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The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  584 ratings  ·  38 reviews
St. Catherine of Siena is recognized as one of the most remarkable mystical theologians of the Middle Ages. She was also a stigmatist, counsellor of popes and is one of only three women to be made a Doctor of the Church. The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena treats of the whole spiritual life of man in the form of a series of colloquies between the Eternal Father and the ...more
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Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Second only to Divine Mercy in My Soul, this book had the greatest impact on my spiritual reformation.

This opening line, God speaking to St. Catherine, captured my heart and soul:
"Open the eye of your intellect, and gaze into Me, and you shall see the beauty of My rational creature."

It is absolutely mesmerizing in its shape-shifting metaphors which often mix together in such a way that only one's spirit can grasp the meaning.

The core metaphor in this book is of The Bridge, who is Christ joining
Mary Alice
I'm not sure if it was the translation I had or just my mood. But this was not an easy read. I just read it in small doses, which is why it took me so long to read it.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A vibrant simplicity, reminiscent of Augustine, at times, fills this series of treatises in which St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church and mystic hears God the Father answering her requests in order to receive help to be saved. Between the most important aspects of the books are the community aspect of salvation, the refutation of a sola fide approach (200 years before the Reformation) and that of Pelagianism, the urge to trust God's Mercy, readily being penitent but also to remember ...more
Lawrence Jakows
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saints
The words which St. Catherine of Siena receives from God the Father are loving, moving and challenging.

This Doctor of the Church and mystic should be read. Her Letters as well.

I've included several passages from Dialogue in my book, "Jesus: Perfect Love."

"Be who God meant you to be, and you shall set the world on fire."- St. Catherine of Siena.

Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catherine of Siena, the second woman to be named a Doctor of the Church, had a complex and beautiful theology, fully Trinitarian yet alternating the focus between Father, Son and Spirit. This book is actually a compilation of several discourses on such topics as:

The way of perfection
Christ the bridge
The Mystical body of Christ

Much of Catherine's meditations were Scripturally based, so this complements such reading quite well. We recommend it for anyone seeking some
David Miller
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This amazing book is a dialogue between a devout soul (surely Catherine herself) and God the Father. The clear and vigorous prose tasted like strong wine for my mind, compared to the flaccid mushiness of what passes for so much of Catholic thought today.

She considers the soul's freedom: All the Devil's stratagems and temptations and all the demons in Hell can't compel anybody to commit so much as the smallest sin. We are free; to obey God, or disobey.

She considers Christ's body as bridge from
Judith Babarsky
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had been meaning to read this for quite awhile. I'm glad I read it, but can't say that it had a "wow" impact on me -- it feels sacrilegious to say that! There were parts that I found more engaging, but other parts I found it difficult to connect to. If I hadn't had a basic familiarity with Catherine's life, I think I would have been mostly lost. Compared to a more "modern" diary/dialogue such as Faustina or Terese of Liseaux, I found the Dialogue slow-moving and redundant. Overall, I liked the ...more
Brett Folkman
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading St. Catherine's writings while under the influence of the spirit. I found much to ponder and many eternal truths resonated with my spirit. Theologically, for the time period, she was ahead of her time. I love her four petitions and the answers a loving Heavenly Father gave her based on her understanding and knowledge. Her writings reinforce a loving Heavenly Father who sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ into the world to redeem and save us through his infinite ...more
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of really lovely stuff here, though I admit that I dragged a bit midway (topical though this material is). St. Catherine's articulation of sin as nothingness is powerfully insightful; her systematic critique of selfishness is pressing; and her explanation the Dominican tradition of the elevation of the virtue of obedience is illuminating.
Joseph Raborg
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Words of God to a Devout Soul

This book is of immense value. I think that souls striving for perfection or even in a state of sin but who desire to repent would prosper greatly from reading this. A few typos in this version, but the translation reads very smoothly.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
It's hard to not to give this book five stars considering the message came straight from God through St. Catherine. This book had some good insights on prayer, sin, growing in your faith and just doing God's will in your life.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book! Takes a lot of thought, so it took me a long time to finish but well worth the time and effort.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Deep. I will read again.
Tina Beattie
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Complex, passionate, turbulent, extravagant, over the top - Catherine of Siena's Dialogue is a glorious romp with God.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A profound reading experience. I plan on reading it again next year (God willing) during the Lenten season. So helpful on one's spiritual journey.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely incredible. Very, very deep.
Rachel Lang
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catherine of Siena was a mystic activist and influenced the church at the time. She found ways to assert herself in a patriarchal system that suppressed the voices of women. The Dialogue is poetic and prophetic, with passages that feel truly inspired. She writes about God's truth and love that compel her to live a life of virtue, charity being the greatest virtue. Some of her ideas about virtue and suffering are indicative of overall moral ethics in the fourteenth century. However, Catherine's ...more
Fr. Mark
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the books that altered my life yet again! St. Catherine was a firehose of the Holy Spirit, a candle burning on both ends for Jesus. This is her conversation with God the Father as dictated in ecstasy over the course of several encounters. I recommend reading Sigrid Undset's "Catherine of Sienna" before reading if you know nothing about St. Catherine. Otherwise you may write her off--but I can guarantee everything written here is true. Every saint since her death has referenced St. ...more
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this book was deep and profound, I would anticipate a mystical conversation with God to be that much, God using her hand and pen, speaks through her and shares those more impressive mysteries of the spiritual life and devotionals. She shows how the Holy Trinity is working through both the Just and Wicked. The book at times though does feel like as if it was running on at times, but I suppose if one believes God spoke to this Saint, these "run-ons" are only there to further emphasize the ...more
Over the past few years I've been reading medieval Catholic spiritual writers as part of my devotional time. I've enjoyed Theresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, Benedict of Nursia and some others. Now I would have to put Catherine of Siena at the top of that list. While her book was challenging, I found it easier to follow then some others. There is a lot of spiritual depth here to meditate on. If you are looking for a book to read a few pages of each day, to learn from a ...more
Katie Marquette
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A difficult read, but well worth it. Over the past year I have become a great admirer of Catherine, even as I remained critical of some of her extreme practices. This work proves how sophisticated of a mystic she was and how advanced her own personal theology became near the end of her life. Stunning.
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a refreshing discovery with so much teachings. It is no wonder it sat as the towns must-have coffee table book leading right into the Renaissance period. I've read it twice and would read it again anytime. It is religious and it is very good.
I keep putting it back on the shelf without finishing. Was she a nutcase or a true mystic? The accounts of her are more interesting than her little talks, but clearly indicate the latter. Am I being a bit biased here liking my language clean and simple? See what you can do with it.
Dec 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Very good. However, it is very deep and packed so full of information that I truly must read it again in order to write a worthy review on it.
Feb 28, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Catholics, those interested in female saints and mystics
because in communion the soul seems more sweetly bound to God and better knows the truth. For then the soul is in God and God in the soul, just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish.
Feb 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catherine tends to repeat herself a bit, but her use of metaphors is quite remarkable.
Erin Neubrik
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful, beautiful to read, and by one of my favorite saints! =)
David Withun
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful work of late medieval mysticism in which the author has a dialogue with God. Focuses on atonement and the nature of the love of God.
It's really probably more of a four star work, but I realized that I get along way better with philosophers than with mystics. I'm not sure what to do with mystics, theologically speaking.
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Saint Catherine of Siena, T.O.S.D. was a tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She also worked to bring the papacy of Gregory XI back to Rome from its displacement in France, and to establish peace among the Italian city-states. Since 18 June 1866 she is one of the two patron saints of Italy, together with St. Francis of Assisi. On 3 October 1970 she was ...more
“Love follows knowledge.” 8 likes
“the soul always fears until she arrives at true love.” 6 likes
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