was the best beloved whom she loved above any other good. This profound union with the Lord is illustrated by another episode in the life of this outstanding mystic: the exchange of hearts. According to Raymond of Capua who passed on the confidences Catherine received, the Lord Jesus appeared to her “holding in his holy hands a human heart, bright red and shining”. He opened her side and put the heart within her saying: “Dearest daughter, as I took your heart away from you the other day, now, you see, I am giving you mine, so that you can go on living with it for ever”. Catherine truly lived St. Paul’s words, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”’.
In these days of Eastertide, we can know the Lord Jesus present to us in a vital way as we reflect on His appearances, and know Him ‘in the breaking of bread’, as did the disciples at Emmaus. May God bless you in your walk with Him, especially on this day.