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Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue (Classics of Western Spirituality) Hardcover – April, 1980


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Product Details

  • Series: Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Hardcover: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Newman Pr (April 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809102951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809102952
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Language Notes

Text: English, Italian (translation) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

I found it to be a beautiful book.
Christiana Washington
In this way, we are loving God as he loves us, and in this way, his love is glorified.
catherine guelph
I like to read autobiographical books.
Barbara Lewis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Glutton for books on January 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book to any person seeking to be inspired to improve their lives, not through fear of chatisement, but due to being motivated by love. This is the first book that I have ever read, where I wanted to write the author, or in this case it would be the interpretor, and to thank her for the wisdom and insight that her work gave me. Just reflecting on the book gives me a warm feeling.

Catherine of Siena was a mystic who claimed to receive advice from God, and who also worked miracles in her time. This book relates the advice in an incredibly accessiblt tone. She writes about issues related to every aspect of life, our association with one another, and how to please God. Her advice is helpful to people from all walks of life, the lay person and religious as well.

Central to her message is the great love that God has for us all. That God loved us before we knew and loved Him, and the onyl way to give likewise such love to strangers who know not and possibly will not love us. She writes too about one of the greatest ways that we can offend God is by not believing that he has sufficient mercy to forgive us our sins, if we are contrite and ask him for forgiveness, because this belief contradicts the notion that God's mercy and love for us is great. She writes that sin is horrible becuase it ofends God's goodness, and it harms our neighbor.

She cites many biblical sources that reflect the advice that she has recieved. It seems cliche to hail a book as life-changing but this book greatly transformed me and my relationship with God for the better. It is an inspiring and uplifting read, and may be particularly useful to those experiencing spiritual dryness.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Billyjack D'Urberville on July 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most important volumes in the Classics of Western Spirituality series. More is commonly known of the life of this young saint than her writings; she is the patron of many American parishes. Her example and directions to high churchmen were an important corrective in a pivotal moment of Church history. But one feels that the importance of her writings is only now becoming clear. Few are familiar enough with them.

Be warned: this twenty-something seer was austere. The transcriptions of her locutions, done by her confreres, are not prettied up, as they should not be. They convey a plain authenticity. Sentences and paragraphs run on and are often difficult to untangle. It can be very slow going; any of these dialogues can make for a wearying sitting. And the claim is absolute: God talking directly to Catherine in her ecstatic state, she as the mere transmitter, the confreres getting it down as best they can.

Of all the mysteries explicated here, however, the pinnacle and the unique aspect is the discussion of the mechanism of the Mystical Body of Christ. While a key and unique aspect of Catholicism that was there from the beginning, only in century 20 was it beginning to be more fully explicated by the likes of Bishop Sheen and Pius 12. The closest thing in Protestantism to it is the concept of Christian fellowship, but the Mystical Body is both more active and more exact than that. Many, including surprisingly Catholics, will reject this teaching in the radical and awesome form stated here. Of course, the writings and visions of saints are not matters of faith, except to the extent they track definitive dogmatic statements.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By catherine guelph on August 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book has been important to me. From it, I learned that loving the LORD, my GOD, is manifested by the love which I exercise in the intercourse with my neighbour. This was already a well-known idea by the time of Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). It is articulated in the first epistle, chapter 4, from John. Catherine puts this virtue into action in her role as a diplomat for Pope Gregory XI. She was a determined woman of great spiritual fortitude, and is an inspiration to me. Catherine joins the acts of loving God with loving our neighbour. She does this by setting the will to love our neighbor as an attribute of the love which we have for God. Her argument to support this premise is profoundly logical. In brief, we cannot love God as God loves us because she loved us before we loved her. We manifest the will of God by loving our neighbor, even before our neighbour loves us. Since this goes against our natural instincts as humans, it must be the love of God which is at work. In this way, we are loving God as he loves us, and in this way, his love is glorified. In Catherine's own words, as she relates a conversation she received, "And I, [the LORD, our GOD,] would have thee know that just as every imperfection and perfection is acquired from Me, so is it manifested by means of the neighbour...I require that you should love Me with the same love with which I love you. This indeed you cannot do, because I loved you without being loved...Read more ›
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