Serving Others: Through the Eyes of Saint Catherine

By Serenity Beaumont, Spiritual Life Staff Writer.

“But it is because your love for me is imperfect that you show it so imperfectly to those you love with a spiritual love”

-Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine of Siena as we know from history was a well known saint. She was an extremely important figure during the Late Middle Ages as she influenced her environment politically and spiritually. She was known as a Christian mystic and a faithful follower of Christ through her actions. As a spiritual leader she was a great example in her compassion and the way she willingly served others.

In one of her most well known books, The Dialogue, she writes a lot about what it really means to serve and love others in a God pleasing way. She writes directly what she hears from God, “I ask you to love me with same love with which I love you. But for me you cannot do this, for I love you without being loved. Whatever love you have for me you owe me, so you love me not gratuitously but out of duty, while I love you not out of duty but gratuitously. So you cannot give me the kind of love I ask of you. This is why I have put you among your neighbors: so that you can do for them what you cannot do for me–that is, love them without any concern for thanks and without looking for any profit for yourself. And whatever you do for them I will consider done for me. So your love should be sincere.”

What she is saying here is, since we are humans, we naturally love imperfectly. But we still have the ability to love others, and we should always do that. I believe what she says here is exceptionally profound. This excerpt and themes matches the message of 1 Peter 4:10 which says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

We are all given God given gifts, and we should use our special unique gifts to the best of our ability to serve and love others, all for the glory of God. Catherine had the gift of her compassion for people to put God on display. And we all have the ability to do the same. I believe this is what being a Christian truly is.

So I leave you, the LCA community, with a question. With the abilities and gifts you have, how can you love others, and be a blessing to people in need?