Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another rebellious spirit

Yesterday my blogger buddy, Kim, posted a couple of poems from St. Catherine of Siena on her blog. I was thrilled to discover them. Catherine's church in Siena was one of the ones we visited when we were in Italy last fall, and I had forgotten that Catherine was one of the poets featured in Love Poems from God.

We actually visited two churches in Siena: their extraordinary cathedral, huge and magnificent with marble everywhere (see below), and then her home church, the Basilica of San Domenico -- a much less imposing brick edifice where this painting of Catherine and her mummified head (!) are on display (that's the bright spot at the center of the second photo).

So I thought I'd go back and look at her poems again to see if there were any that particularly struck me. The edge of the page was turned down on one, and when I read it I decided there was probably a good reason why the ugly brown church was hers and why the fancy cathedral was instead chock to the gills with the heads of disapproving popes.

"All has been consecrated.
The creatures in the forest know this,
the earth does, the seas do, the clouds know
as does the heart full of love.

Strange a priest would rob us of this knowledge
and then empower himself
with the ability
to make holy
what already was."

I guess Catherine was a bit of a rebel, too!


Jan said...

The pictures are beautiful. Loved your reflections on Catherine, too. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I love it when I open your blog and have one of those "oooooo! Look!" moments. This is one of those.

And I love the color palette in the first photo, I think I could live there.