Saint Catherine of Siena: Mystic of Fire, Preacher of Freedom

Saint Catherine of Siena: Mystic of Fire, Preacher of Freedom

by Paul Murray OP
Saint Catherine of Siena: Mystic of Fire, Preacher of Freedom

Saint Catherine of Siena: Mystic of Fire, Preacher of Freedom

by Paul Murray OP

Hardcover(2nd ed.)

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Catherine of Siena is one of the most intriguing and explosive saints in Church history. A young laywoman with almost no education, she became renowned for her intense mystical experiences, inspired preaching, and scathing criticism of corrupt political and ecclesial authorities. She is even recognized today as a Doctor of the Church—the only layperson to ever receive the title—yet comes across to us more as an apostle than an intellectual. Her work is like Aquinas’ Summa set on fire.

But for all the fascination with Catherine, the distinguishing feature of her life has received surprisingly little attention: her preoccupation with freedom. Catherine had a keen sense of the “unspeakably crazy” love of God and the liberating power of his mercy. But she also knew the terrible bondage of sin—and the necessity of facing our own inner darkness if we are to overcome it. She had a passion for leading those enslaved by fear and oppression to self-knowledge in God—and ultimately, to true freedom. It is this “fire” that inflames almost every page she writes.

In this profound book, the Irish Dominican poet and writer Fr. Paul Murray draws us into the fire of this great mystic’s love for God and humanity, reading her life and teaching not only in light of Dominican spirituality, but also the writings of Renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and the modern psychologist Carl Jung. What results is a portrait of a preacher of freedom who speaks to us, even today, with compelling authority.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781943243648
Publisher: Word on Fire
Publication date: 06/14/2020
Edition description: 2nd ed.
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 647,378
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Fr. Paul Murray, OP, an Irish Dominican friar, lives in Rome, where he teaches courses on the literature of the Western mystical tradition at the Angelicum University. He is a Fellow of the Word on Fire Institute and has published many books, including St. Catherine of Siena: Mystic of Fire, Preacher of FreedomA Journey with Jonah: The Spirituality of BewildermentScars: Essays, Poems, and Meditations on AfflictionAquinas at Prayer: The Bible, Mysticism, and Poetry; and God’s Spies: Michelangelo, Shakespeare, and Other Poets of Vision

Table of Contents





Chapter 1: “Freedom That Is a Woman” 

Chapter 2: Fear into Freedom: The Liberating Message of Catherine

Chapter 3: A Tale of Two Freedoms:Catherine and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

II. FIRE AND SHADOW: Catherine’s Vision of the Self 

Introduction to Part II: A Path of Liberation

Chapter 4: “Who Am I?” : Catherine and Self-Knowledge

Chapter 5: The Shadow and the Self:The Visions of Catherine and Jung 

III. “TO PRAISE, TO BLESS, TO PREACH”: Catherine’s Three Remarkable Freedoms 

Introduction to Part III: A Motto and Mission 

Chapter 6: Laudare: Freedom to Praise 

Chapter 7: Benedicere: Freedom to Bless 

Chapter 8: Praedicare: Freedom to Preach


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